How college and businesses are backing Harrogate's first-ever Climate Action Festival

As Harrogate looks ahead to its first-ever ‘climate action’ festival later in the year, support is growing in the local community for an event designed partly to share ideas of how going sustainable can be good for your business.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:58 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 5:26 pm
Harrogate College head, Danny Wild, is keen to discuss climate change and support change.

Among the organisations supporting Harrogate District Climate Action Festival is Harrogate College, which is stepping up its commitment to environmental sustainability by working with Zero Carbon Harrogate to run regular climate cafés.

The college has pledged to become a net zero carbon institution and has been prioritising a green agenda.

The new virtual climate cafés run in conjunction with Zero Carbon Harrogate, an organisation dedicated to making Harrogate District a net zero carbon community by 2030 in order to secure a sustainable future, will create a simple, empathetic online space for people to express their fears and uncertainties about climate change.

Danny Wild, Principal at Harrogate College, who was first appointed to the role in August 2019 by Luminate Education group, said: “As our district leads the way in becoming carbon negative, we are working to change the college’s physical, cultural and behavioural strands to be more green and sustainable.

“Our role in the district is to serve our locality and provide the skills needed for the future. We’re working closely with Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate Climate Coalition among others, to ensure we’re doing our bit to make an impact with our staff, students and wider community.

“We have our own sustainability committee to examine our practices and future plans, and this partnership with Zero Carbon Harrogate will really help us get the community talking about climate change.”

The partnership follows Harrogate College’s award from Modeshift STARS for its commitment to sustainable travel, as well as its green agenda within the community.

The national recognition follows its efforts to encourage staff and students to walk and cycle to college, reducing the impact of traffic.

As part of its commitment to promote sustainable transport, the college has worked with Circular Yorkshire, Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, the Local Business Enterprise, businesses and voluntary organisations.

Harrogate College’s first climate café with Zero Carbon Harrogate will take place on May 27 from 4pm-5pm.

Anyone interested should register by emailing [email protected]

Another keen backer of the Climate Action Festival is Energy Oasis, a Harrogate-based company which helps businesses and communities to achieve zero-carbon status, has been working with Harrogate Borough Council to reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

Mike Kaye, the firm’s managing director and a member of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition’s energy sub-group, said: “We are delighted to be involved with the climate action festival because we see this local activity at around the time of the global COP26 meeting in Glasgow as a way for Harrogate to build on its status by showing the rest of the country how to develop and deliver on its climate commitment.

“The festival will allow the people of Harrogate to really understand what they can do to help the planet and each other.”

Talking about the ethos of the company, which is based on Victoria Avenue, Mr Kaye said Energy Oasis was committed to doing its bit across the board.

He said: “We started with helping the council to achieve their fastest carbon reduction ever, whilst increasing the health and safety for the residents of the town and visitors alike.

“We are looking forward to helping the businesses in our district to seize the opportunity to become more energy efficient, reduce their carbon footprints and protect our town for future generations to enjoy.”

Recent years have seen Energy Oasis working to reduce the energy bills of schools, sports clubs, tennis clubs, private companies and more .

Mr Kaye said the time for action was now.

“The Government and local council are supporting this carbon reduction drive with funding, tax incentives and loans. Now is the time to engage in the climate emergency, to stop the rot and make a difference.”

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