FutureFit One Stop Shop (FOSS)

Lead Participant: OXFORD CITY COUNCIL

Abstract

Oxford City has been a pioneering place for carbon reduction since it set up its Low Carbon Oxford partnership in 2010 to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020\. That target was achieved and the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership (ZCOP) has taken its place with a mission to achieve net zero in the City by 2040\. The partnership includes all the major organisations in the city: BMW Mini, the hospitals, both universities, Lucy Group to name a few. ZCOP built on the results of the first Citizens' Assembly called in a UK city to discuss Oxford's response to the Climate Emergency. A route map has been developed and work has started.

But there are challenges. The city is small, even though it has a global reputation, and it sits in the most rural County in the south of England, so there is little critical mass available to attract large-scale interventions to improve the building stock. Its supply-chain is therefore small and fragmented; its pool of skills is difficult to grow because the workforce is fully employed. And it has a very diverse building stock, much of it of world-class heritage standard.

There are also opportunities. The City has a vibrant innovation ecosystem, particularly around carbon and energy issues, which has a strong track record of attracting funding. It hosts two of the four UK Smart Energy Demonstrators: Project LEO and the Energy Superhub Oxford. The City is also innovative in developing its own services with wholly-owned housing and direct services subsidiaries. It also supported the start-up of the Low Carbon Hub (LCH), a community energy business that now owns £25m of renewable energy assets, and whose profits have to be used for the benefit of the citizens of Oxfordshire.

This project seeks to build on the City's opportunities in order to address its challenges. A delivery agency for net zero, working title 'FutureFit One Stop Shop (FOSS)', will create the long-term, sustainable enabling environment necessary to bring new products, services and projects forward consistently, rather than as ad hoc responses to Government funding rounds. This project brings together the main local delivery partners to work alongside key experts, Arup, RetrofitWorks and Centre for Net Zero, to work out the corporate structure, business model and governance structure for the FOSS. Once implemented and proven to work, the FOSS will be a model replicable in many other 'peri-urban' geographies of the UK.

Publications

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