How Croydon is Going Greener

Corinthian House is one of the many business centres that have upgraded building infrastructure and amenities. There are already electric vehicle charging points for Corinthian House occupants and secure cycle parking. Newly fitted LED lights and kitchenettes add to our good energy performance rating, plus excellent window exposure to natural sunlight.

With news of autonomous self-driving cars being tested on streets in our borough, Croydon, we are spurred by this exciting news of technological advancements to question how sustainability may be achieved. This article looks at how the future of Croydon will be greener.

Congestion charges

Mayor Sadiq Khan has recently instated the ‘ultra low emissions zone’ (ULEZ) scheme which is an additional fee to the congestion charge for drivers. In response to the additional ULEZ daily fee, businesses have already spent millions in compliance to the cleaner vehicle standards. Croydon is currently outside of the ULEZ, but is set to be included in 2020. Nonetheless, the strong effect of the pollution fee is already helping greatly reduce London’s air pollution and marks the big shift to more ‘alternative fuel cars’ - hybrids and electric vehicles. Consequently, health issues (i.e. asthma, respiratory disease, cancer, teenage psychosis, miscarriage) that are impacted by air pollution should decrease in the long-term, as well as, NHS costs involved in treating such health issues.

Greener transport infrastructure

To facilitate the shift to electric vehicles, the Croydon council has started installing charging points across our borough, in known spots with high demand. There are about four hundred charging points planned to be installed by 2022. This commitment is building a greener infrastructure in Croydon and advancing transportation sustainability.

For the nondrivers, there will be a new bicycle friendly highway scheme commencing in 2021. Cycleways and walking pathways will be improved between tram stops and particularly around the highway Purley Way.

Renewable energy

It’s scientifically agreeable that coal is a highly pollutant source of energy and limited for global usage. For some, it’s been a race to provide alternative renewable energy sources to replace coal. Unfortunately, Brexit has stunted renewable energy equipment imports but solar panel equipment imports can be expected to increase from China since the European Commission lifted tariffs last year. Despite political uncertainty, international powerhouse, Shell, got over seven hundred thousand UK residents to switch to their 100% renewable electricity service (recently rebranded as Shell Energy using solar, wind and biofuels). Shell Energy is the first in the UK to offer 100% renewable energy and as a leader we could expect other major suppliers to offer more low-carbon renewable energy.

Croydon’s Community efforts

Other detailed city plan strategies include implementing sustainable drainage systems, increasing awareness of adaptation requirements to locals, consulting locals about risks and relevant interventions, and encouraging home gardening of fruits and veggies. Locals have the greatest power to change consumption behaviour, wastage levels and costs. Activists and education can only continue to benefit positive impact on Croydon’s environment.

Are these efforts enough?

The exponential growth and development in the tech industry make possibilities of a completely sustainable community closer in the horizon. PropTech is enabling offices to be understand their building energy consumption and regulate it more efficiently with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). Building Automation Systems using PropTech are capable of reading, analysing and responding to i.e. HVAC and lighting consumption factors. Development of smart buildings is becoming a more affordable reality as more options for IoT devices are on the market and IoT platforms, like Smart Spaces, are enabling building owners, managers and occupants to control and communicate with their building in real-time via a smartphone app. Added efforts to adapt new tech in our homes, transport and work lives will definitely progress seamless, greener lifestyles in Croydon.

We would hope that government backed research into ways to make eco-friendlier vehicles, machines, tools, infrastructure, tech etc. more affordable and easier to adopt in pre-existing systems because then those with lower income backgrounds could afford eco-friendlier lifestyles.