Latest News and Events

LCMB Ultimate Business Guide

LCMB Ultimate Business Guide

Posted on 9th June 2017

LCMB Building Performance specialists, a Low Carbon Oxford pathfinder organisation, have published a guide that provides businesses with a structured framework for improving businesses overall performance through estates management. Their aim is to help ensure that buildings and associated budgets deliver the best possible impact for business, their customers and their staff.

Businesses are striving harder than ever to hold on to a sustainable competitive advantage, and attract customers and staff – often while reducing cost.

For most UK businesses buildings are the second biggest expense after staff and present a huge cost saving potential, as confirmed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Any savings from reduced building running costs will drop straight to the bottom line.

Many businesses fail to recognise the tremendous impact – positive or negative – that buildings have on their efficiency, competitive positioning and growth. Businesses that have configured their buildings to align with a robust overall strategy have seen dramatic improvements to their competitive advantage, cost base, finances and environmental sustainability. These benefits may take some time to realise, but can be deep and transformational.

Ignore at your peril the need for a clear plan to optimise your buildings and estate to support your business.

Businesses taking this path should begin by considering the most relevant drivers of change, such as:

Competition and productivity: businesses compete fiercely to attract, impress and inspire customers and staff and stay ahead of their competition. Buildings are often an overlooked and untapped resource that can deliver competitive and productivity improvements.

Increased expectations: customers are increasingly demanding, and businesses should identify how buildings can help them meet and exceed these demands.

Cost advantage: the cost of acquiring and operating real estate continues to rise, with operational and energy costs increasing faster than the rate of inflation. Implementing approaches to deliver better value for money will help a business be more cost competitive.

Rapid pace of change: the pace of technological change in markets and businesses means there’s an opportunity to use buildings and technologies much more imaginatively to support operations and objectives.


Find out more and download the guide from their website:


Oxford Green Week is nearly here!

Posted on 20th April 2017

Oxford Green Week is an annual city-wide festival which uses culture, creativity and community to inspire local people to take action on climate change.

It’s an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of leading sustainable organisations in our city.

Oxford Green Week started in 2014 with the name Low Carbon Oxford Week and has been become and bigger and better event every year since then – we estimate that over 40,000 people visited events during the 2016 festival. For 2017 we are changing the name of the festival to Oxford Green Week to give it a broader appeal and a title that more easily explains what it’s all about. Oxford Green Week will take place from Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 June 2017 with a big public launch event taking place on Broad Street on Saturday 10 June – the Big Green Day Out!

Visit the official festival website for more details about how to get involved.

LCMB guide for higher education estate management

LCMB guide for higher education estate management

Posted on 13th April 2017

Pathfinder LCMB offer building performance expertise. Their work with a number of universities has shown that Estates Managers are often expected to manage increasingly complex estate operations in laboratories and high tech facilities.  At the same time, safety and compliance requirements are becoming ever more challenging. They also have to factor in a range of different student experience requirements.

LCMB could not find a single guide that provides UK universities with a structured framework for approaching these pressures, so they’ve written their own. The guide takes estate managers through a four steps process to assess, measure, prioritise and take action.

The guide is designed as an estates management and transformation framework to help UK universities;

  • Have more productive, satisfied students and staff
  • Enhance their reputation, and be more impressive in a competitive environment
  • Become more cost and energy efficient
  • Get ready for future demands

Estates professionals at King’s College London and University of the Arts London have praised the guide: “excellent … succinct, challenging and useful”, and Sustainability West Midlands say: “We commend LCMB! …functional and easy to follow, diagrammatic and challenging”.”

Find out more and download the guide from their website:


Low Carbon Oxford Annual Event on Tuesday 28 March

Low Carbon Oxford Annual Event on Tuesday 28 March

Posted on 9th March 2017

You are warmly invited to the Annual Low Carbon Oxford Event from 7pm-9pm on Tuesday 28 March.

This year’s event is at the Vaults and Garden Cafe’s – winner of the first ever Most Sustainable Restaurant Award in the 2016 Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards. The event will feature a keynote speech from owner Will Pouget on his approach to running a sustainable business.

The LCO Annual Event will gather Pathfinder organisations and friends welcome new members, connect with peers, share successes and look forward to the coming year. It will also feature the long-awaited launch of the Route Map to 2020 report which sets out how the city can meet its target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.

Click here to register and secure your place

She is Sustainable comes to Oxfordshire

She is Sustainable comes to Oxfordshire

Posted on 3rd February 2017

On Thursday 16th and Friday 17th Mar 2017, Low Carbon Oxford is bringing She is Sustainable (SiS) to Oxfordshire, and hosting a two-day workshop and networking event for local women working in sustainability.

Kick-started by Becky Willis, Solitaire Townsend and others in London in 2016, there have been a number of She is Sustainable events around the country – and feeling inspired, we’ve decided it’s something which would benefit our community too.

Full details of the event are here – sign up closes on Friday 10 February.

Your Green Future careers event in Oxfordshire seeks local support

Your Green Future careers event in Oxfordshire seeks local support

Posted on 29th November 2016

We are very excited to announce that we are working with Severn Wye Energy Agency to bring the popular Your Green Future careers event to Oxfordshire next spring. The Oxfordshire Your Green Future event will take place at the Kings Centre in Osney on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 April 2017 and we are looking for a wide range of local organisations to support the running of this event.

Your Green Future (YGF) is an interactive event which engages school students between 12-18 years old with the low carbon economy and their potential role in creating this through their career choices. The project emerges from the background challenges of youth unemployment, skills shortages and the need to develop low carbon, resilient communities

Your organisation could support one of the interactive workshops and provide a staff member to work with a team of students and support them in undertaking an interactive challenge (think Dragon’s Den!), or you could be part of the interactive exhibition hall. For a more lasting impact your business could consider sponsoring the event or a part of it – a full sponsorship package is available on request. Click here to see a review of the latest YGF event in West of England and get an idea of how the event works and how you can benefit from being involved.

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities and how your organisation can get involved contact Karen Robinson from Severn Wye on 01452 835060.

Living Grid interactive workshop with Forum For The Future

Living Grid interactive workshop with Forum For The Future

Posted on 15th November 2016

Do you know that, in 2015, we paid £90 million to wind farms not to produce electricity when the wind blew, because the surge of power would be too much for the grid to handle.  Or that many of our power stations spend half their lives turned off because they’re only needed when the demand for electricity is high? 

Stephen Clarke from Open Energi presenting at the Living Grid workshop

Stephen Clarke from Open Energi presenting at the Living Grid workshop

Low Carbon Oxford members were invited to an interactive workshop with Forum for the Future this month to find out more about the Living Grid, about emerging opportunities in demand-side management and opportunities for getting involved.  The workshop was run by sustainability NGO Forum for the Future, who are conveners of the Living Grid.   They were joined by Open Energi, who are the first technology partner involved in the project.

W Lucy & Co Ltd kindly hosted the event at their Eagle Works headquarters in Jericho on Monday 28 November.

Click here to download the slide presentation from the workshop.

More information on the Living Grid…

The design of our electricity network is the most significant factor in shaping our energy future because it influences the amount and mix of power that’s needed to keep the lights on.  The design of our current grid is tailor-made for providing secure and affordable energy from fossil fuels.  As we try to decarbonise the grid, adding renewable energy to a system designed to optimise fossil fuels is presenting challenges.

The Living Grid is a community of pioneering organisations who’re coming together to spark a change in the design of our existing grid to make it more efficient, resilient and perfectly adapted for renewable energy, using demand-side management.  We’re adopting demand-side technologies to form a new energy system that that takes inspiration from nature to deliver, store and use electricity.  Can the same design principles that govern complex living ecosystems help us adapt our network for managing flows of renewable energy?  Can the same principles that keep ecosystems in a state of dynamic equilibrium, help us adapt the controls we use to keep the supply and demand for electricity across our grid in dynamic balance?   We aim to find out.

If you have any questions about the Living Grid project please email Gemma Adams from Forum for the Future.

Carbon Trust #Green Business Fund workshop

Carbon Trust #Green Business Fund workshop

Posted on 19th October 2016

Free workshop for Small and Medium-sized businesses in Oxford

Tuesday 15 November, 9.30-12pm, Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund is a brand new energy efficiency support service for small and medium-sized companies in England, Wales and Scotland. It provides direct funded support through energy assessments, training workshops, equipment procurement support and up to £10,000 capital contribution towards your energy saving equipment purchase.

Read More…

Oxford City Council wins £51,000 to continue heat network research

Posted on 18th October 2016

Oxford City Council has won a further £51,000 research funding after proving that there is a commercial case for installing a heat network under the city – and that it could reduce the city’s carbon emissions by more than 20 per cent.

The City Council has been investigating the possible benefits of installing a network of pipes under city centre and Headington areas to allow buildings to share highly-efficient methods of generating electricity and heat with neighbours.

Read More…

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