Climate Action

Canary Wharf to become first commercial centre to go plastic free

The Canary Wharf Group is taking steps to remove single-use plastics across its entire property estate.

  • 26 July 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

The Canary Wharf Group is taking steps to remove single-use plastics across its entire property estate.

Canary Wharf is teaming up with the Surfers Against Sewage to support the charity’s Plastic Free Community initiative.

The group will work with local businesses, including HSBC, Barclays, and Citigroup, to “remove at least three items of single-use plastic, eliminating them completely, or replacing them with sustainable alternatives,” according to a statement.

In addition, it will be hosting events and promoting awareness of the need to reduce plastic waste.

The company operates 97 acres, or 16.5 million square feet, of high-value space in one of London’s main financial districts. The pledge follows sustainability targets set earlier this year, including an ambition to create zero-carbon buildings by 2030, reduce water consumption, and increase the amount of renewable energy.

Steve Greig, Canary Wharf’s co-managing director, said the move is the result of debates held during this year’s World Environment Day, which stressed the need to focus on education, simplification and collaboration to tackle plastic pollution.

“Going for Plastic Free Community accreditation with Surfers Against Sewage is our next step in the #BreakingThePlasticHabit campaign, our framework to continue this long-term strategy, something we truly hope will become a part of Canary Wharf’s legacy. It is our dream that this project will change our incredible community, and its environment, in a credible and positive way”.

Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive at Surfers Against Sewage, said: “This is fantastic news for London, the UK and the rest of the world. It’s a world first and sets a very high standard.”

“We’d like to see other global financial centres take similar action on single-use plastics in the interest of healthy and happy communities everywhere. Given the scale of threats to our coasts and marine habitats there could not be a more important time to take action on plastic pollution.”