• Ayrshire regeneration project a global #MoveThe Date environmental exemplar
  • HALO Kilmarnock recognised by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the California-based Global Footprint Network for its commitment to sustainable, inclusive regeneration
  • Project to feature as part of a global webinar with entrepreneur Dr Marie Macklin CBE
  • Registrations open for free event and business leaders asked to save the date and help #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day

Scottish businesswoman Marie Macklin’s urban regeneration project in Kilmarnock is being singled out by international sustainability organisation Global Footprint Network for its net zero vision.

The £63m HALO Kilmarnock project will be the centrepiece of a virtual #MoveTheDate conversation on Thursday 6th August, ahead of Earth Overshoot Day on Saturday 22 August, with Dr Macklin delivering a keynote address to the Scottish business community.

In partnership with Scottish Power, the HALO Kilmarnock’s ambition is to create a sustainable community approach to mixed-use development on a 28-acre brownfield site powered by electricity with a net zero carbon footprint.

The HALO will be the first town centre net zero carbon energy project in Scotland, using 100 per cent renewable energy and adopting the latest technologies to deliver efficient power, heating and transport solutions.

The webinar – Choosing our future by design, not disaster – is being delivered in partnership with SEPA and Global Footprint Network, the international organisation behind Earth Overshoot Day.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when humanity has used more ecological resources than natural ecosystems can regenerate in the whole year – this year falling on August 22.

Hosted by Herald Scotland Editor-In-Chief Donald Martin, the event will feature panellists Mathis Wackernagel, President of the Global Footprint Network, Terry A’Hearn, CEO of SEPA and Catriona Patterson, board member of the 2050 Climate Group, and opportunities for attendees to add their voices to the conversation.

Registration for the free event is open now and business leaders are being asked to save the date and help #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day.

The event comes ahead of the global launch of Earth Overshoot Day in Scotland by SEPA and Global Footprint Network.

Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO Urban Regeneration Company, said: “It’s a huge honour to be invited by SEPA and the Global Footprint Network to speak at their #MoveTheDate webinar.

“The HALO’s ultimate vision is for a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter where people can ‘Live, Work, Learn and Play’. At that heart of this vision is our sustainable community approach to a net zero carbon mixed-use development providing jobs, economic growth, skills development, access to employment opportunities, clean energy and housing.

“I look forward to speaking and hearing about all the opportunities we can explore to accelerate the practical action needed for sustainable and inclusive growth.”

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA’s CEO, said: “The scale of environmental challenge facing humanity is enormous. Even in a year when human activity across parts of the world ground to a halt due to COVID-19, we are still vastly overusing our planet’s natural resources.

“In the future, the only successful countries, corporates or communities will be those that have embraced the economic and social opportunity of sustainability.  To do so needs leadership and vision, which is why we’re keen to support Dr Marie Macklin, her Halo Project and the partners involved.

“SEPA’s strategy for tackling this definitive challenge of our time is called ‘one planet prosperity’, focused on helping our communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our one planet – but we know no organisation can tackle this alone.

“Joining us in the #MoveTheDate conversation on Thursday 6 August is a key opportunity to reignite this vital conversation, inspire our business leaders with the work being done here in Scotland by projects like HALO Kilmarnock, and carry that enterprising thought into our workplaces and boardrooms across Scotland.”

Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network added: “True sustainability that allows all to thrive within Earth’s ecological budget can only be achieved by design, not by disaster.

“While no society can shift overnight, those who plan ahead stand a far better chance of thriving, and Scotland’s COVID-19 recovery is a real opportunity to plan for a more sustainable future.

“Global Footprint Network is delighted to be participating in this event and launching this year’s Earth Overshoot Day in Scotland, where there is an opportunity to accelerate transformation ahead of the UN’s COP meetings in Glasgow in 2021.”

‘Choosing our future by design, not disaster’ chaired by The Herald Editor-in-Chief, Donald Martin takes place on Thursday 6th August from 6pm. Sign up today at newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/choosing-our-future/.

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