Eight Versa and Natural Carbon Solutions continue to closely collaborate with south London’s Business Improvement District (BID) Better Bankside

Powered by the people of Bankside, Better Bankside leads innovative economic, environmental and social action to drive positive change in one of the world’s great neighbourhoods. Through a programme co-created with Banksiders, they respond inventively to urban challenges and celebrate the differences that define our neighbourhood as London’s Other Side.

Better Bankside endeavour to pioneer low carbon businesses and neighbourhoods across the Bankside area. Better Bankside, established in 2005, is one of the very first BIDs. And in 2019, commercial, public sector (schools, hospitals), domestic and industrial buildings emitted over 86,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (Tco2e) in the Better Bankside area, with commercial buildings accounting for over half of this total. Their goal is to make Bankside a low carbon neighbourhood by 2025, and Net Zero by 2030. We began our relationship with Better Bankside by measuring and delivering their baseline carbon footprint calculation for 2019.

BID 2030 Carbon Footprint Projections

Using the area-wide baseline footprint calculations developed for Better Bankside, a number of carbon reduction scenarios were considered and analysed in order to quantify the level of carbon reduction needed across the area in order to reach Net Zero emissions. Considering just the top 3 scenarios alone, the neighbourhood can save thousands of tonnes of carbon from being emitted. As Bankside moves towards their goal of becoming a Net Zero neighbourhood by 2030, they can reduce their emissions by 17% by implementing the top three scenarios alone.

Top 3 Scenarios:

• Commercial and Public sector buildings performing 10% better (Implementation year – 2026)

• No Fossil Fuel vehicles (cars, motorcycles, trailers) across the BID (Implementation year – 2023)

• No gas boilers or cookers across domestic properties in Bankside (Implementation year – 2025)

Bankside 2025 

Bankside has the potential to set the bar for low carbon neighbourhoods across the nation and worldwide. For Bankside to reach Net Zero, after the measurement and reductions have been made offsetting would be the next stage of the process. To highlight the significance of these projections, and work in partnership to encourage low carbon business and neighbourhood area for Bankside, we most recently collaborated on the Bankside2025 Climate Week. 

This exhibition explored the following: 

• The impact of climate in the area, 

• What has been done, 

• What can be implemented to reduce emissions.

The aim of this was to create discussion, secure plans and encourage community involvement in achieving their emission-based goals. The 2019 calculations that we delivered to their team will be used to inform key decisions and actions across the Better Bankside Improvement District (BID). These will be used on their mission for a low carbon neighbourhood by 2025, and Net Zero by 2030. 

The first event we took part in was the Bankside 2025: Eco Pub Quiz, held at Better Bankside’s arch at St Felix Place, where we had the opportunity to partake as a team from Natural Carbon Solutions. 

The second event was the Bankside Built Environment: Towards Net Zero panel discussion which we hosted, with our Director Chris Hocknell leading the discussion. In this panel discussion we examined the annual carbon emissions from properties in Bankside and what actions could be taken to reduce those emissions. We also talked about the retrofitting of existing commercial properties, the unique challenges domestic buildings pose, the integration of heat pumps, and future development in the neighbourhood.

Our Why 

Air pollution and rising emissions is a global public health crisis leading to tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. This is also the biggest contributor to increasing temperatures worldwide which is causing hazardous and dangerous weather conditions. Since COP26, there has been over 1,000 cities across the globe pledging to reduce their emissions and reach Net Zero. The target for this is to halve their emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. This includes cities small and large, all over the globe. C40 is a network of mayors from nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. Their mission is to halve the emissions of its member cities within a decade, while improving equity, building resilience, and creating the conditions for everyone, everywhere to thrive. They are deploying science-based and collaborative approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. C40 targets for cities are hugely important, and cities earn their membership through action.

The best way to effectively enact change and get these areas to reach their Net Zero goals is for action to be established from boroughs, districts or councils. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that tackling climate change across the London boroughs was “a big responsibility”. Better Bankside are making real commitments and setting a precedent for action, in lowering their levels of carbon and pioneering their community to act now.