What is the zero-carbon mapping project?

We are developing a map of green enterprises within Mersey Region. This in order to support green jobs in the solidarity sector. We are undertaking this initiative in conjunction with the Solidarity Economy Association. They are promoting groups that are working towards a zero-carbon economy such as voluntary groups and small green businesses that uphold the SEA’s values. These are to pay their staff a fair wage and also enterprises will either be run on co-operative lines or they have expressed a willingness to work towards doing so. There are two projects that have created a map for their area. They are:

The Liverpool project will loosely follow that of the project in Oxford.

The project aims to:

  • Establish an alternative economy in Liverpool City Region based on economic justice, equality and sustainability
  • Inform green businesses about this mapping project and through holding a series of events that provide information.
  • These events will highlight potential benefits the mapping project could offer, e.g. the map will make it easier to make contact with similar businesses in order to network, learn from one another and offer support

The ethos of the project

  • It will be set up so that the businesses themselves drive the initiative forward. In the medium term it is hoped that like Oxford, they become a self-organising community.
  • The aim is to ensure that community of businesses who join the initiative will have control of their own data – what they put on the map and how their information is used.

Potential outcomes:

  • The map will make it possible for people who wish to reduce their carbon footprint to more easily identify and support businesses with green credentials with their custom.
  • In the medium term it is envisaged that groups, for example food growers or green transport initiatives could work together to both lobby Liverpool City Council for changes to support their businesses and/or put together joint grant funding bids. Most small enterprises are too small to do this on their own. There are recent examples of green enterprises that have failed to get off the ground because LCC failed to respond, for example to a request to give permission to use some garages in L15 for a local green project.
  • In the longer term it may be possible through the Solidarity Economy Association to join these maps up into a national network. This would make it possible to apply for bids for money at a national level or to lobby our government to support their sector and where necessary to put pressure on them in solidarity. At present it seems largely to be large multinational organisations that are able to do this.

First steps

  • We are currently updating the database list of green small enterprises to include up to date contact details. The information was originally generated at our Symposium in 2018.
  • We are networking with other local groups with similar aims to ensure we all support each other and co-ordinate our efforts. Groups include New Green deal, Build Back Better, XR and the school climate strikers.
  • We have recently received training in uploading articles to the website so we can inform people about our work and invite them to join and support us.
  • We are working to build our Core group with people with the relevant skills for the project.
  • We are about to develop new skills, in the use of
  • Open source mapping tools
  • Using a database linked to a map and planning the design of the system in such a way that users can easily select the information they need.
  • Planning a” parking day event” for when lockdown has eased and we are able to meet in person to explain our project and help businesses put their information on the map.
  • We will then advertise and invite small green enterprises to a series of events (initially this will need to be virtually over Zoom).
  • We will aim to make ourselves redundant as:
    People will be able to add and modify their own information
    Once there is a critical mass more people will join through word of mouth
    It is envisaged that the people on the map take ownership of the project themselves.

The Transition Liverpool core group, with Liverpool Quakers are currently meeting weekly to discuss this project.

It is hoped that we will be able to run the first event by late summer or early autumn. We would like to see the project well under way within a year to 18 months.

Who are we?

The zero-carbon mapping project is a joint venture between Liverpool Quakers and Transition Towns Liverpool.

Transition Towns is an A-political worldwide movement that is working towards reducing our dependency on oil in order to alleviate climate change. The group in Liverpool have been active for the last 10-15 years, holding regular education and networking meetings until lockdown in March this year. It has had a number of active projects and the current ones include arranging an annual gathering focusing on a different theme each year, the sPark It project and an energy group.

The Zero carbon mapping project arose partly out of an event that was a part of our annual gathering two years ago when about 60 attendees were invited to put post it notes with green initiatives onto a giant map of Mersey region. Some of these include voluntary projects and small businesses that were supporting the work of moving towards a zero carbon economy. The information generated from this has been added to a database and contact details have been added.

The next stage in this process is being taken forward as a result of a concern by nationally about climate change. An offer was made to select suitable projects that support Quaker values to put in a proposal for financial support. This project was one of seven that were selected last autumn to be part of a bid for money from Friends provident Society put together by the Friend from Friends House responsible for promoting work to encourage climate justice. The Zero-Carbon mapping project supports Quaker testimonies to simplicity and sustainability, climate justice and economic justice. Although the bid was not successful this time, there is a commitment to apply for funding for three part time posts to support these national initiatives.


Margaret Smith                         July 1st 2020


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