A Look Back at the ZEN Networking Event

The ZEN Networking Event 2019 took place on 4 December at The Trampery, Old Street and celebrated the work of local businesses to reduce emissions and improve air quality in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Islington. The annual evening brought together industry experts and business leaders to share knowledge and ideas and showcase their efforts to reduce emissions. The event marked seven successful years of the Zero Emissions Network helping businesses and residents to reduce their impact on air quality. 

The theme of this year’s event was Better Business, Better Air. A number of inspirational speakers shared how their businesses are striving to be more responsible and environmentally conscious and illuminated how better, more sustainable business significantly reduces environmental impact. Gaute Hagerup, CEO of Oslo Business Region gave an enlightening talk on climate networks between businesses. E-cargobikes.com presented how they sustainably utilise zero-emission last mile delivery in an urban environment.

The founder of the iconic Trampery venue addressed the crowd and Green Tomato Cars gave a riveting talk on their zero emission fleet of private hire automobiles. Tryd delivered an introduction to their bespoke online shopping and bike delivery within an hour. Bravand, a digital marketing agency spoke about how they are engaging with sustainability and what that looks like for them as a business. Each year, guests also hear from a member of the Zero Emissions Network and the work they have been doing to cut their emissions. This year, Rose shared Elysia Catering’s story: their business repurposing food waste massively increased its sustainability by obtaining a cargo bike through ZEN. This enables them to deliver their artisan repurposed food without relying on fossil fuels. Dr Colin Herron from Zero Carbon Futures rounded off the speeches with a grounding talk on EV policy, infrastructure & the challenges that arise around future planning.

Special guests included the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and a delegation from Oslo. Oslo has been named the European Green Capital 2019 and ZEN were delighted to have the delegation from Hackney’s twin city at the ZEN Event supporting and networking with local businesses.

The annual networking event also enables project partners to showcase their business and to connect with members of the Zero Emissions Network through engaging and conversation stimulating exhibits. Exhibitors this year included Beryl, Tryd and Elysia who all utilised their innovative cargo bikes to present their businesses. We Design For displayed a living green installation that drastically improves air quality within buildings and Green Tomato Cars and e-cargobikes.com exhibited their efforts to reduce emissions. Elysia provided delicious canapes whilst Champagne Lasseaux & Fils ensured the celebratory gathering was a joyous one. ZEN hopes that attendees of the ZEN Networking Event 2019 left feeling inspired and re-thinking how they could operate more responsibly in the future. 

The Zero Emissions Network has continued to push boundaries and support a growing network of businesses every year since it first began in 2012. ZEN now comprises over 1300 businesses and 900 residents across three boroughs. As ZEN enters a new phase 2020 promises to be an exciting year that will see the Zero Emissions Network continue to expand its operations from Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and Spitalfields to also encompass Hackney Central, Stoke Newington, Clerkenwell, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. ZEN will now bring its expert advice and bespoke services on reducing emissions to a larger community but ZEN’s goal of improving air quality remains unchanged. Zen goes forward supporting businesses and residents, encouraging sustainability and committed to the idea that better business means better air. 


Thank you to everyone who attended the ZEN Networking Event 2019, over 150 guests attended. Special thanks to all of the amazing speakers and exhibitors.