Effort to reduce carbon emissions takes – to the road?

A partnership between Upturn and energy company SSE Energy Solutions will result in good green messages being spread to households – via Upturn’s new van.

It may seem like a strange way to cut car emissions but a partnership between social enterprise Upturn and energy company SSE Energy Solutions will result in good green messages being spread to households – via Upturn’s new van.

A brand-new “Buzz” vehicle will tour parts of the borough to both engage with vulnerable youngsters and popularise the kind of straightforward advice that will help everyone in Oldham contribute to its Net Zero target.

That will see brighter job prospects for young people and the amount of harmful gases going into the air being balanced by their removal from the atmosphere.

And the Oldham van partnership is a real trailblazer – says Upturn Co-founder, Anwar Ali OBE – because it is the first scheme of its kind outside of London or any other area in the UK.

“The whole idea of this enterprise is to stop relying on donations and instead get businesses to make caring for their community part of their DNA,” said Anwar. “It is entirely in their interest to back work placement programmes to fill skills gaps, arts and sports inclusion to shrink crime, health initiatives to reduce sickness and great green messages to everyone; to end the catastrophic disruption climate change is doing to the global economic system.”

The vehicle, which will tour disadvantaged areas of the borough, will be emblazoned with Net Zero messages, and has space inside for environmental presentations – courtesy of a leading generator of renewable electricity and one of the largest electricity network companies in the UK – SSE Energy Solutions.

“We saw a lot of synergy with Upturn and share with them a mission to encourage awareness of carbon emissions and deliver a sustainable local support chain for communities in Oldham” said Nehal Metha, Director of the Regions and Social Value for SSE Energy Solutions. “We believe this is the start of an exciting and innovative partnership that can operate in Oldham – and beyond.”

Estimates show that UK business donates a combined £230 million in cash and in-kind donations to charities and social causes annually. But whilst philanthropy is always welcome, working with and creating long-term social change need a new approach in resources, funding and also changes the mindset, making communities more immersed in their sense of place.

The deal between Upturn and SSE Energy Solutions was welcomed by Cabinet Member for Business, Employment and Enterprise at Oldham Council, Fida Hussain.

Councillor Hussain concluded: “I will give this partnership all the backing I can from our Oldham end, as I believe this will help our economy and our environment thrive. Net Zero for Oldham by 2030 is the target and we will only achieve this if the talent of Oldham comes together – and works together.”