Liveryman Shelley Charik recently attended the annual conference of the Livery Climate Action Group, which was held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall. This is his report on the event.The Group was founded in 2021 by 13 Companies, in response to the City of London Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy. Since then a large number of other Companies, including the Scientific Instrument Makers, have joined. The stated aim of the Group is to “assist City of London Livery Companies and Guilds to manage their impact on climate change and the environment by reducing carbon emissions and making responsible use of resources”. The Group has prepared a number of Guidance Notes, written by Liverymen drawn from Member Companies, on topics such as energy use, IT and event catering. Member Companies are urged to name a Single Point of Contact for climate change and to prepare a Climate Action Plan. Some Climate Action Plans have been placed on the Group’s website. As reported by Deputy Master Charles Holroyd, the Scientific Instrument Makers and the Glaziers have linked into the Mayor of London’s Business Climate Challenge with the aim of reducing the Hall’s carbon footprint by 10% this year.
The talks at the Conference were mostly directed at ways of reducing the impact on climate of Livery Halls and events. Many of the speakers focussed on products or services their companies were offering to assist these efforts, though others’ talks ranged more widely. Colin Hutchinson, MD of an architects firm, spoke on the way other cities were tackling climate change and highlighted the particular problems of London in comparison. Bekir Andrews from Wates Group and two colleagues gave a detailed presentation on using photogrammetry to gather data on buildings so as to design energy efficiency retrofits. Peter Gladwin, a chef and farmer who has catered a number of Livery banquets, talked about the need to improve the ratio of plant foods to animal foods in the meals offered at Livery events. Other speakers included Paul Sheedy on using the Internet of Things to improve environmental building controls; Tom Wilcock of real estate consultancy Hollis, who is their lead on Net Zero both within the firm and at its clients; and Matt Wallace on digital energy monitoring for better building environmental control. The keynote speaker was to have been Lord Deben (John Gummer), who has just stepped down as Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, and who has recently spoken very critically of the Government’s efforts. Instead we had a talk from Emma Howard Boyd, former Chair of the Environment Agency and Chair of the Green Finance Institute, encouraging us all to keep our Companies on track to deliver challenging net zero targets.