London Climate Action Week – 28-4 July 2021

For London Climate Action Week 2021, our new Environmental and Sustainability Intern, Ronan Hickey, shared his thoughts on his role and what Powerday is doing for the environment and  how it is working to help combat change.

This week in London, leading experts, politicians and business leaders are meeting to discuss innovative ways to reduce air pollution and tackle the wider issue of climate change.

London Climate Action Week brings together ideas and policies that governments, companies and individuals can implement to reduce emissions. It covers environmental themes ranging from green recovery initiatives post-Covid, expectations on the road to COP26, whole society climate action plans and policies through which London can reach net-zero status.

Powerday has been working hard on many of these themes, as outlined in our new Sustainability and Wellness Manifesto, which was released earlier this year.

Since I started working at Powerday, I have been involved in a range of environmental and sustainability initiatives focused on both our social commitments and carbon responsibilities. These projects have included volunteering at and organising food bank schemes with our clients, as well as reviewing our company car fleet and possible electric alternatives.

My work has also included efforts to expand our wider decarbonising efforts through greater collaboration with external partners, which I will go into in more detail in a moment. Our first ever Sustainability & Wellness Manifesto published earlier this year uses five core pillars to help us identify, track and achieve our sustainability ambitions.

These pillars include employees, communities, carbon management, clients and procurement. Our commitment to social sustainability is based on the work undertaken by the Powerday Foundation. This brings together all of our charitable activities, work with local partners, schools and communities, as well as our progress with London Boxing. One of the initiatives that really resonated with me, given the levels of knife-crime amongst my age group and much younger in London, is the ‘Drop The Knife’ scheme. This was backed by the Powerday Foundation to help young, disadvantaged Londoners tempted by crime to instead focus on developing boxing skills and improving discipline.

Specifically related to the ongoing discussions by experts during London Climate Action Week, we recognise the importance of decarbonising our operations and promoting sustainable policies throughout our business. Our carbon management pillar details how we have teamed up with the Carbon Footprint to accurately track our emissions, take steps to reduce these and offset unavoidable emissions through certified schemes.

We see offsetting through community certified projects as a short-term interim step until other options are feasible. We have also signed up to a REGO-certified renewable energy tariff that will be rolled out across our offices in due course.

Other local environmental projects that Powerday supports include the Energy Garden. The Energy Garden is an energy and gardening project that aims to decarbonise London rail stations through planting gardens and producing food. Powerday has previously donated supplies to Enfield Town station and my role will be to expand this to Willesden Junction and the whole partnership to ensure mutual gain. The Energy Garden project exemplifies ‘whole society climate action plans’ endorsed by London Climate Action Week’s agenda and how smaller, localised players can contribute to sustainability in London. I’m looking forward to volunteering myself and being hands-on and knowing my own personal efforts are a part of wider force for good.

Discussions by experts, politicians and business leaders during this year’s London Climate Action Week have brought attention to how businesses in London can reduce carbon levels. I believe that all companies have an integral role in shaping the future by adopting policies that promote low emission footprints and green economy futures.

At Powerday, we have already undertaken steps to decarbonise our business, with some exciting announcements coming from them soon! I am impressed by how far Powerday has come since launching its Sustainability and Wellness Manifesto and I’m optimistic about what else I can do to support them as a business moving forward - even as an Intern. I just want to thank Powerday once again for the fantastic opportunity and allowing me to be involved in some of its ground-breaking projects.

Ronan Hickey

Environmental and Sustainability Intern, Powerday PLC

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Powerday Academy

Ronan Hickey is currently in month two of a three month internship with the Powerday Academy. Ronan has just completed a BA degree in Geography at the University of Leicester. His chosen interest is Sustainability and his thesis looked at the transition of the UK Motor Industry from combustion engines to electric. Ronan works within our Sustainability and Wellness team.