Net Zero – 2021 is the year of climate action
In 2019, the UK made a legally binding pledge: to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The science is clear – the next decade is critical for action on climate and now’s the time for businesses like yours to ramp up its efforts in reaching net zero and help achieve the UK’s goal.
Taking action on climate change will help businesses grow, seize new opportunities, create new jobs, encourage investment and adapt against the challenges of a changing planet, while reducing emissions can lower businesses’ running costs, save them money and attract new customers – ultimately helping them maintain a competitive advantage locally and globally.
We are proud to see businesses in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough taking the steps needed to advocate for and implement measures to reach this ambitious goal. Our collective movement is an inspiration and an example of how businesses accept the challenge and work together in protecting the future of our planet.
In the run up to COP26, in this article, we explore just a few examples of the fantastic work being led in the region.
Cambridge City Council has published its proposed new climate change strategy for the next five years. It has set a target for the council to reduce its direct carbon emissions from its corporate buildings, vehicle fleet and business mileage to net zero carbon by 2030.
The new strategy also sets out how the council will provide local leadership on climate change and shares a vision for the city of Cambridge to be net zero carbon by 2030, subject to government, industry and regulators implementing the necessary changes to enable the city and the rest of the UK to achieve this. The council has invested over £1.4m in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in its buildings, which have contributed to a 28.9% reduction in its carbon emissions from 2014/15 to 2019/20.
Multinational food ingredients manufacturer McCormick has confirmed that a new facility in Peterborough looks set to become its first net-zero carbon building which is due to open later this year. Once fully operational, the 93,000m² site will employ approximately 300 people. The new facility is being developed in adherence with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework to help deliver net-zero carbon in both construction and operations.
Cambridge Wireless are hosting their CWIC 2021: Wireless in Digital and Circular Economies conference on 9 November and will focus on the sustainability of the industry from a financial, socioeconomic and environmental perspective. They’ve got some excellent speakers and tickets are still available to book on their website.
CWIC 2021 will consider the value of the wireless network, exploring innovations and ideas that maximise wireless’ potential to improve the future, including:
- The delivery of progressive services across a variety of sectors
- Contribution to socioeconomic growth
- The reduction of wireless’ environmental impact
- The relationship between connectivity and the circular economy
In August the Zero Carbon Tour headed to Cambridge sharing the net zero message with the business community. On the day, you got to see the UK’s first 100% electric coach, affectionately named the ‘Carbon Battle Bus’. Us at the Growth Hub, alongside Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, joined the local tour to help promote awareness about the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign and held discussions with local people, organisations and community groups.
This week, Cambridge Marketing College shared their latest podcast to help understand the jargon behind sustainability (Carbon Neutral, Net Zero, Scopes 1-3) and explains how a small organisation CAN play a big role fighting the climate crisis. The episode is part of a long-standing series established by the College, and very much worth following!
Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce have a mass of information on their website offering advice and support to start your journey towards becoming net zero.
And BEIS launched a competition as part of the ‘Together for our Planet Business Climate Leaders’ Campaign to celebrate the small businesses taking the most innovative action to go green and become a net zero business by 2050. They asked businesses to share the actions they had been taking to tackle climate change and in return were in for a chance to attend the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow and win an exclusive prize package worth £4,500 to help develop and grow your business.
The best entries will be judged by a panel of experts including the government’s Net Zero UK Business Champion Andrew Griffith. All the shortlisted businesses will be invited to a special Heroes of Net Zero awards celebration at the COP26 conference in Glasgow on 2 November.
Cambridge CLEANTECH are hosting a two-day conference celebrating the innovative climate technologies from Cambridge, the UK, and across the world on 20th and 21st October 2021. This year marks a momentous event for them as along with the UK hosting the COP26 in Glasgow in November, it is also their ten-year anniversary!