Edinburgh is first UK city to launch BT carbon club initiative to tackle climate change

A network of carbon clubs could be launched across Edinburgh to enlist citizens in the battle to save energy and tackle climate change.

The City of Edinburgh Council is the first local authority in the UK to adopt an innovative carbon club scheme pioneered by BT.

The council will set up clubs at five diverse city sites as the first stage in a project which, if successful, could be extended right across Edinburgh.

They are: the council's Waverley Court Headquarters; City Chambers in the historic High Street; Currie High School; and Murrayburn and Bankhead Depots, which house environmental, refuse and repair services and road services.

BT has created a web site where council employees can form their own clubs and will manage the site during the pilot. Club members can access a library of information and energy savings tips, build their own micro-sites and pledge to undertake actions that will reduce their impact on the environment.

Council leader Councillor Jenny Dawe said: "I'm delighted that the council is leading the way in implementing best practice through the UK's first Carbon Club pilot with BT. The concept offers staff the chance to make a real difference through generating cost, and carbon, savings for the organisation.

"We are committed to reducing Edinburgh's carbon footprint to zero by 2050. That will mean changing behaviour and putting good environmental practice at the core of all activity across the city.

"We will all need to work together if Edinburgh is to succeed in its environmental aims and I look forward to working closely with BT and the wider business community in rolling-out the Carbon Club concept across the city over the coming months."

BT's carbon club initiative was launched in June 2007 as a way to bring people together to work on carbon reduction initiatives. The company now has more than 130 clubs in operation and more than 14,000 pledges have been made.

The clubs are involved in an array of initiatives, from recycling and saving money through greener living to running a light bulb library and smart meter lending service, working with wildlife and community groups and providing electric scooters for use at one of its larger sites.

Each club has the flexibility to focus on its own chosen area of interest. It's on a voluntary basis, with no set time commitment, and members have access to BT resources, such as conferencing facilities.

Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said "We have done a lot of work with our people internally to foster a culture that puts environmental issues at the heart of our business, and extends into the home too.

"Open collaboration across Scotland's public, private and voluntary sectors is the only way we can meet the tough environmental challenges that lie ahead. The City of Edinburgh Council is to be applauded, not only for setting itself extremely stretching targets but for being at the forefront of action."

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