Zero Carbon Guildford has been shortlisted for a national award by The Climate Coalition in the Innovative UK Community Project category.
The awards are to be announced on February 27 at the Houses of Parliament.
Steph Bleach, one of the operations team at the charity Zero Carbon Guildford, said: “We are really chuffed to be nominated. It shows that community collaboration, volunteer power and strong vision for a sustainable future can really make an impact. Wish us luck.”
Zero Carbon Guildford has quickly established itself as a significant influence in the town since it opened its doors to the public just over a year ago in November 2021.
Apart from claiming to be the biggest volunteer organisation town, it has started a number of initiatives aimed at developing a “community-led climate action plan”.
One of these is the Sustainable Business Network, a joint venture with the University of Surrey, which so far has helped more than 50 local businesses make plans to hit net zero carbon targets. Another is the Water Rangers who monitor the River Wey with the aim to work with Thames Water and others to improve the water quality in the river running through the borough.
The community fridge in the centre alone distributes to residents around a tonne of food away from being wasted.
The Guildford charity has attracted interest from around the country and even internationally. A spokesperson said: “35 groups from across the UK visited Zero to pick our brains and share experience in how to get similar projects off the ground. Last year we featured on a US television channel and in a Japanese magazine.
“Although only two people can go to parliament to represent us, we could probably fill all 650 MPs seats in the Commons with the people who have got us to this point.
“This truly is a community project, and what a great community it is. Thank you.”
The Climate Coalition is a group of more than 130 organisations including the National Trust, Women’s Institute, Oxfam, and RSPB. They say they are “reaching across the UK to show our love for all the things we want to protect from climate change, and to ask politicians to put aside their differences and commit to doing whatever is necessary to protect them.”