LEDNet encourages organisations to support the climate coalition asks for Government to secure more powers and resources for councils to take more action on climate change and build back better from covid-19 by signing up here.
What is LEDNet?
The London Environment Directors' Network (LEDNet) is the membership association for London’s Environment Directors. We work together to deliver more effective and efficient environmental services, as a key component of place-shaping. The outcomes we want to see are:
Increased adoption of circular economy approaches, reduced residual waste and increased recycling, cleaner air, more resilient green and blue infrastructure, a more resilient energy system and a thriving natural environment;
Increased adoption of best practice around digital solutions and SMART working, proactive use of effective demand management and behavioural change approaches and effective financial strategy; and
More cost-effective outcomes for London residents.
What does LEDNet do?
We are working towards our outcomes by:
Influencing development of relevant policy and legislation at a national and regional level;
Providing a professional support network for LEDNet members;
Facilitating collaboration between directors that contributes to London’s joint working; and
Commissioning research and developing best practice and policy on environmental and place-shaping issues of strategic importance for London.
LEDNet has formulated five clusters designed to improve the work carried out by LEDNet and tackle the specific ongoing issues within the environment. Each cluster focuses on one of the following areas: air quality and transport; climate change; digital innovation; green spaces; and waste and resources. LEDNet also delivers peer learning activities for LEDNet members.
Who does LEDNet work with?
LEDNet works with a wide range of local and national government, private and third sector stakeholders to achieve its objectives. We have permanent representatives from the Greater London Authority and Transport for London who attend our meetings, and we collaborate with the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) on common issues.
LEDNet has permanent representatives on the following boards:
Go Ultra Low City Scheme Steering Group (GULCS) - enabling uptake of low emission vehicles
Resource London Partnership Board – working to increase the recycling rate in London
Waste Network Chairs - bringing together key stakeholders representing Local Authority recycling and waste services
ADEPT Transport Board
ADEPT Environment Board
LEDNet has a working relationship with its corporate members and are always looking to improve the relationship to bring benefit to them. Our corporate members are given the opportunity to engage with LEDNet via meetings and workshops and receive regular updates on the work LEDNet engages on. Currently, our corporate members are:
- SUEZ - a utility company providing essential environmental services for everyone, including supplying a high quality of water and ensuring the protection of these common good.
- Smart Parking Ltd. - An awared winning world leader in the design, development and management of parking technology.
Coalition climate asks for Government, June 2020
TEC-LEDNet joint statement on climate change, December 2019
LEDNet's response to the Waste and Resources Sector Deal Consultation, October 2019
ADPH London and LEDNet's Air Quality Position, September 2019
TEC-LEDNet joint response to Defra Waste Consultations on Reforming UK Packaging Producer Responsibility System, Deposit Return Scheme and Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections, May 2019
TEC-LEDNet joint statement on air quality and waste, February 2019
LEDNet's response to consultation of banning distribution and sales of straw, buds and stirrers, December 2018
LEDNet commissioned Keep Britain Tidy to produce, 'Understanding and tackling fly-tipping in London', July 2018
LEDNet position paper on London's resources and waste system, June 2018
LEDNet response to the HM Treasury consultation on taxing single use plastics, May 2018
LEDNet response to the consultation on the new draft London Plan, March 2018
LEDNet developed Waste Management Planning Advice for New Flatted Properties with LWARB, published in 2017
LEDNet funded a cost of contamination toolkit, in partnership with Resource London
LEDNet commissioned Eunomia to produce a Guide to Improving Waste Management in the Domestic Rented Sector, with Resource London, published in 2016
Our Chair is Dan Jones, Divisional Director of Public Realm at LB Tower Hamlets.
Our Vice Chair is Dipti Patel, Director of Place Delivery at LB Ealing.
Dimitra Rappou is the LEDNet Principal Policy and Project Manager. Contact her at [email protected] or 020 7934 9751 for any inquiries about LEDNet, including requests for press interviews and statements from our chair.
Arafat Jalal is the Assistant LEDNet Policy and Project Officer. Contact him at [email protected] or 020 7934 9657 for inquiries regarding meeting dates and queries.
Air pollution poses a major public health and environmental threat to Londoners, and it is a key focus area for LEDNet members. Boroughs are taking action across London on air pollution, finding innovative ways to tackle this issue.
LEDNet supports the Mayor of London’s call for a new national Clean Air Act that fully recognises the magnitude of the air quality crisis that London, and the UK as a whole, faces. On exiting the European Union, the UK will need to at least maintain current pollution limits, and provide local authorities with more resources to improve air quality.
At a London level, transport is the major source of air pollution emissions; LEDNet wants to see the development of a clean and efficient London-wide transport network, including less traffic and cleaner vehicles. LEDNet is represented on the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, which is working to deliver electric charging infrastructure across London.
Looking at non-transport sources, we believe that boroughs need more powers to control emissions from Non-Road Mobile Machinery and construction practices, recognising the cumulative effect that development is having across the city. Large generators (particularly diesel generators) also represent a significant source of emissions that must be addressed, including through suitable retrofit solutions. LEDNet would welcome more of a focus on combustion-free energy sources, such as solar and fuel cells. We support the proposal for a London Combined Heat and Power (CHP) register to improve coordination of installations, given the potential issues of too much gas and biomass being installed. We would welcome further borough control over on-site CHP in areas that exceed air quality limits.
The London Plan has a key role to play in bringing London’s air pollution under control, and to do so it must recognise the cumulative impacts of development, and the significant air pollution hotspots represented by TfL and Highways Agency controlled roads. It should clarify that any exposure over legal limits is unacceptable, and introduce a robust ‘air quality positive’ policy.
We welcome the Mayor of London’s commitment to work with boroughs who are keen to develop local zero emission zones, but feel that there should be flexibility on the approach to implementation.
LEDNet have submitted a joint air quality position statement with ADPH London on 22 September 2019.
Recent LEDNet publications relating to air quality and transport
As majority of London boroughs have declared a climate emergency, LEDNet has formed a climate change cluster to discuss ways of solving issues around climate change. LEDNet and the Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) have issued a joint statement, identifying clear areas of focus for climate change and agreed to focus on seven climate projects:
- Retrofit all of London buildings to an average level of EPC B
- Secure low carbon buildings and infrastructure via borough planning
- Halve petrol and diesel vehicle journeys
- Secure 100% renewable energy for London’s public sector
- Reduce consumption emissions by two thirds
- Build the green economy
- Create a green and resilient London
To support LEDNet Directors in delivering these climate projects and their individual borough climate action plans, LEDNet and London Councils have commissioned a training provider to provide climate capability training for senior officers and senior members in London. The training is currently underway and will deliver an initial core session outlining the impact of climate change within London and an overview on how members can prioritise and take pragmatic action when addressing challenges in delivering their climate targets. There will be subsequent follow up sessions reflecting each of the climate projects, designed to delve into how members can influence decision to achieve the targets set.
A coalition of LEDNet, ADEPT, Ashden and other local government, environmental and research organisations have set out a blueprint of how the government can accelerate climate action and implement a green recovery from coronavirus and the fundamental role of local councils in tackling the climate and ecological crises. The coalition asks for Government, set out the national leadership, policies, powers and funding required to empower local authorities to deliver at scale, working together with residents and businesses. To do this, hawse have set out five recommendations for an immediate, joint response to coronavirus that will help catalyse the longer-term solutions to the climate and ecological crises local authorities face.
- Invest in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure
- Support reskilling, retraining and research for a net-zero well-adapted economy
- Upgrade our homes to ensure they are fit for the future
- Make it easy for people to walk, cycle and work remotely
- Accelerate tree planting, peatland restoration, green spaces and other green infrastructure
LEDNet encourages individuals and organisations to support the coalition’s asks for Government to secure more powers and resources for councils to take more action on climate change and nature restoration. Organisations can support the asks here.
LEDNet are actively pursuing further ways to support boroughs in delivering their climate targets and will continue to deliver work to combat climate change.
Recent LEDNet publications relating to Climate Cluster
LEDNet members are keenly interested in how digital solutions can help to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of services for residents. Many are already operating or trialling digital or ‘smart’ solutions. For example, ‘big belly’ bins in Newham and Waltham Forest let operators know when they’re full, reducing the need for collection runs; Islington Council have introduced an app that tells people where they can find parking spaces in the borough.
LEDNet are advancing their understanding of new digital opportunities through engagement with the Sharing Cities project. This EU funded project is seeking to develop affordable, integrated commercial-scale smart city solutions. For example, smart lamp posts that integrate lighting with electric vehicle charging, traffic monitoring and WiFi. In London, the Royal Borough of Greenwich is implementing Sharing Cities, testing technologies including smart lamp posts.
To date, we have contributed to Sharing Cities research that seeks to understand more about current and planned deployment of smart measures, as well the level of strategic ambition in this area, and openness to collaboration. Going forward, we’ll be discussing with Sharing Cities which technological solutions might be of interest to other London boroughs.
LEDNet are also engaging with London Ventures to identify where new ventures could be developed to address pressing issues facing environment directors. London Ventures is a Capital Ambition-funded programme, led by London Councils and EY, which assesses ventures to ensure that they're suitable for public sector implementation, and identifies opportunities for local authorities to use these solutions to achieve savings, increase investment and deliver better outcomes for Londoners.
LEDNet are collaborating with EY on "project sparrow" - an innovation project designed to address the issues of air quality, waste and energy. EY have conducted research into these issues and derived problem statements using data and anecdotal evidence. These statements have been prioritised based on the data and where LEDNet can work collaboratively to address these issues. There is due to be a workshop on project sparrow, where the statements would then be revised based on feedback and further refined following conversations with experts and release the finalised data prospectus and problem statements.
LEDNet have held a discussion group, hosted at Google, where suggestions of LEDNet supporting a suite of themed events were made to understand the role of technology and data for tackling practical issues facing environmental services. The following themes were identified:
- Understanding the possibilities - real practical examples of technology and data being used innovatively across the world.
- Environment - health and well-being of citizens by exploring Cleantech/Greentech products and services.
- Transport - exploration of Traveltech products and services for services within transport such as parking, logistics and transport planning.
- Safety - exploration of Safetech products and services for personal and community safety including crimes, policing and community empowerment.
- Development - exploration of Proptech products and services for innovative building methods and new strategies to tackling planning.
- Data Leadership and Skills - exploration of the role of leaders in data literacy and ensuring interoperability.
LEDNet will be working to take these themes forward.
LEDNet have organised a green spaces cluster to focus on issues around green spaces and the maintenance of parks and open spaces. As part of the cluster, issues surrounding glyphosate has been discussed following the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report, which stated glyphosate may have potential carcinogenic risks.
The draft London Environment Strategy has set out the following targets for London’s waste system:
- by 2026, zero biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill
- by 2025, 50% local authority collected waste recycled
- by 2030, 65% municipal waste recycled
- by 2041, zero waste
- by 2050, zero carbon
To support this, the Mayor expects that waste authorities will deliver:
- a minimum collection of the six main dry recycling materials for all kerbside serviced properties
- a separate weekly food waste collection for all properties with kerbside recycling collections, extended to flats where viable
LEDNet supports the ambition for London to be a zero waste city. However, it will be incredibly challenging. There needs to be clear, shared understanding between boroughs and the GLA on how recycling targets can be reached in the current financial climate.
One important element of this is Extended Producer Responsibility, which can provide real additional funding to support increased recycling. Currently, producers only fund around 10% of the costs of collecting the material they produce, and we don’t think this constitutes fair application of the polluter pays principle.
Flats will continue to present a real challenge to effective recycling and waste disposal. The planning system has a key role to play here, both through the London Plan and the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
We believe there should be far greater emphasis on waste minimisation, through the right combination of incentives and penalties for producers (also part of Extended Producer Responsibility), with coordinated national communication campaigns to address behavioural change, supported by local authorities.
A number of organisations have already begun to address coffee cups in London and we feel these should be supported by the Mayor with an aim to expanding to other organisations and sectors, with perhaps an increased focus on tackling plastic bottles.
Linking to air quality, we would like to see more emphasis in London on route optimisation for waste vehicles. Continuing to review routes and also the use of new technologies where appropriate, like smart bins, can reduce the number of vehicles on the road and make collections more efficient.
Incineration tax is proposed to discourage waste disposal authorities from using energy from waste (EfW) facilities by making it more expensive and therefore incentivise authorities to secure more recyclate from the waste they collect. As an alternative to introducing a tax on EfW, HM Treasury should work with Defra to strengthen the requirements for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and measures to deliver the Single Use Plastics Directive.
On May 2019, LEDNet released a joint statement with the Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) on consultations proposed by Defra on reforming UK packaging producer responsibility, deposit return scheme and consistency in household and business recycling collections.
Recent LEDNet publications relating to waste and the circular economy
- LEDNet's response to the Waste and Resources Sector Deal Consultation, October 2019
- TEC-LEDNet joint response to Defra Waste Consultations on Reforming UK Packaging Producer Responsibility System, Deposit Return Scheme and Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections, May 2019
- TEC-LEDNet joint statement on air quality and waste, February 2019
- LEDNet’s response to the 2018 new draft London Plan
- LEDNet's response to consulation of banning distribution and sales of straws, buds and stirrers, December 2018.
- LEDNet position paper on London's resources and waste system, June 2018.
- LEDNet response to the HM Treasury consultation on taxing single use plastics, May 2018.
- LEDNet's December 2017 letter to INCPEN on how to address plastic recycling
- Guide to Improving Waste Management in the Domestic Rented Sector, published with Resource London in 2016
- Waste Management Planning Advice for New Flatted Properties, published with LWARB in 2014
LEDNet has established a number peer learning schemes, to support its members to learn from one another as well as work together to improve London's environment. The schemes are peer mentoring, peer review, discussion groups and site visits.
In 2019 we have:
- Established our new peer mentoring schemes
- Established our peer review scheme and completed six peer reviews in five areas: markets, enforcement, cleansing, parking and parks and open spaces.
- Hosted discussion groups on smart tech and workplace parking levy
- Organised a site visit to Sutton Town Centre and the London Cancer Hub
Understanding and Tackling Fly-tipping in London
LEDNet are working together with Keep Britain Tidy to understand fly-tipping in London, and design interventions that can effectively address it.
Fly-tipping is a huge problem in London, and one that's growing. Levels of fly-tipping increased by over 14% in just one year, from 2015/16 to 2016/17, with over 366,000 reported incidents. Just three boroughs, Newham, Haringey and Enfield, together spend around £7m clearing up fly-tipping; together, London boroughs spend over £!8m a year on fly-tipping.
Our research looked at:
- levels of fly-tipping that councils are dealing with, what that costs are, and the measures councils are taking to tackle this issue;
- behavioural drivers that lead to fly-tipping in London;
- public perceptions of fly-tipping in London; and
- co-designing interventions based on this research to effectively address the problem.
You can read our stage one report here.
The recommendations are:
- Treat the fly-tipping of black bags/cardboard waste separately from bulky waste, as their behavioural drivers are different
- Use relevant images when communicating about fly-tipping
- Use plainer and more specific language when communicating about fly-tipping
- Extend communications about how waste services work and consider use of valuesbased communications to strengthen personal responsibility for waste
- Reduce the hassle factor and make bulky waste simpler and easier to dispose of
- Ensure that current policies and services do not unintentionally drive fly-tipping
- Encourage residents to maximise their bin capacity and avoid generating waste to help reduce excess waste and related fly-tipping
- Increase the perceived threat of enforcement with residents, landlords and businesses
Stage Two of the research has begun and is piloting six of the interventions that have been developed through Stage One:
- Values-based Messaging - Suggesting the wider social impacts and opportunity costs of fly-tipping by replacing fly-tips with messages showing the social costs.
- CSI Tape - Wrapping fly-tips in crime scene tape to demonstrate the importance of tackling fly-tipping.
- Doorstepping - Face-to-face engagement with residents and/or businesses on their doorstep to raise awareness of the issues of fly-tipping.
- Beautification - Working with residents to beautify eight fly-tipping hotspots within a borough. Residents will compete to reduce fly-tipping at their chosen site and the winner will receive a beautification prize for their local area.
- Welcome Packs - Developing and piloting welcome packs for residents and/or businesses. The welcome packs will describe ways to effectively manage waste and their responsibilities regarding waste.
There are seven boroughs taking part in the fly-tipping trials:
- Hammersmith and Fulham
If you'd like to find out more about this research, please contact:
Arafat Jalal, Assistant Policy and Project Officer - LEDNet | [email protected] | 020 7934 9657
LEDNet have met with the Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) twice to discusss various issues regarding the environment.
In February 2019, LEDNet and TEC met for the first time to discuss issues surrounding air quality and waste and resources and have agreed to work together alongside other London partners to make London a global sustainability leader.
Following February's successful meeting, TEC and LEDNet met for a second time in November 2019 to discuss the rising issues around climate change after majority of boroughs have declared a climate emergency and have agreed to prioritise and support the delivery of six climate projects as well as acknowledge the changes that need to be made for climate change.
To read the reports for both meetings, please click the relevant link below.