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Energy Garden

Social performance

Energy Garden is a Community Benefit Society and, therefore, offers a social return on investment as well as a financial return. The overall value of Energy Garden is far more than just financial. These social outcomes include:

  • Maintain 30 gardens and build new gardens with communities at rail and tube stations across London
  • Air quality programme with plant installations and education, and estimate combined Solar array will offset 5,375 tonnes of CO2 a year.
  • Biodiversity sanctuaries with educational element.
  • Schools and youth training programmes
  • Providing a paid, accredited training programme for young people;
  • Building stronger communities;
  • Contributing to healthier lifestyles for all stakeholders;
  • Transforming hundreds of square metres of disused rail lands into community spaces for food production;
  • Establishing the first air quality monitoring programme on TfL’s Overground network;
  • Educating school children;
  • Creating urban biodiversity refuges;
  • Enabling decentralised renewable energy; and
  • Reducing air pollution.


Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Improving air quality

Energy gardens contribute to London's health and sustainability. They achieve this by tack-ling air pollution through the introduction of plants on the London Overground. Native hedgerows and leafy ferns absorb floating particles, improving the quality of the air. Hedge-rows like the ones planted at Bush Hill Park and Willesden act as a screen to filter air pollu-tion as well as reduce noise pollution. At Penge West, West Croydon and Caledonian Road & Barnsbury, the first of many living walls have been filled with plants to clean the air around the platforms. The threat from air pollution is continuing to grow as more and more harmful chemicals from diesel are being emitted. Energy Garden is joining the range of inspir-ing projects choosing to tackle this threat head on.

KSPI 2 - Enhancing biodiversity

Energy gardens support urban biodiversity, something that is easily overlooked in busy urban environments. Stations developed to date have designated areas for habitat creation, includ-ing hedgehog houses, bat boxes, beehives, lapwing hotels and standing wood ecosystems. Thyme, mint, rosemary and lavender are planted alongside wildflower meadows for pollinat-ing bees and insects. Brondesbury Park station currently has land cleared in preparation for the installation of beehives. The stations at Willesden Junction and Rectory Road have or-chards, which provide a refuge for wildlife. Traditional orchards were added to the UK Bio-diversity Action Plan in 2007 because of the benefits they provide to pollinators, as well as many species of invertebrates such as woodlice and beetles, which inhabit the dead wood.

KSPI 3 - Improving health

According to the 2015 Health Survey for England, 63% of adults are either overweight or obese. The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week and focus on a healthy diet filled with whole foods. Energy Garden helps to address these health issues through active gardening sessions that connect people with the benefits of the whole foods they grow and consume.

Working with professional gardeners and local community groups, gardening sessions are held at the completed energy gardens, providing training for local residents on how to grow and maintain crops. According to a 2016 report by The King’s Fund, “increasing exposure to, and use of, green spaces has been linked to long-term reductions in overall reported health problems,” and the NHS is increasingly referring patients to non-clinical services such as community gardening schemes.

Through surveys, Energy Garden learned that energy garden volunteers found a new sense of pride in their neighbourhoods, an increased awareness of the benefit of fresh vegetables and a new sense of motivation.

Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Carbon emissions

Energy Garden has assessed over 200MW of solar PV assets and has selected an initial pipeline of approximately 12.5MW. The sites are of varying sizes and cumulatively generate enough energy to power approximately 3,800 homes with a saving of 5,375 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Staff travel to work

Energy Garden do not currently monitor staff travel to work.

Waste and recycling

Energy Garden do not currently monitor waste and recycling.

Common Social Performance Indicators (CSPIs)

CSPIs are social performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Community involvement

Energy Garden is cultivating disused, arable land on transport infrastructure thereby promoting green spaces, biodiversity, cleaner air, stronger communities and youth education.

The community groups involved with Energy Garden include existing gardening groups, wildlife supporters, interested residents and schools. Each community group goes through a 14-stage process to take it from nominating a station to becoming guardians of a completed energy garden. During this period, the group participates in a public consultation process, debating the best use of the available land. Following issuance of the Bonds, revenue will be used to provide support to delivered energy gardens through a fully-funded volunteer coor-dinator who will assist the community to maintain the garden on an ongoing basis.

Ethical procurement

Energy Garden do not report on ethical procurement.

Local employment

Energy Garden do not report on local employment.  The gardens will be run by local people.

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