The Knowledge Quarter has launched a project with the ambitious aim of becoming a carbon neutral innovation district by 2030.


As a membership body, made up of small, medium and large organisations, of diverse operations and interests, we will need to think creatively about how we achieve this goal. Policy or legislature, incentives and deterrents, outside the scope of government, are unlikely to be the outcomes of our project.

Instead, we will depend on a collective focus from our members to rise to the challenge of reversing climate change. Together, we will develop a framework for collaboration, built around basic commitments from individual organisations to pursue efficiencies, enact sustainable practices, reduce wasteful consumption and better understand their carbon emissions.

A framework for collaboration, flexible and continuously evolving over time, serves two purposes: firstly, it provides the tools by which individual organisations can maintain these basic commitments; and secondly, it creates an eco-system in which organisations can push one another towards a net-zero target by 2030.

Ultimately, this framework will complement existing strategies, and help organisations and local government meet and surpass their own targets.


The Knowledge Quarter executive will do what the Knowledge Quarter executive does best – bring people together. We will create the necessary spaces and opportunities:

  • for Partners to share their targets, strategies and achievements
  • to keep one another honest in abiding by the spirit of the project
  • to benefit from the expertise and leadership housed in the membership
  • for these experts and leaders to influence and inspire their counterparts and other decision-makers.

We believe this collective focus will put us on a trajectory towards net-zero carbon by 2030.


Convened up to four times a year, the Advisory Group will comprise senior representatives of organisations with the largest physical presence in the Knowledge Quarter (often, but not always, the largest carbon emitters) and staff with the necessary expertise and experience to help us meet a carbon neutral target.

The Advisory Group is an oversight body. Some of its key functions will include:

  • Advising the wider membership of the best course to achieve net-zero carbon by 2030
  • Recommending programmes for the KQ executive that will help the membership achieve the project’s targets
  • Providing a layer of scrutiny and transparency to existing strategies and initiatives
  • Discussing and monitoring sustainable developments in the local area.

To begin with, the Advisory Group will help us to define the parameters of the project, including:

  • A working definition of net-zero carbon emissions
  • The geographic boundaries of our emissions
  • The protocols used to inventory our emissions and monitor progress
  • Laying down appropriate milestones over the ten-year horizon. 


The group will be chaired by Peter Fisher, Director at Bennetts Associates. The architectural practice has a strong record of sustainable design, and a formidable reputation for its own carbon neutral commitments as a workforce; the firm has managed to significantly reduce its carbon emissions for the third year in a row, with marginal expenditure on carbon off-setting schemes. Peter is a driving force behind these policies. He has taught, lectured and written widely on the subject of architecture and sustainability, and sits on RIBA’s Sustainable Futures Group.


If you believe you have the requisite knowledge and experience to help us achieve our goal, please complete the expression of interest form and return to Jodie Eastwood by Thursday 10 September, 2020.


Thursday, 1 October 2020


Location: Online

Please note this is an old post. The Advisory Group has been formed and will now convene in November. For more information please email the KQ team.