OxLEP urge businesses from around the county to share their views on sustainability and energy efficiency, as they launch new business survey ahead of COP26

With less then a month to go until the beginning of COP26 fortnight, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership have launched a new survey to help better-understand the county’s business community’s attitudes towards the drive to a zero-carbon future.

TAKE THE SURVEY NOW

Oxfordshire businesses have been invited to complete the Attitudes to Sustainability and Energy Efficiency’ business survey, launched today (Friday 1 October) by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP).

The survey comes less than a month prior to this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26), taking place from 31 October to 12 November.

The event is being hosted by the UK in Glasgow with the conference set to bring together governments, decision makers, climate change negotiators and the civil society, with the aim of accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, set in 2015.

More locally – through its new survey – OxLEP is targeting businesses of all sectors and sizes across the county, aiming to better-understand attitudes towards sustainability, the climate emergency, potential commercial opportunities, as well as finding out the type of support businesses feel they need to become cleaner and greener.

The questionnaire takes just five minutes to complete, requesting answers to statements including; ‘I am happy with my business‘ current level of commitment to helping to address the climate emergency’ and ‘My business has considered the potential commercial opportunities open to us through engaging with the low carbon sector’.

Participants will rank each statement on a ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’ scale with the survey closing at 5pm on 20 October.

The survey comes just months after OxLEP – alongside the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute and leading sustainability organisation Bioregional – published the ‘Pathways to a Zero Carbon Oxfordshire’ report, highlighting practical steps as to how Oxfordshire can achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxfordshire’s low carbon energy sector generated around £1.15bn a year and over the past half-decade, the county has attracted £2bn in foreign direct investment in this field.

OxLEP – alongside private sector, public sector and academic partners – also launched the county’s Energy Strategy in November 2019, which outlined how a further £1.35bn could be added annually to the Oxfordshire economy, creating at least 11,000 new jobs in the low-carbon sector by 2030.

Ahmed Goga – OxLEP’s Director of Strategy and Programmes – said: “Ahead of the world’s biggest-ever climate change conference, through our business survey, we want to ensure our business community are as engaged as possible with the event and climate change more generally.

“The monumental challenge posed by climate change is one that needs to be embraced by everyone and businesses across the UK will play a major role in supporting the UK’s net-zero ambitions – with this in mind, it’s extremely important for OxLEP to understand our business community’s views even more comprehensively.

“Our latest business survey offers the opportunity for us to build an even greater understanding as to where the measures and priorities set out in the ‘Pathways to a Zero Carbon Oxfordshire’ report – and the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy – align with those of our business community.

“There is a huge number of projects within the county already making a positive environmental impact, bolstered by a strong sense of social justice, diversity and innovative thinking. These values reflect the kind of approach to a zero-carbon future that we hope to encourage across Oxfordshire.”