Climate-focused business group recieves council funding


Nelson group Businesses for Climate Action aims to get 1000 Nelson-Tasman businesses tracking and minimising carbon footprints. Mayor Rachel Reese says it would be amazing if Nelson “managed to have the first net zero carbon main street."

Virginia Woolf/Stuff

Nelson group Businesses for Climate Action aims to get 1000 Nelson-Tasman businesses tracking and minimising carbon footprints. Mayor Rachel Reese says it would be amazing if Nelson “managed to have the first net zero carbon main street.”

A Nelson business group has received council funding for its climate change goals.

Businesses for Climate Action (BCA) originally applied to Nelson City Council’s Climate Change Reserve fund for $49,500, which the group described as a “fraction” of its intended budget of approximately $124,000.

The group then amended its request, in light of Covid-19, down to $28,880 and revised its budget plan to about $100,000.

Businesses for Climate Action hopes to convince 1000 Nelson businesses to measure their climate footprint, and is offering to assist businesses to become more environmentally friendly.

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The group, currently consisting of business coach Katrina Kidson, Chia Sisters Chloe and Florence van Dyke, Claire Keeling from Ekos and Johny O’Donnell of ShiftOn, requested council funding to help cover costs, which group-members were also covering.

Chia Sisters Florence and Chloe van Dyke already operate their business at zero net carbon and want to help others achieve the same status. (File photo)

Braden Fastier/Stuff

Chia Sisters Florence and Chloe van Dyke already operate their business at zero net carbon and want to help others achieve the same status. (File photo)

Mayor Rachel Reese said the initial plan was for the Climate Change Fourm to have the “quadruple helix” structure of the Climatorium in Denmark and to “have business at the table”, which she said Businesses for Climate Action could help with.

“What we’ve got are people who are willing to volunteer an extraordinary amount of their time … to assist us in one of our main objectives,” she said.

“I think this is aspirational, but imagine if we managed to have the first net zero carbon main street? Wouldn’t that be fantastic?”

Councillor Gaile Noonan said she was “excited” to see who was involved in the project.

“I think their aspirations are very high, but if you don’t set high aspirations, you’re probably only going to get mediocre [results].”

Gaile Noonan said the group's goals were ambitious, but she was impressed with the volunteered effort so far.

Joe Lloyd/Stuff

Gaile Noonan said the group’s goals were ambitious, but she was impressed with the volunteered effort so far.

The Council’s $500,000 ring-fenced climate change fund established in June last year has now been drawn on for four projects, including the grant to Businesses for Climate Action, for a total of $157,880 in committed funds. The other commitments are $9000 for a council-owned ebike for use by Community Compost, $20,000 towards preparations for a Danish Climatorium delegation, and $100,000 towards the city-centre spatial plan.

There are two current requests or Annual Plan proposals, one for $62,500 towards the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum, and one for $120,000 to go towards the food waste composting trial. Should those proposals be approved, there will be $159,620 left of the initial $500,000 funding pool.