Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
London' s local authorities are being urged to lead the way by committing to a new environmental drive to increase ...
London' s local authorities are being urged to lead the way by committing to a new environmental drive to increase the capital's ecological sustainability.

London's 'ecological footprint' is more than twice the size of Great Britain, which is a huge drain on the natural environment. If everyone lived as Londoner's do, it would require more than three planet earths to support them.

London Remade, the capital's innovative recycling programme launched its report, Making London a Sustainable City - Reducing London's Ecological Footprint with report DTI minister, Michael O'Brien last month. It is now asking London authorities to take forward the key actions in it Agenda for Change.

Daniel Silverstone, chief executive at London Remade said: 'London's consumption clearly outstrips its share of natural resources and this points to major problems and constraints for its future. So the question is, what are we going to do about it?

'In launching our new report, we have aimed to provide government and businesses with some practical ways in which London can work towards becoming a more sustainable city. In the long term, we cannot continue to have a capital city that has an Ecological Footprint of more than twice the size of Great Britain. No longer can we simply do nothing'.

An Ecological Footprint is increasingly used as the standard way to measure the ecological impact of a country, city or organisation. It represents the area (in global hectares) of productive land or sea needed to produce the resources consumed by society and absorb the waste generated.

When analysed, London's Ecological Footprint comprises 35.7% resource use (goods and services), 23.6% food consumption (including its transport), 19.5% direct energy consumption, 13.9% personal transport and 7.2% other consumption.

'But we're not asking the people of London to grow their own carrots, or return to subsistence farming,' says Silverstone. 'We're asking government and business to lead the way by suggesting practical ways for organisations, industry and individuals to help improve the sustainability of London.'

The report's 'Agenda for Change' focuses on the four key areas:

-Resource use - reduce the consumption of short-life goods, especially paper

-Food - a new approach to diet is needed with the promotion of food from more local sources

-Energy and the built environment - action should be taken to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings

-Transport - it should be possible for people to travel less and to travel mainly by public transport on foot or by bicycle

Mr Silverstone concludes: 'If government and businesses acknowledge the need for change and lead by example, then we can start moving forward towards a more sustainable London. Our capital has to be able to meet the needs of its inhabitants and compete as a world city, without running out of resources.'


1.London Remade is an innovative recycling programme aimed at increasing markets for recycled products and driving the development of an entrepreneurial recycling supply chain. A unique partnership between the business, community, public and not-for-profit sectors, London Remade uses recycling as a vehicle to drive economic and social regeneration and is principally funded by the London Development Agency to deliver green procurement and business support programmes. London Remade is sponsored by Guilbert Office Depot, Bywaters Recycling and Waste Management, Valpak, M-Real and Brother.

2.The Making London a Sustainable City - Reducing London's Ecological Footprint report is available at

3.Full findings and methodologies used are set out in 'Determining London's Ecological Footprint and Priority Impact areas for action' by WSP Environmental and Natural Strategies available at

4.Ecological Footprint is the ecological impact of human activities as measured in terms of the area (gha) of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to absorb the wastes generated. The report states that:

a.There are 1.9 gha per person available in the world

b.The average global consumption is 2.3 gha per person

c.The average UK consumption is 5.3 gha per person

d.The average Londoner consumes 5.8 gha per person

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.