The University of Greenwich is opening the first virtual stop of the ambitious Zero Carbon Tour, organised by sustainability certification Planet Mark. The initiative will kick off at 11am on 12 May, covering an information session on the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign, a sustainability open mic event and a networking opportunity with the institution’s representatives.
The university is fully committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, applying sustainable development across its activities, working closely with students, staff and the wider community to help radically reduce carbon and enhance social value. As part of this journey, it has maintained the ‘First Class’ Award in the People & Planet’s University Green League since 2012, its Estates & Facilities Directorate is operating with ISO14001 (Environmental Management) accreditation, and it is currently in the process of becoming a certified Planet Mark organisation through the ZeroBy30 programme.
Planet Mark is very familiar with the institution as three of its members attended the University of Greenwich including: CEO and Founder Steve Malkin, who studied Civil Engineering; Claire Walmsley-Moss, Head of Marketing, who studied Business and Marketing, and Ashley Richmond, Marketing Executive, who studied Advertising and Marketing and took a Master in Communication Strategies.
Simon Goldsmith, head of sustainability at the University of Greenwich, says, “The University of Greenwich recognises the importance of meeting our climate commitments. As a large educational institution we have a significant carbon footprint but with Planet Mark we are creating the pathway to reduce and eliminate this. We have an important role to play in teaching and informing our students to learn more about the importance of carbon reduction so they can become positive change agents while they are students here and after they graduate. Our academic community also have a crucial role to play, applying their knowledge to the climate and carbon solutions the world urgently needs. We welcome people to join us at the first stop of the nationwide Zero Carbon Tour and we hope that our virtual visitors are inspired to help us win the climate challenge we all face.”
Following this virtual session, the tour will take to the road in June in the UK’s first fully electric Carbon Battle Bus and stop at the Eden Project in Cornwall, where Planet Mark’s journey began in 2013, to coincide with the G7 summit (11-13 June). The Carbon Battle Bus will then travel to London with a series of zero carbon events along the way. There will be additional routes added in the summer across the UK and digital events globally.
The final leg of the tour will visit farms, schools and trading estates on the road north to COP26 in Glasgow, where Planet Mark will highlight and celebrate the steps taken by the business community in tackling carbon.
The Zero Carbon Tour will take the net zero carbon message to communities across the UK in support of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign, the world’s largest alliance of actors committed to halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. The tour will also highlight how businesses can set their own credible net zero carbon targets in line with Race to Zero’s rigorous minimum criteria and implement plans to achieve them.
The physical stop-offs during the tour will provide everything a business needs to know to go net zero through free-to-attend carbon clinics as well as Net Zero Essentials workshops, which will give participants the tools and knowledge to join Race to Zero with a robust net zero target and an action plan to support it. The tour will also include press events and networking opportunities to help support businesses to get started on their sustainability journeys.
The tour website, https://tour.planetmark.com, will display an interactive digital map, which will plot the route of the virtual and physical journey and enable booking onto local events. The website will also include links to book participation in tour events. It will incorporate a pledge wall, where businesses can make their commitments and display existing targets to reaching zero carbon emissions.
Planet Mark enables companies to make year on year carbon reductions, unlocking huge business benefits in the process, from increased efficiencies and reduced costs to attracting and retaining the best talent.
Steve Malkin, CEO and founder of Planet Mark, says, “This is a key moment in time, and we are aiming to give energy and impetus to the urgency of tackling the climate crisis. By embarking on our ‘Zero Carbon Tour’, we want to accelerate information and action to enable businesses to set zero carbon targets and implement achievable steps to deliver them. Net zero brings more urgency and more opportunity for organisations to work together to tackle the climate crisis. In doing so, they are publicly demonstrating their commitments that they are organisations and brands that are here to support society and our transition to net zero. It’s an exciting time of innovation and action with the goal of a cleaner, healthier planet within our reach.”
He adds, “COP26 is incredibly important, as it places the UK at the forefront of decarbonisation to address the urgent and immediate requirement to take action for the good of society and our planet. Aligned with this, Planet Mark is supporting the United Nations ‘Race to Zero’ campaign as part of the Government’s aim to sign up over a hundred thousand businesses to this initiative. Change is in our hands and we want this tour to communicate that as businesses and individuals, together we are empowering change for a brighter future. With enough ambition and active collaboration, now is the time to solve one of the most pressing challenges we face as a generation.”
The partner organisations and associations for the tour and the grand finale at COP26 include Institute of Directors (IoD), Business in the Community, Business Declares, CHAS, Eden Project, Fully Charged (media partners), The Royal Warrant Holders Association, Octopus Energy, HTA, Heart of the City, Global (media and digital member), Meaningful Business, Garden Centre Association, Westway Coaches, Arrival and COBIS.