Local Support for Cambridge businesses on their journey to net zero

Momentum is growing across Cambridge for city-level engagement and action on climate change, with the City Council setting a target to reduce its direct carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 - 20 years ahead of the UK Government's plans.

Businesses are playing a key part with many having already started the journey to net zero by becoming a signatory to the Cambridge Climate Change Charter. Alongside providing a platform for businesses to pledge action to reduce the impact of their operations, the Charter is developing an infrastructure to help businesses identify how and where to get started.

To support local businesses navigate this new landscape and empower them to play a key role in Cambridge City Council’s vision for the city to be net zero by 2030, The Cambridge Climate Change Charter will run two lunchtime expert-led events for SMEs. These sessions will look at where best to direct potentially limited time and resources, covering the fundamentals of a carbon reduction framework, exploring the first actions that SMEs can take to get started and how to plan a pathway to net zero.  

The first session will be run by the Director of The Creativity Partnership and Chair of Carbon Neutral Cambridge, Anne Miller, an expert in innovation focusing on accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy. Anne will help businesses to get to grips with the basics; breaking down what net zero actually means, the benefits of decarbonisation and how to understand your businesses carbon emissions. The second session will follow on, focusing on the question “where do I start” when making decisions on carbon reduction. Run by David Knight, a Senior Environmental Consultant from local environmental charity, PECT, this session will explore energy efficiency and management and low carbon technologies. 

Alongside decarbonising operations, businesses have the unique opportunity to act as climate leaders in the community through empowering and supporting customers, staff and stakeholders. Speaking openly about climate change and raising awareness of actions people can take is pivotal to a successful response to the climate emergency. To help businesses broach these topics with their team, the Charter has also created a free step-by-step Shrink Your Carbon Footprint workshop guide, to help run a lunchtime session on reducing personal carbon emissions, with regular “How to” sessions being held to support in the running of these events.

“Businesses have a pivotal role to play as we work together in the City’s response to the climate. However, we recognise that for many, identifying how and where to get started when it comes to decarbonising can be daunting. As well as offering a platform that enables businesses to join a like-minded community pushing towards net zero, we have established the Charter to act as a tool to provide guidance and support for all businesses, enterprises and organisations across the city” says Jasmine Clark, Cambridge Climate Change Charter Project Coordinator, Cambridge Carbon Footprint.

Cambridge businesses have a huge potential to be agents of positive change within the local community and are critical to achieving our local and national carbon reduction goals. Through this growing support network the Cambridge Climate Change Charter aims to build the capacity of local businesses to adapt and thrive on their pathway to net zero.

The Cambridge Climate Change Charter is working to build a community of climate leaders in Cambridge by giving individuals, households, businesses and organisations the opportunity to understand their carbon emissions and how to reduce them, providing a platform to make a pledge to take positive action. It was initiated by the Cambridge City Council back in 2020, and is run by Cambridge Carbon Footprint, a local charity working to raise awareness of climate change issues and to support people in moving to low-carbon living.


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