Zero Carbon Bus Tour comes to the West

Nina Skubala
Head of Climate Strategy | Business West
10th September 2021

The Zero Carbon Bus Tour is in the West this week and next, with events scheduled in Swindon, Bristol and Cheltenham.

Planet Mark, a sustainability certification body has officially partnered with #RaceToZero, a UN backed campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. The campaign, which drives action across the real economy, is considered central to COP26.

Stopping at the STEAM museum in Swindon yesterday, a mix of 100 businesses took part in the hybrid event. Businesses attending had the opportunity to learn more about COP26, what net zero means and how to make progress. It was also a chance to understand what is happening locally and how local businesses including a number of Business West members are taking action.

Cllr Keith Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate Change at Swindon Bourgh Council spoke about local climate action plans and the Be the Change campaign, which aims to encourage residents and businesses to take positive steps.

Arval spoke about the steps they had taken to encourage their workforce to switch to EVs and Nationwide spoke about their approach to decarbonise across its products and services and property portfolio. Whereas Zurich UK gave an overview of how its staff had taken on net zero and detailed how working from home during the pandemic has made it possible to change behaviours, particularly around paper use. 

Electronics manufacturer IEW Ltd detailed the support that they received from Severn Wye through Target 2030 to access an energy survey and funding towards LED lighting and air-conditioning to lower its electricity demand.

Finally, Recycling Technologies - an emerging plastic re-processor and Business West member - described how it set its engineers the challenge of lowering the energy demand of its production process. Business West also took to the stage and talked through its approach to accelerating the journey to net zero throughout the region.

Dave Battrick, Initiative Manager said: “Having the Zero Carbon Tour come to Swindon was fantastic for our business community. Despite the enormous scale at which we need to take action, listening to our members and others share their approach to addressing climate change gives a sense of real optimism. In the run up to COP26, there will be lots of opportunities for businesses to learn more about what needs to be done, our Trading to Net Zero hub is a great resource to find out what events and support is available in our region as well as signposting to simple guides.”

Today (10th September), the #ZeroCarbonTour is coming to the University of West of England in Bristol. With over 200 businesses booked to attend, it is the BIGGEST event on the tour to date.

Joining Business West on the stage will be Mayor Dan Morris, Combined Authority; Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council; Prof Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol and Chair of the LEP. Businesses sharing their stories at the event will include Viper Innovation, South West Energy Hub, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, The Bath Pub Company, North Bristol NHS, North Bristol Suscom, The Washing Machine Company and Amshela.

Net week the tour will make its way to Cheltenham where Cheltenham Borough Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Commercial are hosting the event.

The Cheltenham Zero Partnership and The Zero Carbon Tour stop in Cheltenham will be a fantastic chance for like-minded businesses from across Gloucestershire to come together to discuss and debate the topic and help to shape United Nations policy ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

When the carbon battle bus leaves the West, it will continue its journey to Glasgow and COP26. Planet Mark will be returning to the South West on the 23rd September for the Zero Carbon Essentials Workshop.

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