Places for London helps tenants become more sustainable with Heart of the City programme

Heart of the City | 14 March 2024 | News
Places for London helps tenants become more sustainable with Heart of the City programme

Places for London – Transport for London’s (TfL) property company – is piloting a year-long business skills training programme for tenants, in collaboration with Heart of the City, as part of its commitment to being a responsible and sustainable landlord. The new programme will offer up to 40 of Places for London’s tenants the opportunity to undertake responsible business skills training.

As one of the capital’s largest landowners, Places for London provides a home to hundreds of businesses across the city, including florists, cafés, construction companies and garages, and approximately 95% of these are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs play a key role in London’s economy, however it can often be a challenge for them to maximise their potential when implementing best responsible business practices, due to a lack of time, resources and expertise.

The new training includes online learning modules, webinars, insight sessions with experts, responsible business health checks and one-to-one sessions with advisors. As well as learning skills like how to protect mental health and wellbeing within SMEs and understand more about accessibility and inclusion, they will also learn about how they can make a wider impact on their communities too, such as through community investment, volunteering and by learning how to measure their carbon footprint and create a net-zero action plan.

In order to ensure that those working in the capital are receiving a fair wage, Places for London has also updated its standard lease to include new clauses on the environment and the London Living Wage. They will now expect tenants as they join the estate or renew their existing leases to make a commitment to paying their staff and suppliers the London Living Wage. This will help tenants to not only retain staff, but improve their reputations as responsible, inclusive and ethical businesses.

I’m really excited to be working with this cohort of small businesses, it’s a really diverse group and it’s bringing new sectors into our membership. That’s what Heart of the City is about, learning and sharing from a range of businesses and collectively working together for a better future

Olivia Beecham, Programme Manager for the Foundations for Responsible Business

Maggie Berry OBE, Director at Heart of the City, said “Heart of the City is thrilled to be supporting Places for London’s SME tenants through our Foundations for Responsible Business programme, which will help this cohort of businesses get started and advance on their sustainability journey. Navigating the environmental, social and governance (ESG) landscape can be challenging for smaller enterprises, and we’re proud to contribute to Places for London’s forward-thinking strategy by providing practical training support to their SME tenants. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive transformations these SMEs will implement in their workplaces, improving their product and service delivery while contributing positively to society and being a force for good.”

Daniel Lovatt, Director of Asset Management at Places for London, said “We are delighted to be piloting our business skills training programme, working with Heart of the City, which will support our tenants as they strive to become even more sustainable. We strongly believe that it is our role as a landlord to help our tenants succeed and continue to play an integral part of their local communities – when they thrive, we do too.”

Foundations for Responsible Business programme

The Foundations for Responsible Business programme is designed to unite SMEs from across the UK in a shared mission to develop responsible business practices and leverage their businesses as forces for good. Covering key areas such as the environment, people, community, and strategy, the programme offers SMEs the opportunity to learn from larger corporations, experts, and peers through a variety of formats, including live workshops, webinars, and insight sessions from responsible business leaders. Find out more about our Foundation for Responsible Business programme here.

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