Join the community of businesses taking action on climate change in Southwark

Why get involved

The Southwark Climate Collective offers free, bespoke and expert support worth £6,000 to help your business to take action on climate change.

Challenges for SMEs

We know businesses care about climate change but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.  Taking that first step can feel like a daunting task.

We know businesses care about climate change but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.  Taking that first step can feel like a daunting task.

The Southwark Climate Collective is here to make it easy for businesses to begin their journey to reducing carbon emissions.

The UN SME Climate Hub shows the top reasons preventing SMEs taking action on climate

  • Skills and knowledge (58%)
  • Lack of funds (55%)
  • Lack of time (44%)

To take action, SMEs need:

  • Tools for measuring and monitoring emissions (61%)
  • Financial support (60%)
  • Network of peer organisations to reach out to and learn from (54%)

Business benefits

Businesses joining the Southwark Climate Collective will receive end-to-end support worth £6,000.  

Reducing carbon emissions

Cutting costs

Increasing efficiencies

Supporting your businesses’ sustainability targets

Delivering competitive advantage

Recognition from the Mayor of London

Joining a community of businesses on the same journey

Bespoke advice from top technical experts

Which stream is a good fit for your business?


The challenge

  • Decarbonising buildings is critical for London to reach net zero by 2030.
  • Energy from heating and powering buildings in London accounts for 74% of the city’s emissions.

The opportunity

  • Low-cost measures can reduce energy consumption by 16% with associated savings of £8,000 per business.

The support

  • We’ll gather your energy data (either from your smart meter or meter readings from bills) from the past 12 months.
  • A specialist will come and inspect your building, equipment and controls, and review your current energy performance compared to similar buildings, and provide personalised recommendations.
  • These recommendations could include ways to reduce carbon emissions from heating, generate clean energy on site, and offset your business’ building emissions. For many organisations, at least one or two of these measures will be free to implement.
  • We’ll continue to measure your energy data throughout the course of the programme, to track the reduction in your energy consumption.


The challenge

  • London is aiming to become a zero waste city by 2026 with no biodegradable waste sent to landfill.
  • Recycling rates have dropped as a result of the pandemic.

The opportunity

  • Segregating waste can provide direct cost savings for businesses, particularly when removing glass (25-30%) and food (40-50%) from the general waste stream.

The support

  • Specialists will collect a sample of your general waste on an agreed date, and analyse the contents of the sample to identify the type and quantity of materials being disposed of on-site.
  • This will not only verify what you are throwing away – but the value you are losing. This helps uncover costly, wasteful problems and unlock opportunities for material streams to be recycled.
  • Businesses taking part in the waste challenge will receive support on reducing plastic and food waste, increasing recycling rates, and making cost savings relating to waste. Plus a follow-up audit to help track their progress.


The challenge

  • Poor air quality is one of London’s top public health issues and is responsible for the premature death of 9,400 Londoners each year.
  • All motor vehicles contribute to harmful emissions, and there is a need for businesses to transition to lower impact vehicles to receive and collect their goods and products.
  • Procurement can often be disjointed within organisations, leading to multiple suppliers delivering similar types of goods to the same business.

The opportunity

  • By making data-led decisions on your deliveries and servicing visits – you could not only reduce emissions, but also drive cost and efficiency savings and create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

The support

  • For your bespoke audit, you will be supported to record and review deliveries and servicing visits to and from your premises over a two week period.
  • Experts will then walk you through some small changes that could help you reduce emissions, improve efficiency, and drive cost savings.
  • They’ll also propose solutions to support the transition to sustainable freight vehicles (electric, hydrogen, or cargo bikes) with recommended ‘green’ suppliers.

Supply chains

The challenge

  • Supply chains contribute significantly to carbon emissions but are difficult to engage with as they are complex and wide-reaching.
  • Supply chains will need to become more resilient as the impacts of climate change intensify.

The opportunity

  • Optimising supply chain emissions allows businesses to make a significantly greater impact than if decarbonising their own direct operations alone. Step your sustainable business activities up a level by moving closer to net-zero supply chain management.

The support

  • Specialists will conduct an audit to assess the associated carbon emissions of your regular suppliers.
  • They will then help you to understand spend versus emissions and recommend adjustments you can make to reduce those emissions at low or no cost.
  • They’ll also help you track this progress as your organisation moves towards net zero supply chain management.

Diversity & inclusion

London has the most ethnically diverse entrepreneur population in the UK and Southwark is home to the second largest Black population in London.

Almost half (46%) of all UK-based Black entrepreneurs and 33% of Asian and other Minority Ethnics entrepreneurs are based in the Greater London area.

We know the business community across Southwark is just as diverse. From arts and culture to hospitality, from professional services to construction, businesses in Southwark are vibrant and varied.