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Paul Rainger
Paul Rainger
Dr Paul Rainger is Head of the Sustainable Bristol City-Region projects at Forum for the Future, the UK's independent sustainable development experts. Former Head of Farm Animal Welfare at WSPA, Director of Campaigns for the UK Liberal Democrats, and a research astronomer.
 

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Summer celebration: Bristol’s first Carbon Champions

Jul. 6, 2011 3:53 pm
Categories: Visions
Keywords: None

This West of England Carbon Challenge Summer Celebration Event in July, hosted by Bristol Zoo, brought together over 70 businesses in Bristol who are collectively trying to cut their carbon emissions by 10%over four years.

The event saw the first Carbon Champion Awards, for Bristol’s best carbon cutters (At-Bristol, Burges Salmon and Coda Architects), heard from Bristol Zoo and Forum for the Future’s Jonathon Porritt, as well launching the 2011 report.

Michael Bothamley, Trustee of Bristol Zoo welcomed people to the event. In his role in business he spoke of ambitions of low carbon in the city. He said that the new Local Enterprise Zone will have an ambition of being a zero carbon development. You heard it first here.

Simon Garrett, Head of Learning at Bristol Zoo introduced the work of the zoo in combining conservation, entertainment, research and learning. He also demonstrated the mutual relationships between climate change and biodiversity with case studies from Avon to Africa.

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future, gave his insights on where we are with tackling climate change. Taking us from the lack of action on international agreements through to the difficulty of getting past the Treasury agenda in our national government. He pointed to the importance of business leadership and innovation.

Simon Billing, Forum for the Future, introduced the 2011 report of the West of England Carbon Challenge. Over 70 organisations, representing over 77,000 staff or one fifth of the workforce in the region are now committed to the Challenge. 30 organisations have reported data so far for 2010, giving a collective footprint of 450,000 tonnes. Of the 25 who reported in 2009, 20 reported in 2010, year-on-year reduction of 1.3%. The report card is satisfactory, in the right direction but below the 2.5% per year target. So it’s a C/B, good work but room for improvement. The report includes some great examples of local action and can be downloads below.

The Carbon Champion Awards were then presented by John Pontin of The Converging World. All three award winners have achieved significant reductions year on year. What do they have in common. Interestingly, they share three things. One, they have got a real handle on the numbers and used it to drive the changes. Second, they have all successfully engaged their workforce. Third, they have all taken advantage of appropriate technologies to meet the reduction. They were:

  • Burges Salmon made the savings through a night time switch off of all equipment, organised through a campaign which staff called the ‘The Big Switch off’, and through the virtualisation oftheir IT servers, which meant reducing them from 130 to 35.
  • Coda Architects didn’t let the fact they’re based in a sub-let office put them off. They plugged in a simple energy monitor to measure their power consumption, and experimented with measures such as reducing lighting.
  • At-Bristol initiated regular monitoring of energy use and set up an energy reduction group with staff from key departments, and fine-tuned their progressive building management systems.

Download the 2011WECC report here

 
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