This week has seen the launch of the UK Government’s landmark ‘Green GB Week’, announced by the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry. The initiative has been a celebration of the nation’s leadership on climate change, marking the 10-year anniversary of the Climate Change Act and has been described as an “annual week designed to highlight the opportunities clean growth offers the UK and raise understanding of how business and the public can contribute to tackling climate change”.
The week has come at an opportune time, following the harrowing reminder we received this month after the release of a special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighting the importance and stark urgency of our mission to tackle climate change.
Green GB Week is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of clean growth and inspire businesses to set fresh commitments to sustainability. As seen in the infographic below, the UK is a world-leader in terms of clean and green growth, having an impressive history of decarbonisation. The past week has seen this accolade bolstered further, through a series of events, announcements and media activity to promote the opportunities from clean growth and raise awareness of how businesses and the public can contribute to tackling climate change.
While we will be releasing a more extensive summary of the week’s successes, below is a snapshot of some of the more notable actions and events throughout the past few days:
The launch event at Imperial College London
The opening day of Green GB Week centered on the unprecedented threats posed to the environment, national economies and human health by climate change, alongside the striking scale of changes required to avoid the effects of further and more extreme warming of the planet.
The week’s launch event was hosted by Imperial's Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment. It served as the first of many events held across the UK by the Institute. In addition to kick-starting the week, the event also served as the Europe-wide launch of the IPCC special report, detailing a 1.5℃ warming scenario.
The IMarEST hosts the first meeting of the Clean Maritime Council
Experts on clean shipping, including the IMarEST's Chief Executive, David Loosley, met on Monday (October 15th 2018), with the intention of plotting the route to zero emissions for the UK maritime sector.
This served as the first meeting of the Clean Maritime Council, opened by Minister for Maritime, Nusrat Ghani, which saw the creation of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector to improve air quality on and around the UK’s waterways, ports and shipping lanes.
The Council has an important role in addressing these issues, bringing together experts from across the maritime sector - from industry leaders developing greener vessels, to academics studying the economics of emission reduction. You can find out more about the meeting here.
Climate Resilience Summit, London
The Summit event saw two panels explore the theme of climate resilience with delegates coming from a range of backgrounds including international institutions, industry leaders, regulators, civil society, science and the media.
The event had a series of notable panelists including:
- The Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy & Clean Growth at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; and
- Javier Rivera Ríos, Commissioner of Insurance of Puerto Rico
Sustainability Strategy Masterclass
Many corporate sustainability strategies are running up to 2020 and with many businesses thinking about devising both current and future strategies, the Sustainability Masterclass held in London introduced the latest cutting-edge thinking and sustainability concepts to assist companies in devising their strategies.
The masterclass guided attendees through key concepts and how to practically and decisively include them within their own business strategies. Given the intense public scrutiny, business disruption, regulatory pressure and most importantly the huge opportunity of corporate sustainability, it is essential that companies are both bold and ambitious in order to help meet the UK’s climate strategy – a message that formed the core of the masterclass event.
Blue Marvel screening
The week has not all been just about lectures, high-level forums and classes this week. The Cabot Institute for the Environment academics and We the Curious’ have created a 3D Planetarium which people can visit.
It was created to celebrate Bristol as a Green European Capital in 2015 and reveals our home planet in space like has never been seen before.
Using the most cutting-edge 3D digital projection technology, attendees of Blue Marvel have been seeing how space exploration has inspired the environmental movement across both the land and our oceans – which has led to a much deeper appreciation and understanding of our sensational planet. You can find out more details on their website!
There’s still time to get involved!
Green GB week isn’t over yet! There are still plenty of events happening over the weekend which you can get involved with. Check out the Green GB Week website and the Events List to find out what’s happening in your area.
You can also make a commitment to take action in your business through the official Pledge Wall. Edie, an official media partner of Green GB Week is utilising its purpose-driven Mission Possible campaign to help tell the clean growth story of the week. Throughout the week and beyond, businesses are being encouraged to make new commitments to Edie’s Mission Possible Pledge Wall, supporting the week’s aim to promote the business opportunity of clean growth and encourage climate action.
Over 60 Pledges have been added to the wall so far, with the likes of Coca-Cola European Partners, Johnson & Johnson and House of Fraser all showcasing their commitments to support the initiative. Encourage your business to make a commitment, to help boost the campaign and the great successes of the week!
The UK Government has also released the Green GB Week toolkit. The toolkit is designed to help you get involved in Green GB Week with ideas and tips to host your own events or activities, including social media, branding and accessibility tips. Take a look at the toolkit to see if you can set up a weekend activity, or how to stay involved after it’s finished!