First RCAN meeting leaves networkers feeling positive

People left feeling positive after the first RCAN meeting on Wednesday.

Sally, chair of our board, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking Shoosmiths LLP for kindly hosting the meeting in their board room.

Chris, a community representative on the RCCP board, introduced the session and gave an overview of climate change, the strategy and Reading Climate Action Network. See the slides here.

Our feature presentation on Circular Economy, was brilliantly delivered by board member Tracey. This is a new business model which aims to ‘close the loop’ on products so everything made is designed with its repair or reuse in mind. Tracey answered questions from the audience which included one about Kyocera Document Solutions own strategy to deal with business going paperless and the decreasing demand for photocopies. Offering new innovative services and products is, in line with Traceys talk, what Kyocera will do to remain a leader in their field. Presentation available here.

Complementing the concept of circular economy, Rachel Miller from Transition Town Reading, gave an overview of the Reading Repair Café. Running monthly since October 2013, and involving a variety of supporters, especially RLAB, who are keen to offer their technical services to a community of computer users to help fix problems. Fixing textiles to tools, and hoping to incorporate some skill sharing soon, all are welcome to attend the café – cake and coffee available too! Link to more information on the cafe.

Hosts of our meeting, Shoosmiths LLP, introduced its business, its corporate responsibility ethos and legal expertise including helping clients who want to play their part in addressing climate change - renewable energy for example. The firm is a member of RCAN through signing up to our challenges. It has committed to challenges including championing smart meters, making sustainable purchasing choices and supporting local wildlife projects. Nicola Ellen, Corporate Responsibility Consultant, is also helping with the big challenge of communication by joining our Education, Communication & Behaviour Change working group, which is currently focussing on approaching businesses with a message on climate change that will instigate action. See Nicola's slides here.

Lastly, Ben and Tom, RCCP board members, gave an overview on updates of local actions that are helping us mitigate and adapt for climate change. Project leaders were invited to plug their projects, including Reading Sustainability Centre, Alt Reading and WRAPs food waste minimisation program.  This demonstrated the positive action happening locally by a variety of groups, all aiming to make our environment better for everyone. Tom also announced RCCP’s fund available for supporting projects that help us deliver our strategy. See the presentation.

What’s next……

Peter Brett Associates have agreed to host the next RCAN meeting in the autumn, at which we hope to feature an update on research going into creating a local city farm.

The full reports of the progress of the climate change strategy action plan so far will be out in July.

In the meantime, please contact the RCCP board through climate.change@reading.gov.uk if you would like to discuss any idea’s on climate change locally or want to get more involved with RCAN.

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