Local businesses and organisations from around Oxfordshire came to Rose Hill Community Centre last week to visit sustainability certification group Planet Mark’s 100% electric battle bus and hear from local people, organisations and community groups about the impactful and inspiring projects they are undertaking to reduce their carbon emissions.
The event was attended by more than 20 local organisations, including Greencore Construction, Oxfordshire Greentech and Good Food Oxfordshire, who shared their net zero carbon learnings and discussed the challenges they faced while reducing their carbon emissions.
Alison Grunewald from Oxford-based Low Carbon Hub social enterprise discussed the need to boost low carbon economic development in Oxfordshire, while Good Food Oxford’s Fiona Steel highlighted the need for the development of a food support system that is good for the planet, people and communities. Energy Superhub Oxford’s Tim Rose also took the floor to shine a light on the challenges to delivering a zero carbon Oxford such as grid stability, inefficient heating and the need for a ramp-up in EV infrastructure across the region.
The event was part of Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Tour, which aims to empower British firms and their employees to become part of a greater national effort to protect the environment by raising understanding of the action they can take to support the drive to net zero. It will also highlight the great work many companies are already doing to address their carbon emissions.
This phase of Planet Mark’s campaign is seeing its electric-powered Carbon Battle Bus – which also made the trip to Cornwall for the G7 conference – visit 30 towns and cities across the UK. Cambridge was the tour’s first stop on Tuesday, 31 August, and it will finish in Glasgow at COP26. Planet Mark aims to engage with more than 10,000 businesses during the tour.
In the UK, the UN-backed Race to Zero effort is being coordinated by Kwasi Kwarteng’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department, working with Local Authorities, Planet Mark, the Institute of Directors, and others. The Government’s flagship campaign, Together for Our Planet, is also helping to raise awareness among the business community about the urgent need for firms to cut their carbon emissions.
Steve Malkin, founder and CEO of Planet Mark, said: “It was great to meet with businesses and organisations from throughout Oxfordshire and hear their carbon stories and learn the benefits small businesses can secure by reducing their emissions.
“This event is an eminent example of what the Zero Carbon Tour has set out to achieve. We are aiming to inspire, educate and provide the impetus for businesses of all shapes and sizes to take action, set zero carbon targets and implement achievable steps to deliver continuous carbon reductions over the coming years.
“By demystifying what organisations need to do to achieve net zero, as well as providing them with the practical tools and resources they need, we hope that all businesses – from blue chip corporates to local retailers and everyone in between – will be able to play their part in taking meaningful action at this crucial time to halt the climate crisis as we help the whole of the UK move to net zero. Collectively, we can make a difference, and small businesses of all kinds can be part of the national effort to combat climate change.”
Race to Zero is the UN-backed, global campaign to rally leadership and support from all non-state actors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery. All members are credibly committed to the same overarching goal: halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the very latest. Planet Mark is one of the campaign’s 11 formal partners for businesses.
Mike Jackson, Director of Supply Chain Management and Head of Charity at Roadchef and one of the tour’s sponsors, said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Tour. As a sustainable business we’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions to protect the environment and provide a brighter future for us and the planet. From EV charging to recycling initiatives, we’re continually pioneering new and innovative ways to support this drive towards a net-zero future.”
Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification that recognises continuous progress, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals. It is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.