Last year, we launched our Rural Vision, which identified five central opportunities to achieve a stronger, more resilient future for rural communities across the UK.

Harnessing positive environmental impact through community business was one of those five opportunities, and on 22 April 2021, to coincide with Earth Day, we’re inviting community businesses across the UK to join the discussion about how as a sector, we can promote greener communities; either by greening up our own organisations or facilitating local communities to live more environmentally-friendly lifestyles.

Globally, we are experiencing a climate crisis, which has created a growing awareness of our individual and collective environmental responsibilities. We would like to see more communities recognising the role that can play in generating change and utilising the community business model to adopt environmentally friendly schemes such as community composting, community energy and growing projects. Community businesses have led the way, and should continue to be at the heart of launching new green initiatives, owning open spaces such as woodlands with community value, as well as incorporating more environmentally beneficial activities into existing community businesses.

Our Greener Communities Virtual Summit will feature a programme of short, practical sessions designed to introduce you to the concept of greening-up your community business, and showcase some inspiring community-based environmental initiatives from organisations such as Hook Norton Low Carbon and Agroecology Land Trust’s Coed Talyalan project.

All sessions are FREE for members, £15+VAT for non-members. Book now to secure your place

Part 1: How community businesses can get involved with the electric vehicle movement, with Charge My Street

Daniel Heery and Ady Powell of Community Benefit Society Charge My Street will introduce their vision for every home to be within a 5-minute walk of an EV chargepoint, and how they work with communities to make this happen, drawing on a number of real-life case studies of community chargepoints. This session will explore:

  • What is an electric vehicle and what is EV charging?
  • The Charge My Street story
  • Why your community business should host an EV chargepoint
  • How to get started with a community chargepoint

Part 2: In conversation with… Hook Norton Low Carbon

Plunkett Foundation Project Manager Aimee Evans will host a conversation with Jessica D’Souza, bringing real life examples of how a community business can contribute to improving the energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of the local community through a variety of community-based initiatives including hire of low carbon vehicles and e-bikes, the generation of solar energy, a waste-oil biodiesel supply and more

Book here to secure your place

Part 1: How community businesses can create a sustainable future

Join Plunkett Foundation Adviser Grant Peisley for a discussion about low-carbon initiatives and ways in which community businesses can create a more sustainable future. This event is open to all, and will draw on examples from a number of initiatives in Wales.. This session will focus on four central strategies to ensure a more sustainable community business:

  • Low-carbon transport
  • Heating solutions
  • Local procurement
  • Renewable energy

The session will take the format of a 40 minute presentation followed by a Q&A/discussion.

Part 2: In conversation with… Agroecology Land Trust – Coed Talyalan

Plunkett Foundation Project Manager Aimee Evans will host a conversation with James Scrivens of Agreocology Land Trust, showcasing how this pioneering rural community enterprise is promoting a sustainable future. At Coed Talyalan, the location of the first ALT action research project, they are creating a low impact development for shared equity, self build, co-housing that supports innovative approaches to land management. Hear their vision for a co-sufficient community farm managed according to the principles of food sovereignty and agreocology, and how they’re enabling aspiring landworkers to access training on topics such as mushroom cultivation, renewable energy and natural building.

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Join Plunkett Foundation Community Business Manager Alison Macklin for a discussion about stocking refill products and reducing packaging waste, featuring a 20-minute video presentation from pioneers in zero waste retail, Unpackaged and drawing on examples from a number of community businesses. This session will explore:

  • What are the considerations of introducing zero waste and refill products and how has Covid-19 affected this retail model?
  • How can community businesses reduce packaging waste?
  • What role can community businesses play in promoting zero waste living in their local community?

The session will take the format of a 40 minute presentation followed by a Q&A/discussion.

Book here to secure your place

Join Tessa Tricks from environmental charity Hubbub to discover ways in which your community business can minimise food waste, and encourage your local community to reduce food waste too. This session will explore:

  • How can community businesses reduce food waste from their own activities?
  • How can community businesses make a positive contribution to raising awareness in their local community?
  • What is a Community Fridge, and how can community business get involved?

The session will take the format of a 30 minute presentation followed by a Q&A/discussion.

Book here to secure your place