Oxfordshire businesses inspire each other to greener futures

Businesses in Oxfordshire continue to sign up to a countywide project, working together to promote sustainable economic recovery in the region.

Published: Wednesday, 31st March 2021

Oxfordshire Greentech was created by Cherwell District Council’s Bicester Delivery Team, in partnership with sustainability experts Bioregional, to help foster business networks and enable green economic growth.

Since it was established in April 2018, with match funding from Cherwell District Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), more than 50 events have been arranged attracting 150 members, with the organisation becoming a ‘Limited Company’ on 30th January 2019.

Robert Jolley, Assistant Director for Growth and Economy at Cherwell District Council said: “when Cherwell declared a climate emergency, we made a commitment that our own operations would be net zero carbon by 2030. But we also made a promise to lead by example, to help others to take the right steps in  reducing their impact on the environment. Oxfordshire Greentech is an important part of making this happen.”

Oxfordshire Greentech Ltd operates out of Cherwell District Council’s Eco Business Centre in Bicester, the first non-residential Passivhaus Plus building in the UK offering zero carbon offices and coworking space.

The facility is part of the eco-town development in north west Bicester, where the principle of providing one job per household, within the site, is written into the masterplan. Building-in employment sites alongside residential areas is a further example of Cherwell’s innovative way of tackling climate change, by reducing the distance people need to travel to get to work.

Growth in Bicester is further enabling sustainable economic recovery by the provision of space for green tech companies to flourish. Zeta Automotive is based in Bicester, providing green technology for the countywide roll-out of electric vehicle charging hubs, following a pilot in Bicester’s Cattle Market carpark. Whilst electric van manufacturer and vehicle developer, Arrival, has recently moved to their new plant in the town, where it will develop and build electric delivery vans for the American shipping and logistics company UPS.

Oxfordshire Greentech has benefitted from a sister network, Cambridge Cleantech, which launched in 2002. Together, these networks reinforce the green knowledge spine along the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. Companies who become a member of Oxfordshire Greentech automatically become a member of its counterpart in Cambridgeshire, offering the opportunity to network with other like-minded organisations within the OxCam corridor.

While the planned expressway to connect the two varsity towns has recently been cancelled by the Government, climate tech companies can continue to provide a free-flow of sustainable ideas through the Oxfordshire Greentech – Cambridge Cleantech alliance.