March 12, 2007 12:00 PM
HRH Prince Charles

HRH Prince Charles

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will be visiting Woking on Friday 23 March to discover more about Woking Borough Council's work to tackle climate change and to get involved in a discussion about the role that business has to play in creating a sustainable future.

During the visit, which has been organised by Business in the Community with support from Woking Borough Council, His Royal Highness will also visit the site of one of Woking's green initiatives in the town centre and launch a major climate change exhibition in the Peacocks Shopping Centre on how businesses and consumers can reduce their carbon footprint.

The royal visitor will spend over three hours in the Borough, beginning his visit viewing the Albion Square canopy. The state-of-the-art structure, which is reaching the final stages of construction, is an attractive steel and glass canopy that stretches from the train station entrance to Albion House. It is equipped with photovoltaic cells, which will collect solar energy to light the canopy. It is one example of the Council's innovative energy projects and it will provide an invaluable source of renewable energy for decades to come.

HRH will then make his way to the Peacocks Shopping Centre, for the launch of a climate change exhibition by Business in the Community. The exhibition, which gives advice on how businesses and members of the public can become more sustainable, will be on display outside Marks & Spencer and is the first of an ambitious programme of exhibitions which Business in the Community will take to shopping centres across the UK.

The Prince of Wales will then be involved in a climate change seminar in the Peacocks Shopping Centre. The seminar, which will involve representatives from the seven Beacon Councils for Sustainable Energy and key national and local business people, will look at how businesses can work alongside local authorities to become more sustainable.

The seminar will feature presentations by Woking Borough Council, Shropshire County Council and the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership.

Finally, HRH will visit the Ambassadors Cinema for a special viewing of Al Gore's Oscar winning film, `An Inconvenient Truth', which highlights the implications that climate change could have on the earth and reinforces the need for a more sustainable future.

Cllr Sue Smith, Woking Borough Council's Leader of the Executive, said: "We are delighted that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will be visiting Woking to highlight such important issues. We are looking forward to showcasing some of our important sustainable energy initiatives and welcoming Business in the Community to the Borough to launch their exhibition. Woking Borough Council is one of the leading authorities on climate change and we hope that this very special visit will encourage local businesses to think about the way they conduct themselves and move towards more sustainable business methods. Climate change is the greatest threat humankind is facing today and we all need to join together to take urgent action."

Additional information

1. Woking Borough Council

While world leaders continue to debate environmental issues on a global scale, Woking Borough Council is tackling issues such as global warming and depletion of natural resources locally. From an environmental perspective, Woking Borough Council is widely recognised as being one of the most energy efficient local authorities in the country.

The Council has developed a number of sustainable initiatives which have placed Woking firmly on the environmental map. These include the development of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) station in Woking Town Centre, which generates sustainable energy to power the Civic Offices, the Holiday Inn Hotel, Victoria Way Car, Quake nightclub and the Big Apple family entertainment complex. The Council has been a pioneer in the use of small scale CHP and was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in November 2001.

In addition, the Council has developed a fuel cell which generates energy for Woking's Pool in the Park and Leisure Centre and uses photovoltaic cells on a number on Council-owned buildings. Recently, Woking Borough Council erected hybrolights in one of the Borough's car parks, as a demonstration project to assess the viability of this new technology which uses energy generated from wind and light to power the street lights in the car park.

Woking Borough Council was awarded Beacon Council for Sustainable Energy in 2005 for its work on climate change and the innovative provision of energy services. It has also been shortlisted for another beacon award this year, in the category "Promoting sustainable communities through the planning process" for its work in planning the future development of the Borough.

For more information about Woking Borough Council's green initiatives, please visit the Council's Planet Woking pages.

2. Business in the Community

Business in the Community inspires, engages, supports and challenges companies to continually improve the impact they have on society and the environment. BITC is business led and supported through its membership of over 750 leading companies.

The member companies measure and report on progress and illustrate the action being taken to improve the impact of their operations, products and services on society and the environment.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, has been President of the organisation for the last 21 years.

The Peacocks Shopping Centre was chosen as the venue to launch the climate change exhibition because of Woking's strong track-record on tackling climate change.