Biodiversity is the foundation of life. A healthy natural system is vital to every well-functioning environment, which in turn sustains all life on the planet.
At the same time, our economic and social development depends on the state of our biodiversity. There is growing evidence that green spaces in offices and our communities reduce stress, increase productivity, reduce sickness and absenteeism, clean the air, and boost creativity.
Yet, biodiversity is under threat from climate change and human development. This is clear.
Southwark has a long legacy of nature conservation. In 1976, Britain’s first urban ecological park was created next to Tower Bridge and last year the International Charter under which London would become the world’s first National Park City was signed here.
The borough has over 215 parks and open spaces and is home to reptiles, stag beetles, butterflies and flora such as orchids. It is also a densely built-up Inner London borough with over 75% of its area occupied by buildings and streets. But the built environment can support a number of iconic species and a surprisingly rich array of wildlife. Buildings within Southwark provide roosts for bats, and nesting sites for birds including Peregrine falcons, Kestrels, Swifts and House sparrows.
We can all enhance the built environment for wildlife.
In our neighbourhood of London Bridge, there have been recent improvements to St. John’s Churchyard & Potters Fields, including newly planted wildflowers and wetlands beds designed to attract wildlife, as well as bug hotels.
Team London Bridge, the business network aimed at improving the local area, has delivered a range of initiatives focused on greening the urban environment and improving biodiversity, including planting trees, installing hanging baskets and plant tubs.
Team London Bridge work with Putting Down Roots, an initiative of homelessness charity St Mungo's, that provides valuable horticultural training for their clients and helps them back into full-time employment.
We firmly support all of these initiatives and are committed to fostering biodiversity. This is the future of real estate. As part of our commitment to ensure that our business is net zero carbon by 2025, we have identified a number of strategies to turn each of our buildings into biodiversity boosters, deploying the latest creative ideas in biophilic design, green walls and rewilding the urban environment.
Not all biophilic design needs to happen within the four walls of TBC.London. We are also working to plant trees in deprived areas of our community where access to open or green spaces is less prevalent, with a particular focus on fostering biodiversity and rewilding.
As our plans develop we will keep you updated here – and will share with you the broad measures that we deliver at TBC.London to ensure the building does as much as possible to help foster biodiversity in the local area.