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Marketplace sessions were presented by a diverse range of speakers, from across research, business and enterprise, local government, NGOs and community based action groups. Presentations related to one or more of the Forum's key themes, lasting 25 minutes including Q&A.


Marketplace Session 1 | 24 June, 11:10–12:00

Green Minds

Presented by the University of Plymouth's Dr Sian Rees, Professor Katharine Willis, Eva McGrath and Jemma Sharman  

Green Minds is funded by the ERDF Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) programme. This EU initiative provides urban areas with resources to test innovative solutions to address urban challenges, see how these work in practice and respond to the complexity of real life. Green Minds is led by Plymouth City Council’s Environment Planning Service in partnership with the University of Plymouth, National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, The Data Place, the Real Ideas Organisation and Plymouth College of Art.

The Green Minds project aims to put nature at the heart of decision-making and inspire a new wave of citywide investment in nature-based solutions. This means fundamentally challenging our existing attitudes and behaviours towards nature: how we think about it; how we engage with it; how we work with it. In this market place session, we will bring together the Green Minds delivery partners to share some of our approaches, practices and learning to date; and deliver a participatory session to further discuss challenges and develop best practice within urban rewilding for people and places. We want to explore: 

  • How nature based solutions can improve attitudes, reduce health inequalities and increase connectedness to nature across communities
  • The social value that an increase in nature provides to the city; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the value of nature
  • Pathways that develop skills, knowledge and practices which work with nature
  • How working with nature can influence the health and motivation levels of the land management workforce new co-stewardship approaches to land management which provide a better outcome for people and nature.

EcoClipper – Sailing for the Future

Presented by Captain Jorne Langelaan, EcoClipper     

EcoClipper is a sustainable shipping company that looks to develop a fleet of innovative sailing ships. These vessels will transport cargo, passengers and trainees around the world. This presentation will touch upon the state of conventional transport, how past sailing ship designs and business structures can influence the future of shipping, the sail cargo industry today and EcoClipper's plans and ship design.

Maritime shipping produces 3% of the global greenhouse gasses per year. Over the last year, there have been increasing calls for a transition to fossil-fuel free technology in shipping and travel. This technology has already been designed and used successfully. Using traditional sail power, sailing ships use only the wind to move cargo across oceans. Already, sailing vessels are successfully shipping cargo in different areas of the world. The market for this type of transport is increasing as businesses and customers demand sustainable alternatives.

EcoClipper will help to scale up the sail cargo industry and introduce larger ships, with 500 tonnes of cargo and accommodation for 36 trainees and 12 passengers. The long-term goal is to also have multiple ships on four different shipping routes: Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific, Eastern and Global. The talk will also touch upon the design of the EcoClipper500, the first ship to be built by the company. It is based on the successful Dutch clipper ship Noach, built in 1857. This ship will be fully-rigged for maximum propulsion, will be engineless and will have innovative on-board power systems such as solar, wind turbines and a biodigester for cooking gas.

Addressing the development of future technology in the maritime sector with practical sustainability

Presented by Mr James Thomas, JET Engineering System Solutions     

A short overview of the work we are doing to address the development of future technology in the maritime sector with practical sustainability. This includes 5G networking, generation of data for AI interpretation and sustainable manufacturing (flax fibre maritime assets).

Creating spaces for people – zero-emission shared mobility for all

Presented by Mr Mark Hodgson, Co-cars LTD

Fundamentally for sustainable livelihoods, we need spaces for people to live work play and fun in healthy community based zero-carbon environments. Our current economic system and transport modes do not enable that, with busy cities and towns full of noisy emission-based transport. Yet our cars are only used 4% of the time. What if we shared our mobility, freeing up the 40–50% of space we allocate to road transport in cities (roads and car parks) for people?

Co-cars is the largest on-demand shared mobility provider in the far South West. We provide shared hybrid and EV cars and the UK's first shared e-bike network along with e-cargo bikes and vans. We enable people to only pay for when they use the cars or bikes, saving time, money and space. One Co-cars vehicle takes between seven to ten cars off the road. What would your street look like if ten cars disappeared? It would also give access to e-mobility to all, not just the rich. The South West has one of the most inequitable transport systems in the UK, creating transport poverty. The presentation will raise these issues and how Co-cars plays its part in overcoming these in neighbourhoods, new developments and cities by creating zero-emission mobility. This will create a more circular shared equitable mobility and environment.

Impact of ventilation on health and wellbeing of ethnic minority households while racing towards the 2050 carbon target

Presented by Dr Satish BK, University of Plymouth     

Indoor air quality directly impacts the health and wellbeing of occupants. Air quality in homes is increasingly responsible for respiratory issues associated with nitrogen dioxide emitted from heating. The housing sector is responsible for around 27% of carbon emissions therefore to hit the 2050 carbon target, achieving an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions, new homes need to be built to ‘2050’ ready standards. This will mean homes are built with high insulation and controlled ventilation, with no or limited window openings for natural ventilation, to avoid heat loss. The success of these highly insulated houses is determined by many factors including occupants’ lifestyle.

Recent Government reports published in Jan 2021 indicates overcrowded housing as well as multigenerational households as key reasons for higher morbidity and death rate among the BAME community. There is an urgent need for research into the performance of highly energy-efficient homes concerning the ventilation systems used and their impact on the health and wellbeing of occupants. This paper presents the results of the survey that seek to understand attitudes and habits in relation to spatial usage and its impact on the health and wellbeing of the British Asian community in Plymouth, UK. The paper suggests there are key areas for future research using ethnographic as well as quantitative techniques to produce tailored strategies for energy conservation in the ethnic minority communities.

Biophilic Design: Buildings and Nature

Presented by Mr Robert Bedner, Cura Design  

The traditional way that most buildings are designed in the West was codified and remains relatively unchanged since the late 19th century, with the role of nature being secondary and supportive. Biophilic design provides a way to better integrate nature into buildings and into the built environment, resulting in both protecting and enhancing the natural world and biodiversity on a site while also increasing physical and mental benefits for users and stakeholders that live in and utilise these spaces. The presentation will include an overview of the biophilic design process in general through case studies and as well examples of ongoing projects carried out by Cura Design.

From Flytipping to Gardening

Presented by Ms Helen Moore, Inner City Seeds

I will present a short presentation on the work I have been doing in Stonehouse as a community gardener running community gardening groups Adelaide Street Angels Gardening Group and now Inner City Seeds. I would like to talk about mental health and how I began gardening and transforming fly tipped areas locally into beautiful tiny urban gardens and the positive effect this has had on myself and my community. I will also share how community gardening has involved so much more than gardening and how local history of the area, creativity and social action are all involved.

The talk will cover what challenges we have faced bringing the community together and finding spaces to use for gardens in the poorer and more urban area of Stonehouse and how community work in itself can be a massive challenge, especially in these areas and to explain the social issues underlining this. I want to leave on a positive that through perseverance and learning about an area and the various problems it may have it can lead to innovative ideas, joyful moments and to overcoming our differences.

Urban transport calculator – quantification of the carbon impacts of the urban transport sector

Presented by Fabian Reitemeyer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Many cities have formulated modest to very ambitious climate aims for the future, expressed in CO2 reduction ambitions. Whatever aim, many cities are uncertain about if and how they can achieve these goals, specially in the transport sector. In order to minimise the uncertainties, we adapt the transport module of the European Calculator to city scale and modify it with a view to urban traffic characteristics. The European Calculator (or EU-Calc) tool is developed in the framework the EU Horizon 2020 project ‘European Calculator: trade-offs and pathways towards sustainable and low-carbon European Societies’. The tool can estimate the effect of a diverse array of sustainability policies that are translated via ‘levers’ or controls for the tool.

The urban transport calculator is developed in the INTERREG project 2050CliMobCity and calculates the carbon impacts of different scenarios. In this specific application, mobility data for base year and future year(s) form the input for the model; these include e.g. modal shares, for each mode the average journey time, the average driving speed per mode and other factors. The model (re-) calculates needed input data via conversion formulas. Subsequently, energy use is related to the transport demand and that in turn to CO2 emissions, both taking into account fuel mix, vehicle types (hybrids), emission factors etc. (and the development in time). The model is capable to analyse the effects of development paths, and thereby also emissions for intermediate years and cumulative emissions over time.

Exploring the sustainability credentials of picture books in primary school classrooms

Presented by Mr James Bettany, University of Plymouth

This project is an exploration of the relationship between storybooks and sustainability in Key Stage 1 primary school classrooms. It is grounded in two core beliefs: first, that story is fundamental to the way human beings make sense of their experiences. Second, that we live in a time of profound global change where new approaches to science communication are needed. The fact that story is a part of daily life for primary school children led to consideration of ways in which such an established cultural practice might promote sustainable thinking.

A case study approach was taken and the books in five schools were surveyed using a rubric designed to identify key sustainability related themes in story books. Ten teachers were also interviewed about how they use story in their classrooms and their views on sustainability. The storybook survey revealed that a large proportion of the books have one or more sustainability themes with environmental considerations being most commonly addressed and sustainable economic concepts such as simple living being less widely recognised. The teachers generally had positive attitude to sustainability and use story in a variety of ways, often very democratically in their classrooms. Less common was a direct connection between story and sustainability. This presentation will review the criteria that can be used to assess the sustainability credentials of any story, then look at its application to one of the picture books identified as being a useful tool for exploring sustainability principles with children.

Sustainability in Procurement – Reinvigorating the local economy through AI

Presented by: Supply Devon

The presentation will provide details of SupplyDevon and the benefits it brings for local businesses and organisations in using the free platform for their procurement and purchasing needs. We’ll explain how the government funded initiative has been set up to match buyer requests to relevant local suppliers through the use of artificial intelligence, developed in partnership with Ghyston and the University of Exeter. We’ll look at the benefits of using SupplyDevon, to include how we’re helping the local community recover from the impacts of covid-19 and boosting the local economy, as well as reducing carbon emissions by avoiding the unnecessary transportation of goods and materials. We will provide a demonstration/walk through of the user friendly platform and explain how the system and the support team can help local businesses save time and money by putting their purchasing requirements through SupplyDevon.

SDGs – why they’re important and why we should be taking action on them

Presented by: Niall Hockey and Chris Woodfield, Low Carbon Devon

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Why are they important? How can we take action on them? Why are they essential in providing a just transition for a zero carbon future?

Join Niall Hockey and Chris Woodfield from the University of Plymouth to explore why the time is now to be taking action on the Sustainable Development Goals and how your business or enterprise can track, record and measure your progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. 

We are in the UN’s Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals and join this marketplace session to learn more about them and the practical solutions-focused tool – the SDG Action Manager. This free resource allows your business to measure your baseline and find out what steps you can take towards the 17 SDGs. The Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for our future and the SDG Action Manager is a vital resource in taking positive steps towards them. 

“Let us take advantage of the opportunities presented by climate action and lay the foundations for a more prosperous and secure future for all” (Ban-Ki Moon, previous UN Secretary General)


Marketplace Session 2 | 24 June, 14:00–14:50

Community Climate Conversations: Plymouth's Climate Cafe

Presented by Alice Walker, Community Climate Conversations  

It’s not always easy talking to friends, family or colleagues about the state of the planet. When we really think about what’s going on, the enormity of the situation can, understandably, bring up lots of emotions. Often, day-to-day, it feels easier to push these away and carry on with ‘business as usual’, particularly if the people we’re around don’t want to talk about it, or only want messages of hope. Sometimes these emotions can feel paralysing, but however you feel about it, it’s good to talk. As Joanna Macy says, “Our pain for the world not only alerts us to danger but also reveals our profound caring. And this caring derives from our interconnectedness with all life. We need not fear it.”

Allowing ourselves the space to acknowledge these difficult emotions can open us up to new understandings of how we can make a difference. Community Climate Conversations are a type of 'climate cafe' – an opportunity for anyone to talk about however they’re feeling about the climate and ecological crises, with no expectation of particular actions or outcomes. This session will be an opportunity to hear about how the group came about, what happens at a climate conversation, and how you can get involved.

Clarence Memorial Strip: Defining place through intervention of memory and nature

Presented by Mr Aaron Walkley, University of Plymouth

Clarence memorial strip is a project based within the north of Stonehouse and flows along the old royal naval hospital boundary wall. The proposal consists of a green ribbon which straddles the five-metre-high wall, currently forming a piece of Stonehouse's historic fabric. This green intervention, using the existing historic fabric as a canvas, marks a symbol of hope and strength we all have exhibited through COVID-19, creating a biophilic landmark in north Stonehouse. Furthermore, the project forms a social catalyst, igniting community engagement post-lockdown restriction through forming an event in which the local community come together in unity to plant the green strip. This project has the intention to define place through community cohesion, symbolism and celebration at an otherwise confining edge. Additionally, the green nature of this proposal provides a foundation for climate awareness. Introducing a green ribbon within Stonehouse, ignites a recognition for nature and climate, which through further campaigns can be utilised for change.

See the proposed project on the Clarence Memorial Strip Facebook group.

Deep Earth Synergies: Art as catalyst for inclusive climate cross-collaboration

Presented by Ms Dominika Glogowski, Deep Earth Synergies  

The traditional two-dimensional transfer of knowledge does not seem to be the most efficient way of raising climate awareness and triggering pro-environmental behaviour. People rarely act upon data and facts received. The abstract notion of climate on a time-space continuum further separates the dangerously envisioned future scenario from current realities, which makes climate change inaccessible. Research reveals how interrelation aspects between humans and the possibility of ‘sensing’ climate change are necessary triggers for an active participation in the debate and action.

The arts and creative processes have the potential to tap those missing gaps and induce knowledge through embodied experience, imagination and intangible communication. To put those actions into motion we need open spaces of interaction, collaboration and exchange. Silo-like approaches in science and the industry make shared exploration and relational encounters difficult. The cross-sectoral arts hub Deep Earth Synergies is thus introducing new, inclusive collaboration methods between those entities through the arts. The cross-sectoral interaction congruently reveals the cross-sectoral dependency in regards to resources, science, society and climate. Each step has a consequence for the other sectors. The presentation will draw upon the arts as an effective enabler of those spaces, generating new forms of ‘knowledge’ that draw upon nexus thinking approaches. The arts as a conduit for society provokes connectivity to earth and innovation and might effectively spark collectively envisioned desirable futures.

The Ocean Organ

Presented by Dr Kate Crawfurd

We will present the Ocean Organ Project, a Creative Associates UOP project produced by Prof Jason Hall-Spencer and Dr Kate Crawfurd. The Ocean Organ is a visual representation of the effects of Ocean Acidification, “the evil twin of climate warming”. The ocean is an often overlooked but vital source and sink of carbon dioxide. Ocean acidification can affect the viability of organisms, particularly shell builders, corals, and various phytoplankton. This interactive, theatrical installation explores and demonstrates the process of ocean acidification and the effect that it can have on ocean organisms.

We are often unaware of the effect that we, as individuals, have on the planet. This demonstration shows very visually that our very breath affects our environment. The food we eat, our cooking, heating, transport, and even the beer we drink changes our atmosphere. But this is mitigated by photosynthetic plants and algae. This balance is crucial for our survival and we need to respect and nurture nature to maintain the balance. Mitigation strategies can be this simple. They can also be more technological, such as direct air carbon capture, but even these seemingly highly advanced strategies are based on natural processes. We will explore some of nature's strategies, as well as our own, which we hope will maintain the balance which we are destabilising by burning fossil fuel.

Sustainable Materials in the Creative Industries

Presented by Professor Roberta Mock, University of Plymouth 

This presentation marks the half way point of the AHRC-funded project, ‘Sustainable Materials in the Creative Industries’ (SMICI), which is scoping the sourcing, use, disposal, recycling and reuse of materials by organisations and artists. The project's key aim is to identify discipline-specific perceptions of the expectations and issues that relate to sustainable practice across the arts and creative industries in the UK. Working with the Royal College of Art, in association with the Universities of Brighton and Edinburgh, the University of Plymouth's contribution focuses in particular on theatre and the performing arts. In addition to presenting a series of sustainability case studies, the SMICI project will engage with each creative industry's community of practice to discuss and review the results of the research as it emerges. This session is intended to form part of this iterative process. It will report on findings to date, as well as offering participants the opportunity to contribute their perspectives to the project.

Rebel Botanists in the Urban Environment

Presented by Elizabeth Richmond, Rebel Botanists             

Back in 1999, Wandersee and Shussler recognised a condition called 'plant blindness', a cognitive bias to not see the wildflowers in the environment. That bias has been exacerbated by capitalising media advertising to sell 'weed' killer, lawn and decking products and hybridised plants. This has resulted in not just plant blindness but plant obliteration! The fundamental reason for the existence of these stunning plants is to give life to the many wildlife creatures it supports, including humans, in our ecosystem.  

The Rebel Botanists movement aims to awaken this understanding by encouraging people to see the tiny flowers at their feet; to recognise them and identify their connection in the complex web of life. By chalking the names, both common and Latin, and the plant's link to nature opens up the door of curiosity to learning. Learning in this outdoor context becomes fun and engaging. The Banksy-esque style of street art adds to the excitement, though by using chalk it's been welcomed by councils as an informal urban education activity. And, it's working. Our work has been featured on BBC TV and radio and several national magazines and newspapers. Our methods work! People come to us asking questions, taking photos and we give them the information to do their own research. It's consciousness raising through a fun creative practice, which is how education should be.

Green Maker Initiative

Presented by Miss Laura Wasley, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Dr Emma Whittaker, Low Carbon Devon and Paul Read, Drift Advice

Craft makers based in the South West will be able to become members of the Green Makers Initiative, which provides support and advice for crafts individuals and groups committed to reducing their environmental impact. Working with Low Carbon Devon, the Devon Guild of Craftsmen is launching an exciting new green makers initiative. We are getting maker members to sign a pledge to improve their environmental actions over time through a series of simple commitments. This will support them in reducing their environmental impact each year. The initiative includes the following:

  • Completing a yearly informal report about their actions relating to the environment.
  • Sustainable makers could be listed on the Guild website. Members could display membership credentials on their own publicity.
  • A sustainable maker resources section on the Guild website with links to 'carbon footprint measurement for makers'.
  • Helping members reduce their environmental impact, for example by providing workshops such as ‘Creating a More Sustainable Workshop Space’
  • Sustainable Maker blog showcasing sustainable makers from different crafts to illustrate best practices. These could be archived and used as resource and also act as a ‘shop window’ to promote the work of sustainable makers, encouraging others to join.
  • Creating a recycle and share waste materials bank that could be a physical store that could also be used by the Guild for workshops, or as a virtual store where members collected from the donator, akin to freecycle.

Overcoming barriers to eco commitment with optimistic science/art/community/action

Presented by Mr Paul Miskin, Planet Action Street Arts (PASA)  

I am founding a charity, PASA Planet action street arts, to inspire outdoor arts to help:

  • Communicate eco science to everyday people
  • Engage everyday people in eco remedial actions       
  • Create a cool eco art community on the ground and in cyberspace
  • Reposition the eco problem in the public mind as the most serious issue of our time
  • Save life on earth.  

We are hoping to attract scientists and ecologists to be in our advisors panel for consultation, to feed us ideas and priorities and to help us maintain the integrity and authority of our science. The presentation will introduce open air eco art and distill the findings of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes &Erik M Conway and Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall. These findings on corrupt obfuscation of science and irrational denial by the population will be applied to the task of attracting people into an eco active community through art combined with communal eco remedial action conducted in a spirit of optimism. It will discuss some examples and raise some issues for the arts community in need of further scientific research.

Gardening with children: how a preschool garden can encourage preschoolers’ pro-environmental behaviour

Presented by Kathrin Paal, University of Plymouth

Environmental issues resulting from global warming have made care for the environment an increasingly urgent matter. Involving children in environmentally friendly practices can encourage them to engage with and shape their environments. Studies have found that early experiences with outdoor activities have a positive influence on children’s behaviour towards the environment. This project aims to explore what preschool children think, experience and learn about what is good or healthy for the planet, and illustrate the benefit of a preschool garden as a tool to develop environmentally friendly behaviour in children aged 3 to 5.

Within a qualitative interpretive research paradigm, I will observe children and their caregivers during gardening activities in the preschool garden while I am taking field notes. Additionally, I will ask the children to draw a picture of their idea of what is good or healthy for our planet and conduct interviews with the children by asking them to describe what they have drawn and how we can help the earth. I anticipate to observe and interview five children. I am utilising participatory research to illustrate one way to empower children to make decisions in processes of matters that affect them, such as environmental issues. The findings will illustrate preschoolers' awareness of what is good or healthy for the planet and how we can help the earth. The findings suggest valuable insights into the use of participatory methods to gain a holistic view on what children think, experience and learn when engaging with a preschool garden.

A sea change: Partnering with students for sustainable practice innovation in healthcare

Presented by Sarah Howes, University of Plymouth

The Royal College of Nursing (2019) identifies healthcare as a major contributor to climate change and asserts that practitioners are ethically bound to develop more ‘environmentally friendly and sustainable care’. The School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Plymouth has embedded sustainability and climate change into the curriculum, with the intention of motivating undergraduate students and alumni to address sustainability issues encountered in practice (Goodman, 2011). Building on the work of Richardson et al. (2017) and the award-winning NurSus project, we employ a variety of constructively aligned (Race, 2015) teaching styles and methodologies.

As active learners engaged in a vocational qualification that serves the needs of community, it is essential that students can identify how their learning aligns with their clinical practice and becomes meaningful (NMC, 2018). The use of case studies, theory and a school sustainability prize intend to support learners to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Yet despite enhanced theoretical awareness, graduates can still find the inclusion of sustainability concepts into ‘real’ clinical practice a lonely transition. Academic staff at the University of Plymouth are partnering with graduates to support the development of more sustainable healthcare through a community of practice to help bring student innovation to fruition. This marketplace session will outline three examples of alumni engagement, demonstrating knowledge and theory transfer, which embody our sustainability ambitions and encourage practicable change aligned with the perspective of the Royal College of Nursing (2019) and the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015).

Social Media Integration of Flood Data: A Vine Copula-Based Approach

Presented by Lauren Ansell, University of Plymouth

Floods are the most common and among the most severe natural disasters in many countries around the world. As global warming continues to exacerbate sea level rise and extreme weather, governmental authorities and environmental agencies are facing the pressing need of timely and accurate evaluations and predictions of flood risks. Current flood forecasts are generally based on historical measurements of environmental variables at monitoring stations.

In recent years, in addition to traditional data sources, large amounts of information related to floods have been made available via social media. Members of the public are constantly and promptly posting information and updates on local environmental phenomena on social media platforms. Despite the growing interest of scholars towards the usage of online data during natural disasters, the majority of studies focus exclusively on social media as a stand-alone data source, while its joint use with other type of information is still unexplored. In this paper we propose to fill this gap by integrating traditional historical information on floods with data extracted by Twitter and Google Trends. Our methodology is based on vine copulas, that allow us to capture the dependence structure among the marginals, which are modelled via appropriate time series methods, in a very flexible way. We apply our methodology to data related to three different coastal locations in the South West of the UK. The results show that our approach, based on the integration of social media data, outperforms traditional methods, providing a more accurate evaluation and prediction of flood events.

Creative Commission Programme – Launch

Presented by Jemma Sharman, Green Minds, Dr Emma Whittaker Low Carbon Devon and India Nuttall, Mobility Hubs

Find out how to get involved with the Creative Commission Programme – funding for a series of creative works that have an ongoing positive impact in engaging Plymouth communities in sustainability and ecological issues, as championed by the Green Minds, Mobility Hubs and Low Carbon Devon projects.

Green Minds – Rewilding People and Places in Plymouth aims to put nature at the heart of our decision-making, recognising its role in creating a healthy future for us all. This means fundamentally challenging our existing attitudes and behaviours towards nature: how we think and feel about it, how we engage with it and how we work with it. We will bring it into everyday conversations; develop public campaigns and media; create opportunities for a wider audience to be in nature and to learn from nature; and inspire a new wave of citywide investment in nature-based solutions. Funded by the EDRF.

Mobility Hubs is delivered by the Low Carbon City team within Plymouth City Council, funded by the Transforming Cities Fund. This project aims to incorporate low carbon transport into shared transportation throughout Plymouth. We aim to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce congestion and improve connectivity across the city. To achieve these benefits, we recognise the importance of engagement and prompting behaviour change around transport choices with residents and visitors.

The Creative Commission Programme is co-produced by the EDRF-funded Low Carbon Devon project, helping enterprises reach net-zero, at the Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth.

Cornwall's Climate Stories – reaching unengaged audiences

Presented by Claire Wallerstein, Cornwall Climate Care

We are an educational-environmental charity making a series of documentaries about various aspects of climate change in Cornwall, looking at themes including housing, food, transport, tourism, energy and health.

Our films aim to help reach unengaged audiences who aren't traditionally part of the 'environmental' or climate conversation.

Cornwall Council, like many other local authorities, has set the ambitious goal of us reaching carbon neutral by 2030, but public engagement is patchy, and few people know what needs to be done to meet this target – or how.

The documentaries show what climate change is going to mean for us where we live – not just in far-off places like the Arctic or Bangladesh. They present the facts, but also showcase stories about organisations, businesses and individuals here who are doing positive and inventive things to tackle the climate crisis, with the aim of motivating viewers to become part of the solution too.

We'll be shooting stories and screening our films all over Cornwall (and beyond) and are particularly focused on getting the films into secondary schools. We’re producing dedicated GCSE and A level materials to go with them across a range of subject areas.

Our first film (looking at the marine environment) was launched in February. It had a great response and will be shown at the G7 Fringe. We’ll be launching our second film, focusing on Cornwall’s fishing industry, in late June.


Marketplace Session 3 | 25 June, 11:10–12:00

Engaging the public to change the world

Presented by Dr Natalie Whitehead, Exeter Science Centre    

Exeter Science Centre is working to create a STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths and Medicine) Discovery Centre in Exeter, for the educational, social and cultural benefit of the city and the whole of the South West region. Our mission is to educate, motivate and empower the public to make a difference in the world. We feel that the public have a hugely important role to play in tackling global issues, particularly the climate emergency, in the way they live and work and the decisions they make on a daily basis. There is also a rising tide of mis- and disinformation related to these issues, and thus an immediate need to build the public understanding of science, and provide a clear, trustworthy source of information and guidance on how we can all play our part.

We want to make a new, physical space dedicated to this cause in a prominent location to highlight the importance of STEAMM education in society and be the galvanising force that connects the public with the experts and empowers people to make informed decisions and impactful changes in their own lives. As an organisation, we are already working to connect people to the incredible STEAMM research and industry in our region, whilst in parallel working to create a physical building. In this session, we’ll talk about our plans so far, our motivations and how people can get involved to help make this vision a reality.

The importance of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) for the future of the renewable energy sector

Presented by Professor Deborah Greaves, Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub, University of Plymouth  

The engineering sector historically has a ‘male and pale’ workforce, especially in higher-paid positions, with 90.7% of engineers being male and white, with only 7.8% from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Evidence shows that the offshore renewable energy (ORE) research community mirrors the wider ORE industry in having poor diversity in terms of protected characteristic representation. However, as a rapidly growing sector, the renewable energy community has a unique opportunity to prioritise and embed equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) for the long-term, particularly by considering ways inequality can be addressed early on.  

To tackle the climate change emergency, voices from all genders, ethnicities, races and educational backgrounds must be heard and considered. The Supergen ORE Hub is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive culture. It is in our best interests to promote diversity, eliminate barriers to participation and create a culture in which equality of opportunity is a priority for those who engage with the Hub. For this marketplace session, we will present a brief overview of the Supergen ORE Hub, including our EDI charter and the steps we’re taking to build a more diverse and inclusive community. The session will also include results from a wider Supergen programme study investigating the effects of COVID-19 on EDI, and our recently released scoping study with Aura (University of Hull). The study examines the current state of EDI in engineering with a focus on the ORE industry and academia and offers a set of actions to tackle EDI issues.

Sticky stuff – using biopolymers to sustainably protect our coastal infrastructure from erosion

Presented by Dr Rob Schindler, University of Plymouth

Scour occurs around marine infrastructure such as offshore wind farms, oil rigs, bridge piers, coastal defences, pipelines and cables (amongst others). Their design typically aims to reduce the rate and extent of erosion. Although some degree of scour is inevitable, scour protection of the seabed is required. Typically, we rely on ‘hard engineering’ to reduce scour on the seabed, including large rocks, gabion baskets and rock mattresses. These techniques have shortcomings for (1) economic reasons: cost of material, transport to site, and cost of specialist vessels; (2) practical reasons: distance to offshore sites, uncertainty of sea operations, and need for precise sub-sea assembly; and (3) environmental reasons: disruption of seabed, non-native materials, and additional flow disturbance. 

Recently, it has been recognised that biological cohesion results in improved resistance to erosion in natural sediments. Biologically inert polysaccharides – henceforth termed ‘biopolymers’ – occur naturally as a byproduct of microorganism activity in soils, rivers, estuaries and seas and their capacity to stabilize sediments is being increasingly recognised. Thus, the deliberate addition of biopolymers to sediments – henceforth termed ‘biostabilisation’ – offers an alternative, nature-based solution to seabed erosion. We present unique experiments that systematically examine how biostabilisation reduces scour around an offshore windfarm, as a first step to realising the potential of this new method of scour reduction. Biostabilisation offers outstanding cost-effectiveness while reducing the environmental impact of offshore structures and existing scour protection measures. Further, it can employ waste materials such as dredged sediments, creating a circular economy.

GEOfood: a tool for sustainable development and achievement of UNSDGs in UNESCO Global Geoparks

Presented by Sara Gentilini, University of Turin, Magma UNESCO Global Geopark

In 2015, Magma UNESCO Global Geopark had the idea to start to work on defining common criteria for local food enterprises. Magma established the GEOfood brand, which is now in use in 22 territories recognised as UNESCO Global Geoparks. GEOfood has developed specific values and rules of conduct, which are expressed in its manifesto. GEOfood’s mission is to support the sustainable development of local communities, increasing action towards the achievement of UNSDGs.

Organic for Climate: Healthy and sustainable agriculture for all

Presented by Ms Priya Yadav, Organic for Climate

Organic for Climate is a platform for organic farming that aims to become a one-stop solution platform for the barriers to organic farming adoption. Organic for Climate is an international advisory for the agriculture sector focusing on organic farming and sustainability. Operating in 15+ countries, we are developing three web-based integrity solutions: create a single-window knowledge domain that can offer complete advisory and consultancy support on the organic crop, providing farm-gate processing units, and for supply chain, providing an e-marketplace for all sustainable/organic products. Organising the supply chain for organic products is rather challenging. However, small-scale farmers produce 70% of our food. They are disadvantaged in our global food system. That’s why we developed the digital tool 'Connect for Organic'.

Connect for Organic assists small landholder farmers in managing their internal control system. It reduces costs and allows better market access. The online tool for certification will guide the certification workflows, saving time and making the certification procedure more flexible. The unavailability of proper organic market access discourages organic producers. Organic for Climate offers an e-marketplace for all organic products verified by certification data and ensures more credibility for consumers by avoiding fraud in organic products.

The Food Plymouth partnership: driving social and cultural change towards more sustainable and resilient food systems for climate change mitigation

Presented by Sophie Paterson, Food Plymouth and Dr Clare Pettinger, University of Plymouth

Understanding the complexity of human, social and ecological implications of climate change and their impact on food systems and security are real challenges (especially in the face of COVID-19 and Brexit). Food Plymouth is a local award-winning food partnership comprising a collaborative network of individuals, businesses, social enterprises, third-sector and health organisations and the Local Authority, and is currently working towards the Sustainable Food Places Silver Award, strengthening a joined-up approach to food in order to achieve significant positive change across six areas: 

  • Healthy Food for All – tackling food insecurity and diet-related ill-health, increasing access to affordable healthy food.  
  • Good Food Movement – building public awareness, active food citizenship and a local good food movement.  
  • Sustainable Food Economy – creating a vibrant, prosperous, and diverse sustainable food economy.  
  • Catering & Procurement – transforming catering and procurement, revitalizing local and sustainable food supply chains.  
  • Food for the Planet – tackling the climate and nature emergency through sustainable food and farming, an end to food waste.  
  • Food Strategy & Governance – taking a strategic and collaborative approach to good food governance and action.  
This interactive showcase offers the opportunity to see what Food Plymouth partners are doing, appraise plans for the #SILVERcampaign and, crucially, get involved. We’ll share five local innovative food projects in a PechaKucha format (10 pictures, 10 seconds each) and use interactive tools to gain views on how the #SILVERcampaign can be consolidated to ensure policy action and influence across the food ecosystem.

Using Nanotechnology to Solve the Climate Emergency

Presented by Professor Richard Handy, University of Plymouth  

The human population is growing and we are locked into technologies that enable intensive agriculture, industrialisation and urbanisation, without which we could not sustain the 7.8 billion people on Earth. However, the cost has been disturbances to biogeochemical cycles and the climate emergency. The latter presents new challenges with respect to habitable living space, food security, clean water, pollution and the spread of disease.

Our research on nanotechnology has been addressing these issues in terms of mitigating the impacts on food, potable water, pollution and disease, but also to find sustainable new materials for our collective future. This presentation will outline what nanotechnology and nanomaterials are and how they can help with a myriad of problems relating to the human population and the climate emergency. For example, nanomaterials can be used to combat the new global spread of infectious pathogens and provide clean water. However, we are also concerned about the sustainability of new nanotechnology itself and how best to employ new technologies in the natural world.

Reducing Energy Consumption Through Occupant Behaviour: A Visualisation Approach

Presented by Sepideh Korsavi, University of Plymouth 

During the last decade, buildings have become more complex and provided automated or remote controls for occupants. Buildings management systems might provide indoor environments that are not preferred by the occupants. This might increase the frequency of overriding controls, which widens the gap between predicted and real energy consumption. To provide pleasant indoor environment quality and avoid excessive energy waste, it is important to promote energy-efficient interactions. Therefore, occupants should be provided with more details on their building’s performance and operation.

This presentation aims to signify the importance of visualisation tools that can inform occupants on the status of controls such as heating systems and windows, as well as indoor environment quality. This information helps occupants to adopt efficient adaptive behaviours to save energy and improve environmental quality. Visualisation tools such as smart phone/tablet apps encourage occupants to monitor their consumption and provide them with energy-saving points, recommendations, customised feedback and attention triggers. Information on the status of the controls suggests the timing of the heating systems so that occupants ‘do not open the windows while heating systems are on’ or ‘turn off heating systems before opening the windows’. Recommendations advise occupants to open the windows when CO2 sensors show concentrations higher than 1,000 ppm or when temperature sensors show temperatures higher than 23 °C. Overall, the design of visualisation tools, apps and energy feedback systems can make it easy for occupants to understand the energy consumption patterns in the buildings.

Trees for climate: an emergency help-guide

Presented by Dr Thomas Murphy, University of Plymouth     

The expansion of woodland is a major strand of international and national policy to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and negative impacts of climate change, such as enhanced river flooding. Oak (Quercus) trees, as long-lived, dominant components of the temperate woodland that once covered large areas of the northern hemisphere, will be critical to future carbon storage, flood mitigation, and biodiversity provision potential in these regions. However, it remains unclear whether natural tree establishment can supply demand for expanded oak woodland in remote, anthropogenically modified landscapes such as the UK uplands, where they are required to restore the hydrological functioning of soils.

Using Dartmoor as a case study, research examined the distance oak saplings are recorded as establishing from the nearest mature oak tree and compared the extent of natural sapling colonisation (abundance), survival and growth throughout early life history stages in pasture systems, using long- and short-term livestock grazing exclusion experiments. The theme of climate emergency not only requires urgent messaging on the scale of impacts and challenges associated with anthropogenic climate change, but demands that well-researched advice is clearly communicated to allow both communities and policy makers to take informed decisions. ‘Trees for climate: an emergency help-guide’ aims to do just that by employing a number of channels and social media platforms to engage and communicate research-backed management recommendations needed to encourage natural regeneration of oak woodland and successful and sensitive tree planting strategies.

Community Led Zero Carbon Housing

Presented by Alistair Macpherson, Plymouth Energy Community        

Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) are working in partnership with Plymouth City Council to bring forward community-led, zero-carbon, affordable homes. Our first housing development is on land off Coombes Way, Kings Tamerton, Plymouth.

In order to reach net-zero by 2050, we need to change the way we build new homes. Our flagship scheme will be the first in England to use the Energiesprong Approach, an innovative approach to deliver high quality net zero homes at lower cost. It will form part of Plymouth City Council's Plan for Homes, and be a part of the City's Climate Emergency Action Plan.
PEC Homes starts from the fact that the current approach to building homes is not compatible with Plymouth’s objective of being zero carbon by 2030, and that there is a need for demand side disruptors to broker a solution that delivers low energy high performance buildings that are affordable and replicable. Therefore PEC Homes aims to bring forward affordable, high quality, well designed, cooperative and sustainable housing development projects that can:
• Be local flagships for innovation,
• Deliver community owned, warm, affordable, desirable net zero energy homes,
• Demonstrate a development cost model that can support replicability without ongoing government support,
• Deliver net zero energy homes for which the total energy and maintenance costs are significantly less than business as usual.
To further this PEC has recently submitted a planning application for 70 affordable, community led, net zero energy new homes on the site at Kings Tamerton. Come along to learn more.


Marketplace Session 4 | 25 June, 14:00–15:00

Tackling Plastic Pollution... one piece at a time

Presented by Jackie Young, Environment Plymouth

Globally, we are still producing nearly 400 million tonnes of plastic a year and 50% of that ends up as single-use and wildlife threatening litter. For three years, Environment Plymouth has hosted the Plastic Free Plymouth campaign, encouraging businesses and households to reduce their use of plastic and seeking alternatives for the uses we've grown so accustomed to. Now funded by the Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution project, we have a new focus to the campaign – and the damage being done to our seas and oceans. Join us on our journey and find out how far we've come.

Towards a circular economy for fishing gear

Presented by Mrs Amanda Burton, University of Plymouth     

Is there any such thing as sustainable fishing? What does a circular economy for fishing gear look like? What are the solutions that can unblock circular flows and keep material from leaking into the marine environment, causing deadly harm to marine animals? How can we retain the maximum value from that material so it is not lost to the economy? Can recycled fishing gear be a substitute for virgin plastics and reduce the environmental burden associated with raw material extraction? This talk will explore these questions and lift the lid on the work being done in the South West and further afield to develop best practice as fishers, clean-up groups, recyclers, innovators, researchers and academics drive the change our ecological crisis demands.

Co-creating a People's Doughnut for Devon

Presented by Ms Jane Brady, The Bioregional Learning Centre  

The challenges we are dealing with – everywhere – are global and systemic, whether it is climate change, biodiversity loss, economic contraction or pandemics. The response that we are pioneering is systemic and at the scale of the bioregion, the scale at which human societies have organised themselves for millennia. Based on the principles of Doughnut Economics, the Devon Doughnut Collective is co-designing a citizen-led Devon Doughnut with 23 domains (like soil health) which squarely addresses our ‘social foundation’ in relation to the ‘ecological ceiling’. We are asking people ‘what do you want to measure?’ and looking at nexus points where climate change meets social housing or human and pet medication meets fresh water.

Data empowers communities to speak to councils and hold them to account. And looking at it from the councils' perspective, data gives a clear argument for the big changes that we are all going to need to make to rise to the Zero Carbon by 2030 challenge. So access to data is vital, but it's just not enough to spur us to make the changes. This is where regenerative goals come in and why we have made the ring of the Doughnut the ‘space for revitalisation’ so we can all see and measure positive change. Our focus is on evocative narratives or scenarios that, supported by available data and/or community-generated data, provide a window into the culture of this place and ideally give a more tangible sense of what climate disruption will increasingly do to these scenarios.

Future Directions In The Circular Economy – The Waste Prevention Programme

Presented by Mr Matthew Burnell, Reuse Network/ReSolar LTD

The presentation will draw on the DEFRA consultation 'Waste Prevention Programme' published in March 2021, which gives an indication of the direction of travel for the UK Circular Economy in the next decade. The presentation will provide a brief overview of the pivotal role waste prevention plays within the wider climate change and social agenda, notably the environmental role the reuse sector plays in landfill prevention; the social impact of employment and training for vulnerable and marginalised communities; and the economic benefits of providing cheaper household appliances for low income households. The reuse sector is also a vehicle where social injustices such as the 'Digital Divide' can be addressed.

The presentation will then discuss challenges for the reuse charity industry, including the regulatory aspect and competition from commercial ventures which don’t have an emphasis on the social benefits described above. The presentation will then focus on key points from the DEFRA consultation, including product manufacturing to include the 'Right to Repair'; the higher weighting of reusing products rather than recycling, with financial opportunities; the introduction of 'circular economy hubs' via LEPs; and greater research into product reuse. The presentation will end with a summary of practical steps for those who wish to get involved with the reuse sector, and an opportunity for any questions.

Preventing Plastic Pollution Project

Presented by Mr Christopher Suckling, Plymouth City Council   

In partnership with 18 organisations from across France and England, Preventing Plastic Pollution seeks to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment. Oil, gas, and coal are the fossil-fuel building blocks of plastics, which release powerful greenhouse gases through not only production, but also distribution and disposal. Taking a catchment based approach, the project will identify and target hotspots, embed behaviour change in local communities and businesses, and implement effective solutions and alternatives. 

PCC is working with businesses, tourism groups, schools and communities across Plymouth to help them understand their plastic usage and its impact on the environment. We will be signing organisations up to charters, addressing their supply chain and working to reduce the amount of plastic they waste, thus reducing their carbon footprint. We are removing plastic from the marine environment through beach cleans and the trial of innovative collection devices, signage, communications and teaching. UoP applies behavioural sciences to help support transformational change in plastics use across key sectors. We have reviewed existing literature on interventions designed to reduce plastic consumption and improve recycling practices. We have also created an evaluation framework and tools to guide partners in assessing behaviour change and interventions. We have also delivered educational events to schools and other audiences. University of Plymouth are monitoring and compiling the extent and composition of plastic pollution in the Tamar, identifying key sources, hotspots and evaluating interventions to stem flow of plastic.

Social innovation for a circular economy in urban communities

Presented by Dr Marianna Marchesi, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

This project explored how residential communities and groups of interest in cities can contribute to the transition to a circular economy (CE). Resource efficiency in cities is connected to people's behaviours, but until now, the CE has given limited attention to social practices and behavioural change. On the other side, behavioural change for sustainable living is being effectively encouraged through initiatives of social innovation (SI) that involve residential communities and groups of interest in alternative social practice. Therefore, this study aimed at understanding the phenomenon of SI for resource efficiency and circularity in cities to define the potential contribution of urban communities.

Through case study analysis, the project provided an overview of contemporary SI initiatives implemented by residential communities and groups of interest among citizens aiming at promoting alternative production and consumption practices. The developed database was categorised from theoretical knowledge and empirical analysis supporting the identification of seven types of SI for resource circularity. Based on this typology, the study defined potential opportunities, benefits and challenges for urban communities. The findings also identified a complementary role that SI can play in the CE implementation in cities. Therefore, the project suggested the introduction of emerging SI concepts into the current CE approach to support the development of SI opportunities. On the basis of these results, the study is exploring the ability of playful practices to engage groups of place and interest in envisioning possible scenarios for a circular community, and it will provide preliminary recommendations for support measures in policymaking.

Precious Plastic, Precious Climate

Presented by Dr Kate Crawfurd, Precious Plastic Plymouth and Tavistock

Plastic is created from fossil fuel and is a massive problem, not only as pollution in the environment but also through greenhouse gas emissions. From the initial extraction of oil, gas and coal for plastic production, through refining processes, transport of products and finally waste management and incineration, every step releases greenhouse gases. By 2050 it is expected that plastic will be responsible for 13% of the total carbon budget, equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants! Throw-away plastic packaging accounts for 40% of the plastic we use. Many plastics can be easily recycled, but only 9% of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic that has been produced has actually been recycled. 

Precious Plastic is a low-tech plastic recycling initiative started in the Netherlands which has inspired a global movement. It hosts a bazaar full of interesting products produced from plastic waste destined for incineration or landfill. Precious Plastic Plymouth and Tavistock is a small, local project which can take waste plastic and recreate it into useful products without the need for transport to a recycling facility. We are just starting up and have an enthusiastic team excited to start producing interesting artisan products. We are also keenly interested in education and will use the opportunity to engage people with ideas which can help tackle plastic waste. We invite anyone interested to join us in this exciting community project.

Redefining Sustainability Through Nature's Solutions

Presented by Ms Carol Rose, Carol Rose Industries LTD 

My presentation will look at natural alternatives to synthetic fibres by exploring the knowledge of ancient civilisations and their understanding of nature's interconnection with the environment and the human body. By reintroducing ancient wisdom into the modern space, we believe fibres from nature can provide solutions in the following areas: irrigation, biodegradability, renewability, enhanced user awareness, and the circular economy.   

It is estimated that approximately two thirds of all textile items produced worldwide are synthetic, such as petroleum-based polymers (plastics). Synthetic fabrics carry names like Polyester, Nylon, Acrylic, Spandex, Lycra and many more. These fibres are not only non-biodegradable but emit harmful microplastics into the environment and waterways, affecting marine life. New research proves that synthetics also have negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of the unsuspecting user/wearer. Since the advent of fast fashion, 64% of all clothing worldwide is mass produced using synthetic fibres.

Community and Local Authority Partnership in Climate Action

Presented by Mr Adam Williams, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council

Following the declaration of a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency, a cross party Working Group was set up to develop a strategy and action plan. With members having set the strategic direction, there was a desire for a much more collaborative arrangement between the councils and their communities, who often felt ‘done to’ and are often doing great work on the ground that the councils were not aware of. We decided to establish a forum comprising officers and a representative cross section of the community to help further develop and deliver against the councils' commitments. The challenges were to ensure a fair cross section of individuals were selected from town and parish councils, community groups, community interest companies and charities. It was also important to secure a fair geographical and age split across the council areas and that individuals with areas of expertise were also included. This was achieved through an expression of interest exercise, where we then selected 20 members from respondents based on the priorities of ensuring good geographical spread, age, background and expertise.

To date, we have had two meetings for the South Hams Forum and are in the process of setting up the same for the West Devon area. In South Hams, we have discussed housing energy efficiency and eligibility criteria for our future Climate Change crowdfunder scheme – the reception has been good so far. The intention is to continue running forum sessions over the course of each year to continue links to the community and activity around our Climate Change and Biodiversity Action plan, acting as a two-way flow of ideas and support.