This Zero Carbon Harrogate event held at Christ Church in High Harrogate, on the evening of 4 June, was well attended with 50-60 people present.
Tree planting leads the way!
Tom Bliss from the United Bank of Carbon (UBC) led us through the best ways of offsetting those carbon emissions which we just cannot avoid. UBC are involved and indeed leading a number of community-led efforts in climate change mitigation and adaptation through agroforestry and reforestation activities. These reduce the local community’s vulnerability to climate change, through benefits derived from tree-based land use systems. Many of these are overseas, as the benefits and opportunities there are greater than in the UK. Tropical Forests are cheaper to grow, grow faster and larger providing more biodiversity, plus greater physical and social benefits to the local community.
Simon Hotchkins, Head of Sustainable Development, from Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate then told us about the work they've been doing, both at home and overseas, to develop a carbon neutral tea and coffee supply chain. Theirs is a ‘whole business’ approach as they look to the products from the plantations which supply their chain of tea and coffee shops. Products are all ‘carbon neutral’, in the sense that all carbon emissions are offset within the business and the focus is on ethical trading and providing a good income and social amenities for their workers and their families, as they look for quality and commitment in their working relationships.