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Southwark shows off green Tooley Street building to French politicians

More than 50 guests from France visited Southwark Council's new offices at 160 Tooley Street earlier this month to learn about the building's green credentials.

160 Tooley street
The airy new space at the top of the 160 Tooley Street building
160 Tooley
The visitors from Rennes examine some of the sustainable heating and cooling measures
160 Tooley street
The retained facades on Tooley Street mask a modern building that stretches back to the railway line

The politicians, from the French city of Rennes, were so impressed by the work of the council on sustainability and climate change that they arranged to see it for themselves.

Southwark and Rennes have a similar size of population and both belong to a Europe-wide scheme, BELIEF, which aims to tackle climate change through better energy use.

Southwark Council's pledge is to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency by up to 80 per cent by 2050, in part through its major development schemes.

The council's new office building at 160 Tooley Street will include measures such rainwater recycling, solar heating and movement-sensitive lighting which have been designed to reduce carbon emissions by up to 20 tonnes every year.

During their two-day visit, which also included Sutton, the French politicians were taken on a tour of Tooley Street and heard about the sustainability features of the regeneration of the Elephant & Castle, one of only four energy action areas in London.

"We're very pleased to be able to host these guests from Rennes," said a council spokesman. "We hope that by sharing our experiences and aims we can al help tackle the challenges of climate change in the future."

Southwark Council aims to move its entire office-based staff to 160 Tooley Street beginning in the early part of next year. Council bosses claim that the move will save millions of pounds as well as modernise the way the council works.

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