Landmark national initiative to help people reduce Great Britain’s carbon footprint by 2012
Leading British athletes sign up as ambassadors for the initiative
EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, announces the inaugural Green Britain Day, taking place on 10 July 2009.
An annual event, Green Britain Day is a focal point for people to take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle. The landmark initiative aims to inspire the nation to work together and lower Great Britain’s carbon footprint by the time the Olympic and Paralympic Games arrive in London in 2012. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing us and EDF Energy believes that we can only tackle the issues we face by ensuring that all of us act together now.
Using the inspiration of London 2012, EDF Energy is encouraging people, including schools around Britain, to ‘do something green for the team’ on Green Britain Day, creating a wave of tangible action across Britain.
People are invited to join Team Green Britain (teamgreenbritain.org), a community aimed at harnessing the power of collective action. Developed in association with the Eden Project, the website suggests new actions to take on Green Britain Day. The innovative website features five areas of interest – Home and Garden, Food, Lifestyle, Travel and Money – with teams within each, offering practical and effective ways to live lower carbon lives. Team Green Britain will provide ongoing support to help people make long-term, low-carbon lifestyle changes on the journey to 2012 and beyond.
The pioneering initiative has the backing of a number of high profile Olympic and Paralympic athletes who share EDF Energy’s vision for a more sustainable future. They are working with EDF Energy to help get people across Great Britain taking action on Green Britain Day and joining Team Green Britain. They include:
- James Cracknell, OBE, double Olympic gold medallist, rowing
- Victoria Pendleton, MBE, Olympic gold medallist and World Champion, track cycling
- Eleanor Simmonds, MBE, Britain’s youngest ever Paralympic gold medallist, swimming
- Tom James, MBE, part of the Beijing 2008 coxless four gold medal winning rowing team
- Louis Smith, winner of GB’s first individual gymnastics Olympic medal in 100 years
Green Britain Day itself will see a wave of activity across the country. Hundreds of schools are set to hold events inviting people from the local community into schools to be inspired by the efforts pupils and teachers have already made to make their schools more sustainable. There will also be public events in towns and cities across the country, encouraging people to take action. And the day will culminate in a spectacular concert at The Eden Project starring music legend Paul Weller (Best British Male Solo Artist at the 2009 Brit Awards) and the critically acclaimed Florence and the Machine (Critic’s Choice at the 2009 Brit Awards).
Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, said:
“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing us. As an energy company, EDF Energy has a responsibility to be at the heart of the solution to climate change and we have the expertise to help people use their energy more efficiently.
EDF Energy is now the largest producer of low-carbon electricity in the UK and we have already rolled out over the last two years ‘Our Climate and Social Commitments’, the biggest package of sustainability initiatives announced by any UK energy company. But we also need to help people reduce their own carbon footprint.
“As the First Sustainability Partner of London 2012, we want to harness the power of the Games to bring people together across communities to take collective action against climate change. Green Britain Day is designed to be a focal point for people to take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle, inspired by the historic milestone of 2012. We see Green Britain Day as an ongoing opportunity for Britain to lead the world in the fight against climate change.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, the organising committee for London 2012, commented:
“London 2012 is all about using the power of the Games to inspire change and it’s fantastic to see EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of London 2012, taking this on in their activation. The Green Britain Day campaign is a great way for people to come together and make a difference.
“Sustainability underpins our planning for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It will be a key part of our legacy and Team Green Britain will, I hope, grow as we head towards 2012 and live on after the Games have gone.”
Tim Smit, Chief Executive and co-founder of the Eden Project, added: “The Eden Project shares EDF Energy’s vision that environmental change must go hand in hand with social change. We need a culture that knows how to sustain the things that sustain us.
“Tackling climate change is about more than individual action; it’s about people working together and learning from each other to make a collective difference. The Eden Project is proud to be a founder member of Team Green Britain and is looking forward to working with EDF Energy to encourage the nation to find a positive future in the face of radical change.”
The initiative has the support of the Government, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat Party as well as the Mayor of London. The Energy and Climate Change Minister, Joan Ruddock MP stated:
“London’s Olympics are more than a sporting event; they’re an opportunity to inspire our communities across the UK into action, and there’s no greater challenge than climate change. The smallest changes to our daily lives can add up to a big difference – so I encourage everyone to do something green for the team by joining Team Green Britain.”
Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, concluded:
“EDF Energy is committed to realising a lower carbon future. We believe Green Britain Day and Team Green Britain will give people the inspiration, the knowledge and the support they need to change today for a lower carbon tomorrow.”
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