COP26 Zero Carbon Tour Battle Bus coming to Kent (2 September)

Sam Wood
Battle-Bus-2 by Planet Mark
The Carbon Battle Bus will arrive on campus on 2 September

The University looks forward to welcoming the Zero Carbon Tour’s Battle Bus to its Canterbury campus for an SME sustainability workshop on 2 September 2021.

During the Net Zero Carbon Essentials Workshop, representatives from regional SMEs will be able to learn about how to set a credible net zero target and the opportunities and benefits this can bring. Attendees will also gain an understanding of their organisation’s main emissions sources, and the decision process for setting a net zero target – as well as how to make a pledge to the UN Race to Zero Campaign.

The event will provide details of the work in the area and support available to help businesses transition to net zero and to deliver Clean Growth – particularly the LoCASE programme, which provides small and medium enterprises with EU grants up to £10K to improve environmental resilience, profitability and competitiveness.  This is being supported by Kent County Council and Energy South2East who through their Tri-LEP energy strategy have set out a series of projects and actions plans which can be scaled up to meet the vision for the South East to become a leader for sustainable energy production within the UK, powering innovative, decarbonised and clean economic growth.

There will also be the opportunity to learn about the work the University is doing with regional business partners in sustainability, including the opportunities for further collaborative research and how SMEs can get involved, as well staff and student sustainability initiatives across the University’s Canterbury and Medway campuses.

The Zero Carbon Tour was developed by sustainability certification organisation Planet Mark to demonstrate how the UK’s regional business communities are addressing the climate crisis and broadcasting the net zero carbon message to communities through events across the UK.

The Carbon Battle Bus, a 100% electric and emission-free tour bus, is touring the UK, starting from Cornwall’s Eden Project and concluding in Glasgow for COP26 – the UK’s 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties from 31 October – 12 November 2021. The tour has already visited the Houses of Parliament, with Planet Mark representatives, the organisers of the tour, meeting leading policy makers to discuss the UN-backed Zero Carbon Tour.

The University will be represented at the event by Professor Shane Weller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Innovation, Environmental Advisor Catherine Morris, Funding & Partnership Development Manager Simon Barnes and a range of sustainability experts from Kent Business School.

There will also be the opportunity to interview and hear from the LoCASE business support project representative and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Representatives from Planet Mark will also explain how organisations can officially join the UN-backed Race to Zero initiative and what resources they can tap into as part of the Together For Our Planet campaign.

Simon Barnes said: ‘We are delighted to be part of the Zero Carbon Tour. This workshop is a chance for the University and our regional partners to demonstrate not only how our leading and comprehensive research and innovation is supporting the UK government ambition of Net Zero by 2050, but we also reveal the success that collaboration of academia and business can have in making progress for future generations.’

Susan Carey, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: ‘I’m delighted to see key institutional partners in the University of Kent and business leaders of the South East work together towards a carbon-reduced environment for tomorrow.’

Adam Bryan, South East LEP Chief Executive, said: ‘The race to NET Zero and the aspiration to deliver Clean Growth for the South East is one of the principal areas of focus for us and the South East business community. This can be quite overwhelming to many SMEs, through this event we aim to share information and help businesses to make the changes needed now, that will make a difference to their future. The LoCASE project has been immensely successful, and we are delighted to see this now expanding into the other Southern LEP areas.’

As part of its Carbon Management Plan the University has reduced its direct carbon emissions by over 29.4% in the last ten years and is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The Plan also details the University’s ambition to eliminate emissions embedded in what it procures and how staff and students travel.

The partners bringing the COP26 event to Kent are: the University of Kent, Kent County Council, and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

To register go here.