Socially-minded community bond offer set to raise over £16 million to green Londoners’ commutes and tackle air quality.
Over the past few years, Transport for London’s Overground network has been subject to a city-wide greening mission. All thanks to the Energy Garden project. The partnership initiative with Repowering London, The London Overground and Transport for London (TfL), transforms platform and public spaces to create sustainable community gardens, air quality walls, edible produce plots, biodiversity hubs and solar energy stations, which provide on-site renewable energy, in a bid to clean London’s air.
London has the worst air quality of any city in the UK. In 2017, 95 per cent of Londoners lived in areas which exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) standards by 50 per cent. The green infrastructure installed by Energy Garden is helping to reduce levels of pollution across the capital and is set to install the first network wide air quality monitoring programme on The London Overground, with a number of pilot studies already underway.
People’s Postcode Lottery players supported the pilot phase of this urban environmental project in 2015, with an award of £750,000 from the Dream Fund Trust. The funding enabled the setup of five flagship community railway gardens and green spaces to provide sustainable volunteering and training opportunities in London communities.
So far, hundreds of square meters of rail-side tracks across 30 Overground platforms and stations have been transformed into thriving gardens, with 10 more planned over the coming 12 months. Now Londoners have the opportunity to invest ethically and support this work via Ethex, the positive savings and investment platform. Individuals can invest from as little as £50. For those investing £1,000 or more the bond can be hold in the Ethex IF ISA, meaning any interest earned is tax free. The Energy Garden Community Bond Offer aims to raise £16.5 million to support and grow the community energy and gardening society network across London’s Overground transport infrastructure, over the next two decades. As well as investing in a socially-minded green enterprise, long-term investors could also be in the green with a projected 4 per cent return.
Staying true to the initiative’s core principle of equitable treatment of individuals and organisations, the bond will offer all investors the chance to be repaid their interest and capital at the same rate. Through investment, members will be actively contributing to the greening of underused, urban spaces, building a community network, capacity building in young people through training and education opportunities in renewables, food growing and healthy living, as well as improving air quality and biodiversity.
Funds raised through the bond offer will allow the purchase of solar energy sites across the country, generating revenue streams through the sale of renewable energy.