Sustainable Business in Shoreditch
Shoreditch is home to leading technology firms as well as innovative tech start-ups. It is not surprising that there is a strong presence of sustainable and green businesses in the area, including clean-tech companies. These businesses apply sustainable principles to minimise the social and environmental impacts of doing business. Shoreditch, including the Silicon Roundabout, is home to firms that are finding ways of developing sustainable products and services.
A sustainable or green business considers more than just the traditional bottom line of business profits. These businesses strive to have a minimal negative impact on the environment, society, and the economy. Rather than promote corporate social responsibility, these businesses go further and are generally built from the start as businesses that incorporate sustainable principles in all business decisions. They are also committed to environmental principles, which are applied in all aspects of their operations. Sustainable businesses also supply environmentally-friendly products or services as alternatives to non-green products or services.
On the technology front, TechCity is home to clean technology or clean-tech businesses that are developing new products such as clean fuel cells and batteries, sustainable transport solutions, and other green technology. Similarly, clean-web businesses in Shoreditch and TechCity are building sustainable and green information technology solutions through social media, mobile communications, and the internet. For example, clean-web relates to developing new technology that monitors energy and environmental performance to help reduce energy consumption and carbon footprints. Examples of sustainable businesses in Shoreditch include AMEE, CarbonCulture, GnERGY, Loco2, Mastodon C, and Voyage Control.
Outside of the tech sector, Shoreditch businesses are leading the way in sustainable products and services in other sectors. Gyoyuni Kimchoe is an eco-conscious womenswear label. The fashion business produces environmentally-friendly clothing made with minimal waste. From its Brick Lane workshop, the Living Furniture Project produces contemporary and bespoke furniture. Creations have been led by top designers including Nic Parnell and Donna Walker. An example of a social enterprise, the Living Furniture Project applies a sustainable business model by employing and training homeless individuals to provide a positive community and social impact. At the same time, the company helps to reduce landfill waste by recycling old furniture and reclaimed materials to create beautiful hand-made products.
The Zero Emissions Network helps businesses in Shoreditch to introduce green and sustainable principles. The initiative is a joint partnership between the London boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets. The free service provides tailored advice for local businesses interested in operating cleaner and greener. More than 350 local businesses are members of the Zero Emissions Network or ZEN. Membership also includes a range of benefits that help businesses become more sustainable. These perks include free cycle training and clinics for staff, reduced fares for electric taxis, free trials of electric vehicles and cargo bikes, business membership with car sharing services in the area such as Zipcar, and more. The network also organises events for sustainable and green companies in and around Shoreditch to showcase their ideas and businesses, including social events, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Another support for sustainable businesses and high-potential entrepreneurs in Shoreditch is Bethnal Green Ventures. The accelerator programme supports sustainable businesses, including social and environmental start-ups, with seed funding. The three-month programme also offers mentoring, structured networking, and shared workspace within the Google Campus. It helps start-ups and professionally qualified individuals develop business ideas related to sustainability, as well as education and employment, and health and well-being.
Sustainable business takes many forms in Shoreditch. These businesses can range from high technology firms that apply green principles in every aspect of their operations as they develop new sustainable and green technology. It is also represented by businesses in other sectors as well as social enterprises that apply sustainable principles as they promote positive environmental and social impacts locally and globally, all of which have decided to make Shoreditch their home.