A campaign has launched in Herefordshire to encourage employers to plot their journeys to meet the county’s zero carbon ambition by the end of the decade.

The campaign ‘30 for 2030’ will involve putting the spotlight on 30 employers from the private, public and third sector to track their progress and achievements along the way and help inspire other organisations to do the same.

The initiative forms part of the Greener Footprints campaign launched by the Herefordshire Climate and Nature Action Partnership in January 2022. Its aim is to create a movement of positive action amongst individuals, communities, and organisations across Herefordshire to counter climate change and ensure a future for the county that we all want.

As part of the business initiative, organisations will be asked to sign the Greener Footprints pledge and share their journey by promoting what they and their work colleagues are doing and achieving to reduce their carbon footprint.

The campaign is being supported by Herefordshire and Worcester Chamber of Commerce and Herefordshire Rural Hub who will work closely with the Greener Footprints campaign team to identify 30 organisations to participate in the initiative.

According to recent national data only one in ten businesses are measuring their carbon footprint despite the pressing need to tackle climate change. Almost a third of businesses have yet to seek advice or information to help develop a net zero roadmap or improve environmental sustainability.

Phillip Pearcy, Operations Manager at The Courtyard, an arts centre based in Hereford, has already signed up to the initiative. He said:

“The Courtyard already has a working Eco Group and Environmental Action Plan with an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030, so it makes perfect sense to pool our resources with other local businesses and align our goals and objectives with the Greener Footprints campaign.

“We’re hugely excited to be part of the initiative as we understand how important it is for all businesses to use their platforms to generate awareness of climate change.”

Cllr Ellie Chowns, chair of the Climate and Nature Partnership Board, said:

“Business has a vital role to play in helping tackle climate change. I’m delighted that this campaign will help showcase good practice and inspire more businesses to play their part.”

She added: “Participating organisations will benefit in a number of ways: it will provide them with a focus and stimulus for their plans to get to zero carbon; and it promotes the fact that they are leading the way in the county in enhancing the environment, an important message reputationally to customers, existing employees and future recruits. It also creates a fantastic platform to engage and work closely with their own staff and suppliers to ensure they too make a significant contribution to their net zero journeys.”

Robert Elliot, Director of Business Development and Engagement at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting the 30 for 2030 initiative and would encourage businesses from across the region to sign up and help inspire others on their journey to net zero.”

Christine Hope, Founder & Partner of Hopes of Longtown and Director at Herefordshire Rural Hub, added: “With 95% of Herefordshire being classified as rural land and more than half of the population living in rural areas, it’s so important for rural businesses across the region to be engaged in helping the region reduce its carbon emissions.

“Herefordshire Rural Hub promotes the initiative to our businesses and empowers them to take positive climate action by using carbon tool kits and sound financial management. These actions support the creation and sustaining of a thriving agricultural economy adapting to a greener economy for everyone’s benefit."