Local Action in Oxford
Three initiatives undertaken in Oxford illustrate how local action can lead to improved social justice and help to deliver the MDGs.
Oxford – our fairtrade city
Fairtrade in the UK is very successful and has released significant sums of money for community development in producer countries. Much of the sales, however, come from big brands and chains. Oxford has been a Fairtrade City since 2004 and is proud that across the city there are people not only buying and selling Fairtrade, but also educating people about how it works and taking part in the debates around its future.
One key reason for success is that community-based action has created active Fairtrade enterprises which not only increase sales (and money available to producers) but also prioritise building local community and offering information about the wider issues around Fairtrade. One such initiative is the Windmill shop.
The Windmill and Fairtrade at St Michael’s in the city centre hope to liaise with the world shop (Weltladen) in Villach to share best practices.
Barton and MDG 7
MDG 7, promoting environmental sustainability, is crucial globally and locally. Oxford is proud to have a pioneering city-wide programme of collaboration between private, public and non-profit organisations with the aim of ensuring Oxford’s future as a sustainable and low carbon city. The objectives of the Low Carbon Oxford programme are set; to reduce the overall carbon emissions of the city by 3% year on year – achieving an 80% reduction by 2050, to create more ‘green jobs’ and a sustainable economy, and for Oxford to become an exemplary low carbon city for the UK.Within this programme, the “Warming Barton” project aims to help householders save energy and create warmer homes in one of Oxford’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Oxford’s “Low Carbon Hub” is working in partnership with local community groups, Low Carbon Barton and the Barton Community Association, to offer local residents energy surveys on their homes. The Hub is championing a community-based, bottom-up approach to energy efficiency in households
“FoodPrinting” Oxford provides for a multifaceted approach for identifying waste in the food supply chain. “FoodPrinting” is also important because Oxford’s food system accounts for a major part of the city’s environmental impact – around 20% of all of Oxford’s greenhouse gas emissions. “FoodPrinting” Oxford is not about finding or promoting one particular solution; it is about providing people with clear and quantitative information, so that they can compare options and take proportionate action.