Transition to a sustainable localised economy
“Visioning a powered-down local economy is one thing, but how do we bring it into reality in such a way that it supports the wider transition of the community and can thrive independent of external funding? Transition is about creating a new, economically viable local infrastructure that creates livelihoods, skills and resilience.”
(From Transition Network on social enterprise)
"As the Transition movement spreads and evolves, many Transition groups are asking questions about the operation of their local economy. Is the local economy making the most of the potential offered by the place where we live whilst taking care of it for the future? Is the work that’s being done and what is being produced in our area helping to make our community happier and healthier? How can we support enterprises and economic activity through which benefits are shared widely rather than enjoyed only by a few?
These questions often prompt action. REconomy is the broad term we use to cover the range of activities that Transition groups undertake with a view to transforming their local economy.
Increasingly Transition groups are starting new enterprises, especially community owned energy companies and food businesses. Others are developing local currency projects, setting up ‘buy local’ campaigns or working with local businesses in some other way."
Transition Town Kingston initiatives and contributions
Our over-arching aims are to help and support local businesses to go green or greener. This might entail helping them to get advice on "greening" or sourcing environmentally sound products; it also includes publicising businesses' efforts towards environmental sustainability and encouraging them to share good practice with each other and with consumers. There are overlaps with other TTK groups, for example Energy, and we work with them when relevant.
2021 on, Kingston Council Covid Recovery Communities Task Force: members of TTK core group have participated in this task force and several of its events and subgroups, including the Green Business Recovery group.
If you would like to propose and/or lead on a business/economy focused project or event, please contact us via the form on the Home page.
BAG's past activities have included
- TTK Business Action Group (BAG) ran several events for green or aspiring green businesses over the years, and participated in Green Business days at Kingston Environment Centre.
- Our biggest, and longest-lasting, project was the Kingston Green e-Directory, aimed at helping green-minded consumers find green businesses and community enterprises in and around Kingston, and vice-versa. The Directory also kept a list of Green Business Ideas – ideas from elsewhere for budding green entrepreneurs who’d like to fill a green gap in Kingston. In 2023 we finally decided that the lack of input and feedback made too difficult to keep the Directory accurate and up-to-date, and so we handed over the information we had compiled to the Council's Green Economic Recovery group for their green mapping project
- TTK's Energy Group set up Kingston Community Energy, a community interest company, formed to enable projects such as installing solar PV arrays on the roofs of community buildings such as schools. It offered the community an opportunity to make a social investment in our area and receive a moderate financial reward for that investment. However, the government’s reduction in the Feed-In Tariff in effect destroyed KCE’s business model which relied on the FIT, and local schools proved remarkably reluctant to engage on what seemed to the EG a win-win deal. So in 2016 they began the process of winding up Kingston Community Energy, as the administration costs in keeping it registered could no longer be justified.
- Hosting a "Greening Business" panel discussion in November 2009. It was clear from the discussion that there are worthwhile business benefits to going green, for example, in the lower outgoings associated with energy-saving and waste-reduction, and/or in increased goodwill from green consumers.
- Building up a list of green businesses and inviting them to events such as our Big Launch Party in April 2010.
- We worked with Kingston Environment Forum to produce the Kingston Green Pledge for local organisations.
- Running a Great Green Business Ideas competition in 2009 - though unfortunately there weren't enough local entries to justify announcing a winner. The competition is over, but we would still like to hear about Great Green Business Ideas...
- Attending Kingston Environment Forum meetings, and networking with Kingston businesses; for example some of us attended a Green Business evening hosted by the Co-operative Bank and Green Business events at Kingston Environment Centre, and we attended Kingstonfirst's monthly stakeholders' meetings.
- Helping the plastic-bag-free Kingston campaign in various ways.
- Supporting and promoting the Kingston Pound, which aims to keep money circulating within Kingston.