West of England's firms offered carbon cutting workshop at UWE Bristol as part of the Race to Zero

Media Relations Team, 07 September 2021

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The West of England’s businesses will be offered carbon reduction workshops and practical net zero advice at UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus on Friday (10 September).

The workshops will be provided by Planet Mark – a leading sustainability and net zero certification group – and form part of the UN-backed Race to Zero and Together for Our Planet campaigns.

In the UK, the Race to Zero effort is being coordinated by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department working with local authorities, Planet Mark, the Institute of Directors, and others. It is the Government’s flagship campaign to raise awareness among the business community about the urgent need for firms to cut their carbon emissions.

The tour stop outside the university’s Bristol Business School building is part of the Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Tour, which will see a fully electric powered carbon battle bus visit 30 towns and cities across the UK. The tour began in Cambridge and will finish in Glasgow for COP26 in November.

Businesses and organisations in the West of England, and across the UK, are being encouraged to take immediate action to reduce their carbon emissions and help create a healthier planet and society. August’s hard hitting IPCC report said: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land.”

On Friday, Planet Mark’s team will demonstrate to the West of England’s businesses how they can set their own credible carbon reduction targets and implement plans to achieve them in line with the Race to Zero’s rigorous minimum criteria. The event will empower local firms and their employees to become part of a greater national effort to protect the environment by demystifying what is needed to achieve net zero. It will also highlight the good work many companies are already doing to address their carbon output.

Steve Malkin, founder and CEO of Planet Mark, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with UWE Bristol and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) on this Zero Carbon Tour flagship event as part of the Together For Our Planet campaign in the build up to COP26. We look forward to gathering in-person and online with the community to talk about how all businesses and organisations, no matter their size, can contribute to the fight against climate change by committing to net zero carbon. Through the critical Race to Zero we can all play a part in our planet’s future.”

In addition to Carbon Stories from a range of speakers, the university will be showcasing its own story in the Zero Carbon marketplace at the event.

UWE Bristol joined organisations across the world when it declared a climate and ecological emergency in February 2020. During 2019–20, the university completed the installation of a combined heat and power plant and district heating network to provide low carbon heat and electricity to its Frenchay Campus. New student accommodation being built on campus this year will deliver a 74 per cent reduction in carbon compared to conventional designs.

Professor James Longhurst, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at UWE Bristol, said: “UWE Bristol is delighted to host the West of England leg of the Planet Mark Zero Carbon Tour.

“Climate change presents a significant challenge to each and every one of us, one we must not and cannot ignore. UWE Bristol has set itself the ambition of becoming at least carbon neutral for all of its emissions by 2030 and is working to support businesses and local authorities such as South Gloucestershire and Bristol to meet their own ambitious carbon goals.

“Through our teaching we are helping our students to become carbon literate and ready to play their part in the green economy of tomorrow whilst our research is addressing key questions of mitigating emissions and adaptation to a changing climate.”

West of England Mayor Dan Norris said: “I am really proud that we are hosting the Zero Carbon Tour. The UN has called for ‘immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions’ and it is critical local businesses and organisations respond to the call to action and work together to meet our net zero targets.

“Shaping a zero-carbon future must be a collaborative and sharing endeavour and this event provides a meeting place for those who want to reduce their emissions to zero. We want to empower our communities to put in place achievable plans to tackle the climate emergency, while creating new business opportunities and building greater resilience.”

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.

Businesses can sign up to the event through Eventbrite.

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