Bollington Carbon Revolution, a residents' initiative to reduce emissions in the Cheshire town, is one of five finalists in the Future Friendly Awards, organised by consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.
During the past two years, the Bollington Carbon Revolution team has secured £50,000 from Macclesfield council to set up a grant scheme for residents to implement energy efficiency measures; completed a hydro-electricity feasibility study to tap into the power of the River Dane and Harrop Brook; established a tree-planting scheme; carried out carbon foot-printing of households with the help of Leeds University; and assisted Tytherington High School to gain consent for a Photovoltaic system in their school.
The Bollington group plans to redevelop an old toilet block into a BREEAM 'excellent' low carbon advice centre, increase its home eco-audits; and create a community garden to help educate residents and children and grow food.
The winner of the Future Friendly Award, voted for online by the public, will receive a £20,000 bursary and feature in a documentary film.
Warren Percival, a member of the Bollington Carbon Revolution and – by day – a principal environmental consultant at RSK Group in Manchester, said: "My wife and I moved to the town back in 2005, and we wanted to meet new people and try and make a real difference in the town."
Warren's wife Nicola is a senior sustainability manager at construction giant Bovis Lend Lease. Warren added: "Whilst we know we are making a difference at work and with our clients on sustainability issues, this out-of-work initiative really gives you a sense of achievement, albeit a struggle to deal within in the evenings and weekend! There is a great team here at the BCR and each individual – about a dozen of us – brings a key skill to the group."
Bollington, population 7,000, was at the heart of the emergence of the industrial revolution and had the largest water wheel in mainland Britain powering textile mills. BCR wants to capture this spirit to kick-start the eco-revolution.
Warren added: "The only way the government is going to achieve it's target of reduction of carbon emissions of 80% by 2050 is to do something radical across the board – we're hoping that we can help to develop a template for other communities to follow, this means winning the hearts and minds of residents and businesses."
Watch the video entry for the Bollington Carbon Revolution and cast your vote before 4 April.