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Zero Carbon Guildford Shortlisted for National Award

Published on: 12 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 11 Feb, 2023

By Hugh Coakley

Zero Carbon Guildford has been shortlisted for a national award by The Climate Coalition in the Innovative UK Community Project category.

The awards are to be announced on February 27 at the Houses of Parliament.

The Zero Carbon Guildford shop in Friary Street opened in November 2021.

Steph Bleach, one of the operations team at the charity Zero Carbon Guildford, said: “We are really chuffed to be nominated. It shows that community collaboration, volunteer power and strong vision for a sustainable future can really make an impact. Wish us luck.”

People in the huge Zero Carbon Guildford building at the bottom of North Street were supporting the Zero award on Friday (February 10).

Jana Phillips was shopping in the zero waste section. She said: “This is my third time here. It’s fantastic, it does invaluable service for our community at a time when we are under climate threat and economic pressure. I wish them the best of luck for the award.”

Catherine Sellars said: “It’s great news. There a lot of thought gone into Zero and a lot of hard work from the volunteers.”

Green Heart Awards from The Climate Coalition.

Zero Carbon Guildford has quickly established itself as a significant influence in the town since it opened its doors to the public just over a year ago in November 2021.

Apart from claiming to be the biggest volunteer organisation town, it has started a number of initiatives aimed at developing a “community-led climate action plan”.

One of these is the Sustainable Business Network, a joint venture with the University of Surrey, which so far has helped more than 50 local businesses make plans to hit net zero carbon targets. Another is the Water Rangers who monitor the River Wey with the aim to work with Thames Water and others to improve the water quality in the river running through the borough.

The community fridge in the centre alone distributes to residents around a tonne of food away from being wasted.

Zero Carbon Guildford featured in a Japanese magazine for its climate work. The photo shows Steph Bleach explaining the work of the community fridge.

The Guildford charity has attracted interest from around the country and even internationally. A spokesperson said: “35 groups from across the UK visited Zero to pick our brains and share experience in how to get similar projects off the ground. Last year we featured on a US television channel and in a Japanese magazine.

“Although only two people can go to parliament to represent us, we could probably fill all 650 MPs seats in the Commons with the people who have got us to this point.

This truly is a community project, and what a great community it is. Thank you.”

The Climate Coalition is a group of more than 130 organisations including the National Trust, Women’s Institute, Oxfam, and RSPB. They say they are “reaching across the UK to show our love for all the things we want to protect from climate change, and to ask politicians to put aside their differences and commit to doing whatever is necessary to protect them.”

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Responses to Zero Carbon Guildford Shortlisted for National Award

  1. Mark Bray-Parry Reply

    February 12, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    Congratulations to Zero on being shortlisted. Thoroughly deserved. What an outstanding charity they are. The work they’ve done since forming has been an inspiration, and rather in contrast to the slow progress Guildford Borough Council have made on environmental goals!

    Let’s hope Zero continue to inspire both private and public enterprise, in Guildford and beyond, to make the world a better place.

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