Mayor’s ‘Net Zero’ call to action puts the Bus into Business

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson in collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council this week steps up with a team of ‘carbon zero heroes’ to call on Cambridgeshire businesses to learn from each other how to work smarter in cutting their carbon output.

Joining a distinguished line-up of some of the county’s most climate-aware thinkers and business leaders at Storey’s Field Centre, Cambridge, the mayor will give the keynote address when the UK-wide ‘Zero Carbon Tour’ stops in Cambridge with its awareness-raising 100% electric Carbon Battle Bus.

The eye-catching blue bus is travelling around the UK giving local innovators and problem solvers a platform to showcase their efforts and share inspiring carbon stories that will promote the UN’s climate-change warnings and encourage others to tackle climate collapse in their own business.

Cambridge has been chosen as one of two Zero Carbon stops in the East of England as the carbon bus travels around the country visiting factories, towns and community energy projects in the run-up to the UN’s COP-26 conference, to be hosted by the UK in Glasgow later this autumn

Mayor Dr Johnson will welcome the carbon battle bus to Cambridge on 31 August. The huge blue vehicle will be at Storeys Field Centre, Eddington, from 12 noon to 3pm and business are being urged to sign up to the free event.

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough said: “Global is local and we’ve each got our own bit to do in our own backyard, our own lifestyle, our own home. But the business community will be uniquely influential in leading us all towards better ways of making, living, growing and travelling. We’re customers and consumers so when businesses make changes for the better, the benefit courses very quickly through our whole society.

“Cambridgeshire is home to brilliant ideas and innovations and it’s exactly the kind of place where a breakthrough on climate change may well happen.  I’m delighted that academic and business thought leaders from across the region will be uniting for this event, across transport, agri-tech, energy provision, sharing ideas and showcasing greener and more sustainable solutions. They are our carbon-zero heroes and I hope to welcome many people to hear them at the Carbon Battle Bus – businesses, individuals, community groups, organisations, and families eager to learn more about the UN’s ‘Race to Zero’.

Councillor Lorna Dupre, Chair of the Environment and Green Investment Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Tackling climate change is urgent and essential, and we in Cambridgeshire have our part to play. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that temperatures are likely to rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels in the next two decades. The consequences of this are already becoming more evident. We need to do all we can to slow this trend by moving rapidly towards a clean, low-carbon future. Businesses are a key part of this effort, and their experience and knowledge can help all of us reduce carbon emissions as fast as possible.”

Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director of Cambridge Zero, the University of Cambridge’s major climate change initiative, will speak to help inspire local businesses with ideas for doing their own bit to tackle climate change.

Dame Polly Courtice, a member of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate will also be a speaker. Dame Polly was Founder Director of the University of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (1989–2021). She was also Founder Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme and served as Academic Director of Cambridge University’s Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership. She is a Fellow of Churchill College and an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

Cllr Bridget Smith, environmental lead for the Combined Authority and leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, will chair the case study section where business from around Cambridgeshire and Peterborough share their climate change efforts and achievements to help inspire others to do their own thing.

Case studies sharing their carbon-crunching achievements, innovations and ways of working will include:

  • Intelligentheat – The UK MD Salvatore Cirasuolo will discuss Advanced Intelligent Heating
  • Cambridge Marketing College – Charlotte Lestienne, Apprenticeship Manager
  • Cambridge Cleantech – Sam Goodhall, International Operations Manager
  • NIAB – Dr Lydia Smith, who manages the Eastern AgriTech Innovation Hub
  • Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) – Carly Leonard, CEO

The Zero Carbon Bus Tour will gather “carbon stories” of actions and initiatives being taken across the UK for a sustainable future. These case studies will be continually fed from the Tour into a digital platform that aims to inspire others around the country to take similar action. Great examples of sustainability action gathered during the Tour will be given a platform at COP26 to catalyze others to create similar initiatives around the world

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference. For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26. With the UK as President, COP26 takes place in Glasgow.

Steve Malkin, CEO of event organisers Planet Mark, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority 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 Cambridgeshire 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”.

This news was first published on the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority website on 24 August 2021.