Scottish social enterprise Fuel Change and major car retailer Arnold Clark have joined forces as part of their joint efforts to tackle climate change.
The partnership will see Fuel Change taking over part of the new Arnold Clark Innovation Centre in Glasgow, the only dedicated alternative fuel car education centre in Scotland.
Fuel Change will have the opportunity to use the Innovation Centre for its challenge showcases, which see teams of young people aged between 16 and 24 working together to come up with fresh and new ideas to tackle today’s environmental issues.
It will also use the space to exhibit some of the ideas and concepts the teams have developed.
Arnold Clark has put some of its apprentices forward to take part in the challenges, which are set by companies across the UK and task the teams to brainstorm innovative yet practical solutions to real-life issues.
The car dealer is also sponsoring the forthcoming national Big Tonnes Challenge, which will focus on solutions that will influence industries that have a significant impact on CO2 emissions.
Fuel Change aims to empower young people to create a carbon neutral future for the next generation.
The organisation is fast gaining traction among government, industry and the education sector, with the ambition to eventually become a global platform that galvanises young people into taking meaningful action to address climate change, protecting the planet for their future and their children’s future.
Fuel Change chief executive, David Reid, said: “Fuel Change was set up to give young people a meaningful voice and the opportunity to do something tangible to help tackle the climate crisis. Arnold Clark has already been a great supporter of our challenges and we are pleased to be able to take that a step further by formalising our partnership ahead of COP26 coming to Scotland.
“Like Fuel Change, the Arnold Clark Innovation Centre puts education at the forefront and its aim of showing customers the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles aligns with our own work to give the next generation a real opportunity to affect change and do something now to save our planet in the future.
“Arnold Clark has also had significant input into our next Big Tonnes Challenge, which will look at a variety of sectors including transportation and the circular economy.”
The next event to be held at the £5m Innovation Centre will be a campaign showcase at the end of October, when teams of students and young professionals from creative marketing agencies will present their ideas for a global climate crisis campaign.
The winning campaign will be presented at the New York Times Climate Hub during COP26 then taken forward after the summit to be developed further.
Fuel Change’s main aim is to help hit the target of a low-carbon Scotland by 2045 and create real solutions, which can be implemented by its partner companies in Scotland and potentially across the world.
Hazel Shields, manager at the Arnold Clark Innovation Centre, said: “Everyone at the Innovation Centre is delighted to partner and sponsor Fuel Change as we look towards working with the future generation. We’re specifically an innovation, information and educational centre, and we believe Fuel Change has similar values. We can’t wait to host the Big Tonnes Challenge and see what exciting and innovative ideas come from it.”
Located on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow’s West End, the centre features a range of electric and hybrid cars.
Arnold Clark aims to educate customers about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles and why they are becoming so important, as well as highlighting the different types of AFVs currently available, including Tesla and Jaguar.
While currently just 1% of the population drive electric vehicles, Arnold Clark is expecting this figure to rise rapidly over the coming years.
The events space is made available to hire for specialist electric vehicle groups and car clubs to share their knowledge and enthusiasm.
It also serves as a training academy, with sessions to help educate Arnold Clark sales employees on the latest innovations in driving and the latest electric models coming to its branches, helping to ensure their knowledge remains current.
Fuel Change also runs an education programme in schools, which is focusing on introducing the issue of climate change and ‘carbon literacy’ into every subject on the curriculum.