Swindon to host key event as part of national Zero Carbon Tour

Next month (September), Swindon Borough Council will host a local event for businesses from across the Borough, as part of a 12-week Zero Carbon Tour across the UK, ahead of (COP26) in Glasgow.

Published: Thursday, 12th August 2021

Proud hosts o the Zero Carbon Tour

The Zero Carbon Tour, which is supported and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will see the UK’s first fully electric Carbon Battle Bus visit towns and cities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, before making a stop in Swindon on Thursday, 9 September 2021.

Businesses and organisations from across the region are invited to attend the event in Swindon, which is being hosted by the Council at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway from 2pm to 5pm.

The event will engage local businesses and organisations by simplifying complicated messages around climate change, and provide advice on how to reduce carbon emissions. The event will also showcase sustainability initiatives from businesses and groups based in or around Swindon, to provide real world examples of how local organisations are taking action against climate change. It will also provide an opportunity for businesses to network with other like-minded people and encourage them to get started on their sustainability journeys.

As the bus travels across the UK, the Zero Carbon Tour will share the ‘net zero carbon message’ with businesses and organisations, which will mean promoting the importance of striking a balance between the amount of greenhouse gasses (GHG) produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. This is in support of the UN-backed Race to Zero and Together for our Planet campaigns, the world’s largest alliance of actors committed to halving global GHG emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 at the latest.

The Tour will highlight how businesses can set their own realistic and credible ‘net zero’ carbon targets in line with the campaign’s criteria and implement plans to achieve them.

The event in Swindon will be followed by a virtual South West Net Zero Carbon Essentials Workshop, held on 23 September, which will delve into net zero in a more in-depth, practical way. The three-hour workshop will provide participants with a deeper understanding of net zero, some practical solutions for reducing their carbon emissions and will demonstrate how to make a net zero pledge. Participants will leave with a certificate of training to confirm their involvement in the session.

The Zero Carbon Tour event in Swindon is just one initiative within the Council’s Net Zero Emissions Action Plan, which sets out a list of actions the Council will take to achieve net zero organisational GHG emissions by 2030. The event will also support the Action Plan’s goal of rallying residents and organisations across the Borough to join the journey to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, in line with the Government’s target.

The event is supported by the Be the Change campaign, which aims to raise the profile of climate change in Swindon and highlight the many positive contributions local people and organisations are already making to reduce their emissions.

Councillor Keith Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Finance and Commercialisation, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in Swindon to equip themselves with the knowledge and tools to be part of the Race to Zero campaign, while also providing the opportunity for local businesses and organisations to learn from one another, and share practical tips and advice they can realistically take on board. We all have a responsibility to do our bit to take action against climate change and we hope this event will help local businesses to take the first step.”

Nina Skubala, Head of Climate Strategy at Business West, said: “Business West is delighted to be supporting the Net Zero Carbon Tour. Decarbonisation and building climate resilience IS the agenda for this decade and the decisions being taken to COP26 will impact all aspects of our lives

“Our recent survey showed that 70 per cent of businesses in the West now consider climate change to be an issue and many are making progress to take climate action. There are of course many challenges, but with that comes many opportunities for innovation, new markets, new solutions, new approaches.

“All businesses will need to act. This tour is a fantastic opportunity to showcase how businesses in Swindon and Wiltshire are stepping up to address climate change. A chance to hear from those developing solutions to meet the challenges and those who are making headway on their journeys to zero carbon.”

Ruth Lambert, Development Manager Somerset and Wiltshire, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “At the Federation of Small Businesses we understand how daunting it can be to get started with the journey to net zero. It can often appear complicated and costly, but this is not necessarily the case. We would encourage all local Swindon small businesses to drop into this great event for some practical advice and inspiring case studies.”

Steve Malkin, CEO of event organisers Planet Mark, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Swindon Borough Council 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 Swindon 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.”

The event is funded by BEIS in partnership with the West of England Combined Authority.

Businesses who would like to attend the Zero Carbon Tour event at STEAM on 9 September can register here:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/swindon-roadmap-to-net-zero-zero-carbon-tour-tickets-166021347319. For those who are unable to attend in person, the event will be live-streamed and a recording will be available for a limited time after the event. Businesses can register for the live-stream option by clicking ‘register’ and then selecting the online option.

Those who wish to also attend the virtual Net Zero Carbon Essentials Workshop on 23 September, can register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/net-zero-carbon-essentials-workshop-south-west-tickets-163034042209

Residents and businesses can find out more about how to take action against climate change by visiting www.swindon.gov.uk/bethechange

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