New partnership helps champion the climate cause

Plans to turn Oxfordshire into a zero-carbon county by 2050 will benefit from the announcement of a new link-up which will champion the cause of sustainable and low-carbon business.

Oxfordshire County Council has joined Oxfordshire Greentech (OG) as its local authority innovation partner. Business network OG was set up in 2019 to bring together a wide range of commercial interests, academia and other organisations to encourage innovation, collaboration and knowledge transfer as a response to the climate emergency.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The council sees climate action as central to our vision for a thriving Oxfordshire, with a resilient economy, future-proofed infrastructure and liveable, healthy communities.

“We are joining Oxfordshire Greentech as its local authority innovation partner to help deliver our Climate Action Framework, which we published in October. It gives us an opportunity to collaborate with businesses who are driving the zero-carbon transition in Oxfordshire.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s partnership with OG will build on the authority’s commitment to seeing Oxfordshire as a ‘Living Lab’ for low-carbon solutions. The council’s iHub already develops partnerships with businesses and academia to help find solutions that benefit residents and the economy.

Alongside its existing innovation partnerships in transport – such as the electric vehicle charging initiative park and charge ­– it wants to develop new collaborations and networks with businesses.

Lewis Knight, Strategic Director of Oxfordshire Greentech, said: “We are delighted to welcome Oxfordshire County Council as Oxfordshire Greentech’s local authority innovation partner as part of its commitment to create a resilient economy based on zero-carbon jobs.

“With its strong support for sustainable initiatives, such as the Living Labs approach and iHub, the county council brings great opportunities for collaboration which will increase the momentum towards a zero-carbon Oxfordshire.”

Bicester-based OG has more than 100 members and is growing, even during the pandemic, as more companies see the benefits of sustainable business and new, circular economy, business models.

The network is not just relevant to tech companies; a wide range of organisations play an active role such as funders, architects, support services, and interior designers. This creates a green ecosystem providing everything organisations need to make their sustainable business flourish.

Members benefit from receiving market intelligence, connecting with the suppliers, customers and support organisations and can get help to make their own operations more sustainable. OG provides regular updates, events and networking, pitching and ‘Meet the Buyer’ opportunities.

OG is a collaboration between sustainability charity, Bioregional, and sister network Cambridge Cleantech. Members of one organisation automatically have affiliate membership of the sister network, opening up an even wider array of events and opportunities to connect.

As part of Oxfordshire County Council’s partnership with Oxfordshire Greentech, any company in Oxfordshire wishing to join the network can get 10 per cent off basic membership until January 2022 (use code OCC10).