Published on 22nd March 2023

Graphic with mobile phone screen and text explaining the service

Free sustainability platform offered to local businesses and organisations.

Cheltenham Borough Council is today calling for 300 local businesses to come forward and claim their free access to Zellar, an online sustainability platform that enables businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills.

The offer is available to the first 300 qualifying small or medium enterprises (SMEs) that apply. The council-led programme is part-funded by SSE’s Sustainable Business Communities project with Zellar, and United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF).

Delivered through CheltenhamZero, the programme is designed to help local businesses within Cheltenham borough to kick-start their sustainability journeys and support Cheltenham’s drive towards becoming net zero by 2030.

Zellar makes it easy for businesses to make a start and take climate action. It helps them to calculate and understand their carbon emissions and then build an achievable plan to reduce them, based on their size and sector. Zellar is already helping over 1,000 UK SMEs to plan, activate, measure, report and share their business sustainability journeys, and reduce their energy costs.

Cllr Alisha Lewis member for climate change said ‘’I’m thrilled that we are the first council in Gloucestershire to offer the Zellar platform and alongside CheltenhamZero are able to make it free of charge to the local business community. The platform offers a practical and accessible way to help businesses make real headway in tackling climate change issues whilst also reducing their energy costs and I’d urge organisations to sign up as quickly as possible.‘’

A benefit of Zellar will see the council and CheltenhamZero gain consolidated data reports, enabling them to track the emissions reduction progress of local businesses as the town works together towards Cheltenham’s 2030 net zero target.

Becki Sillence, CheltenhamZero communications manager, continued: “We are delighted to announce this enhanced offer for CheltenhamZero members and look forward to working with Zellar and supporting local businesses to kickstart their sustainability journey.”

Nikki Flanders, managing director of Energy Customer Solutions at SSE, said: “I am delighted that Cheltenham Borough Council is enabling this opportunity for businesses. Providing the right tools and support to small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills has never been more important. Business engagement is vital if we are to achieve our UK net zero targets and exactly why SSE Energy Solutions chose to sponsor the Zellar platform, which will provide free low-carbon support, guidance and inspiration to 15,000 small and medium-sized businesses, the lifeblood of the UK economy. 

She continued: “Business groups, led by the FSB, have been calling for an accessible platform that provides practical information on how to reduce energy usage and environmental impact and Zellar is the perfect example of what can be done in this space. We believe our Sustainable Business Communities project will be a vital enabler for SMEs to get to grips with their sustainability responsibilities and on a personal note as a resident of Gloucestershire, I’m pleased to see leadership from Cheltenham Borough Council in driving that forward.”

Gary Styles, founder and CEO of Zellar, commented: ‘We’re excited that Cheltenham Borough Council has chosen Zellar to help it achieve its 2030 net zero commitment. This is a brilliant opportunity for Cheltenham businesses to join a community of over 1,000 UK companies that are reducing their emissions and bringing down their record high energy bills. Based on previous ‘first come first served’ programmes we’ve run, I’d urge businesses to apply early to avoid disappointment.’’

Free one-year access to Zellar is available to any SME that is operational within the Cheltenham borough boundary. Sign up takes less than 90 seconds. To secure access for your business:

  1. CheltenhamZero Partnership by signing our net zero pledge here
  2. Join Zellar here our discount code CHELTZ30SSE is automatically applied at checkout

Cheltenham is the seventh regional partner to sign up to the Zellar programme and joins Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, East Midlands Chamber, Leicester and Leicestershire LEP, Greater Lincolnshire LEP and the Business Gateway, Made in Northamptonshire, Market Harborough District Council.

Media contacts:
Cheltenham Borough Council: contact 01242 264231.

Zellar: James Read 07887 653037

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Notes for editors

This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and has received £25,000. The remainder of the project has been funded by Zellar and SSE Energy Solutions.

The first 300 eligible businesses to sign up will be granted one year fully subsidised access to Zellar worth £299, or a combined near £90,000 in equivalent subscription fees. After the first twelve months businesses can choose whether to continue their subscription.

About Cheltenham Borough Council

Working with residents, communities and businesses to help make Cheltenham net zero by 2030 is one of five key priorities for the council. Our Climate Emergency Action Plan: Pathway to Net Zero sets out our aim to achieve the 2030 target by working with residents, communities, businesses and public and voluntary organisations. We'll need to reduce our carbon footprint and adapt through improving our infrastructure to achieve a cleaner and greener sustainable environment.

About CheltenhamZero

CheltenhamZero is a partnership between Cheltenham Borough Council and local climate charity Vision 21. They currently support around 120 local organisations, from a wide range of sectors, with their net zero journey. It’s free to join and membership is open to businesses, public services, charities, schools and community organisations operating within Cheltenham.

About Zellar

Launched in 2021, Zellar is an online sustainability platform that helps businesses to measure, plan, activate, report and share their sustainability journey. 

Zellar captures every climate positive action a business takes along its sustainability journey - whether it’s reducing emissions, switching to green energy or offsetting carbon. It then reflects those measures within a single score that shows both them and the outside world their sustainability progress.

Zellar customers include thousands of UK SMEs, as well a growing number of national chains, school academies and faith institutions that are looking to drive local sustainability across multiple UK sites.

The company has already attracted numerous partners including The Co-operative Bank, SSE Energy Solutions and East Midlands Chamber.  Zellar is privately held and headquartered in London.

About SSE Energy Solutions

SSE provides gas and electricity for businesses big and small across the UK, currently supplying around 500,000 metering points. We offer a wide range of fixed-price and flexible energy plans, and all our fixed contracts include 100% renewable electricity as standard.

We’re different because all our renewable electricity is sourced from SSE plc’s own UK wind and hydro assets. And we’re building more for net zero: we plan to increase our renewable electricity output fivefold to 50TWh by 2030 – enough to supply more than half of all current UK industry.