Global Policy, Local Projects

Community Carbon Reduction (CCR) mobilises people to work together on reducing the risks of climate change. Our focus is on stimulating individuals and organisations to engage with programmes that deliver zero carbon technologies and behaviours (however they choose to define that) using methods of Collective Action. By mobilising demand for solutions, we enhance programmes supplying those solutions.

CCR is a social enterprise provided by Cambridge Science and Policy Consulting. Our free support is provided at the scale of communities, meaning cities, neighborhoods, large organisations (such as universities) and residential or business complexes. We focus there because this is the scale of action where individuals - working together - can have the greatest impact.

We offer this support in three areas:

Low Carbon Behavior

Low Carbon Buildings

Low Carbon Energy

We do not directly design solutions or deliver projects in these three areas. Many others are already hard at work on that. Rather, we stimulate demand for and participation in existing programmes so their solutions diffuse out into the community and deliver 'at scale'. To paraphrase an old BASF slogan:

We don't make the low carbon solutions you buy, we make the low carbon solutions you buy better.

Why do we focus on demand?

Policies and projects can focus on supply or demand (or both). Governments and the market often focus on supply; for example, creating low carbon energy generation or the infrastructure to deliver high efficiency buildings. This is sufficient in cases such as decarbonising the national grid where the demand for electricity is already in place. But in most cases, demand for a low carbon solution must be increased before the supply can operate effectively or efficiently. In the policy world, we call this the uptake rate of the solution, or the percentage of people who actually do what the policy intended. With a low uptake rate, even the most well intentioned low carbon project will eventually go to the wall.

For this reason, CCR support is designed to stimulate demand in communities, giving suppliers assurance that if they invest in a solution, people will buy it.

How do we do this?

  • We help you identify, assess and select the best solutions to apply (best for you!), giving pride of place to locally developed solutions

  • We help you locate and join projects delivering those solutions in your community; and we help project owners attract customers through the door

  • We help you understand how your behaviour influences performance of a solution, so you can help give it the best chance of success

  • We help you create and maintain a social network to encourage everyone in the community to get behind this path forward and drive demand

The guidance you will find here uses examples from Cambridge in the UK, as this is where we live. But our approach to carbon reduction can be applied in communities anywhere in the world with a commitment to reducing the risks of climate change.

One site, three sections

There are three sections of this website, reached through the horizontal navigation bar at the top:

  • Community Carbon Reduction provides background information and ideas for carbon reduction

  • Project Cambridge shows how those ideas were applied in the Cambridge Retrofit programme

  • Taking Action contains templates for community mobilisation to reduce carbon

You will find the 'markers' for these three sections in the upper left corner of each page, helping you understand which section you are in at any time. When you are ready to move forward, it is time to visit the Taking Action section.

Steps to success

Our process of community mobilization for low carbon projects has six steps:

  1. Assessment - measuring where your emissions currently stand, and where you hope to be

  2. Buyers Collective - organising potential project participants to create demand

  3. Sellers Market - putting up signposts for goods, services and projects on offer

  4. Events - bringing the community together to identify new projects and celebrate success

  5. Sponsors - hearing from community thought leaders and influencers

  6. Posting Board - getting your voice heard on supply and demand for projects

This site contains templates for these steps which can be used in any community. These are based on Project Cambridgeshire and can be found on that part of this site. Feel free to use the templates for your own community programme, replacing the data and images to reflect your local situation.

How can we help?

You can visit our services either through the following hotlinks or using the horizontal navigation bar.

The Learning Centre
Project You

And now for something completely different...

This video was produced by the Vatican for the Pope's 2015 encyclical on the responsibility to reduce the risks of climate change, featuring the leader of the CCR. It is a global call to action for governments, businesses, communities and individuals world-wide. Just turn your speakers on and click the arrow to begin the video.

Learn how CCR helped develop the principles of community carbon reduction in Cambridge UK through the video below. It is a movie of about 9 minutes featuring the launch of Cambridge Retrofit.