M-SParc, Wales’ first science park, is tackling climate change and aiming to be the first NetZero Science Park in the UK by 2030. Having already established its carbon footprint over the past year, the roadmap to NetZero is now in place and M-SParc is in the delivery phase. The company has ambitions to lead the way not only regionally but nationally on the rote to NetZero.
Rhodri Daniel, Low Carbon officer at M-SParc says “NetZero means reducing and offsetting the carbon emissions from the company’s activities. It’s about M-SParc as a business – the building, travel, consumables, and all our individual actions. Showing it is possible to reach NetZero will inspire not only our community of 82 tenant companies (virtual and physical), but SMEs and public organizations across north Wales and beyond.”
The ‘Egni’ (Energy) team at M-SParc was established to support the ever-increasing demand for low carbon energy activities in north Wales, and leading M-SParc to NetZero is part of their remit. To date, a full review of the current carbon emissions has been undertaken, further solar panels installed on site and more electric vehicle charging points are in the pipeline. This is only the beginning, and a roadmap is in place to achieve the 2030 goal.
The team is also taking the community on this journey. At events held at M-SParc, and even further afield in the National Eisteddfod this year, the Team has been encouraging people to write their ‘carbon pledge’ - suggesting what they can do to save the planet. Their most recent campaign, ‘Diffodd y Sparc’ (extinguish the sparc), was launched in September 2022, encouraging M-SParc tenants to join the Net Zero 2030 journey. Pledges included turning off all plugs and monitors at the end of the working day, turning down radiators in their offices and wearing their custom Diffodd y Sparc hoodies in the winter months!
Furthermore, the team has been offering fully funded low carbon reviews to companies in Gwynedd and Conwy, to help them lower their own emissions. 12 SMEs in sectors as varied as tourist attractions, art galleries, and even funeral directors have received their own roadmap to reducing their carbon output.
The M-SParc 2030 roadmap also considers practical ways to help the community fight the cost-of-living crisis. A community heat gun is available to borrow from M-SParc, so businesses and the community can see where heat is escaping their home and take action, thereby reducing energy usage and cost. This has been received with great success, with businesses and the public benefiting enormously.
Pryderi ap Rhisiart, Managing Director, said “As an business becoming Net Zero by 2030 is a leading principle, and a further core principle is bringing our community with us on this journey. We want to be innovators in the field, to use M-SParc as a living lab to test and develop new products which will get us to Net Zero and to inspire organisations and communities across Wales to reach carbon neutrality.”
To educate people further, the Egni team are conducting a series of lunchtime events as part of their Egni series. They will be sharing the research and projects they work on in an online seminar for half an hour on the last Tuesday of every month!
Rhodri Daniel concluded “While working to reach NetZero 2030, we want to ensure as many companies as possible can learn from the work we’re undertaking, being exemplars in the region. Wales can lead the way. We encourage others to join our events, and want to hear from other businesses who want to collaborate on the goal alongside us. Together, we can respond to the climate emergency.”