Earth Day 2021

22nd April 2021

The 22 April is marked as Earth Day, and five years ago today the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed by 120 nations. Although global progress has been slow, and at times has gone backwards, action is now accelerating. In the UK and Ireland we have made good progress in transitioning to renewable energy – up from 3% twenty years ago to 44% today. The net zero pledge made by the UK Government, and endorsed by business groups such as the CBI, is encouraging. Later this year, from 1-12 November, the UK will host COP26 in Glasgow – the same international gathering that endorsed the Paris Agreement. There is growing expectation that another landmark accord can be reached.

Yet all of us, as individuals, businesses and organisations, need to step up and play a greater part in creating a sustainable future. Our aspiration for the Linen Quarter is that we should become the most sustainable business district in Northern Ireland, but we need your help to achieve this. Over the next 7 months we will bring together a diverse programme of sustainable projects, and we have employed a new senior member of staff, Dr Ken Bishop, to help lead the delivery.

Some of the key features include:

  • An opportunity to sign up your business to green energy, with Power NI
  • An opportunity to transfer your waste management to River Ridge, who will deliver a greater focus on reducing, recycling, and reusing.
  • Development of a green finance initiative
  • Promotion of improved ESG practices across the District
  • An organisational focused climate action training programme, led by Business in the Community
  • A case study for effective resource use in offices, with lessons that can be applied more widely
  • Producing a guide to more sustainable regeneration and building practices
  • Promoting sustainable tourism
  • Delivering a “festival of the circular economy” with opportunities for organisations to showcase their own products, services, or research.

In addition, we have agreed a programme of events and training opportunities with Cycling UK – details of which are contained in today’s e-newsletter. We are also powering ahead with projects to¬†deliver new street-based interventions to improve green and social spaces.

Some organisations are already active in this space – in which case please share your initiatives with us as we would love to know. Many others want to be more active but need some guidance on what steps to take. We hope these projects will accelerate action and provide support for both groups. And if you are not yet thinking about what your organisation should do, then we hope you get inspired to join in.

By working together, we can renew the Linen Quarter as a sustainable district, and collectively play our part in creating a cleaner, more balanced, and carbon neutral planet.

Keen to work together? Please contact chris@linenquarter.org to get started.