Creating a sustainability hub in London

Salix is working to influence the climate change debate in the UK capital and beyond.



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The City of London is at the centre of the financial world. The Bank of England is a bellwether for the global economy. It seemed only right, therefore, for a not-for-profit organisation that practises game-changing, climate-driven lending to plant its eco-friendly flag firmly in the City.

Salix provides interest-free government loans to the public sector to fund sustainability reforms, and is based in the historic financial district. It receives funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Welsh government, the Scottish government and the Department for Education. Salix is on a mission to influence businesses and individuals across the UK to make their contributions by reducing their carbon footprints. Meanwhile, Salix focuses its efforts on the public sector to lead by example. It has reduced carbon emissions across the UK and is proud to have enabled over 17,000 projects, with loans totalling £742m. Its lending is having a very real effect, having saved the public sector an estimated £164m and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 788,000 tonnes every year.

Salix is investing and engaging in the City of London – painting the town green, so to speak – and developing an integral hub in the heart of the district. On the Lord Mayor’s City Giving Day, it hosted a lecture on climate change and how everyone can pitch in to fight rising temperatures, and a lecture on women’s equality in the workplace. Some very dedicated Salix employees also entered a “Tour de City” static bike race to raise funds for the Lord Mayor’s charities.

On a London-wide scale, Salix is increasingly involved, lending its expertise on green policy. As such, Salix responded in detail to the Transport for London 25-year strategy, helping to inform the Mayor’s plan to make London healthier. It also responded to BEIS’s call for evidence as part of its investigation into how the public sector can cut energy bills and carbon emissions, outlining key recommendations to widen the accessibility of low-carbon technologies available to the public and higher education sectors.

As the Salix message is sustainability, it points its corporate social responsibility policy in that direction too. That is why Salix supports the Sustainability Institute – a pioneering sustainable centre in Stellenbosch, South Africa – and Educators International, a charity that implements much-needed education reforms around the world.

Salix’s work in the sector has been recognised; this year it ranked 21st in the Sunday Times best 100 not-for-profit organisations to work for, the only company listed within the top 50 companies to be based in the city of London. Chief executive, Annie Shepperd, was awarded Leader of the Year at the recent Investors in People awards and given an OBE for her significant contribution to energy efficiency. Salix was delighted to represent Britain in the sustainability category for the Telegraph’s Best of British campaign, showcasing the successful British businesses.

Its process is one of discussion and cooperation to develop knowledge with its public sector clients, which include education providers, local authorities, the NHS and emergency services. Salix is always proactive in sharing examples of best practice from amongst its clients, in order to inspire and help other public sector organisations become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprints. Salix is working hard to make sure that the action being taken by the UK public sector feeds into the wider climate change agenda and is felt beyond the nation’s borders.

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