Barnet Announces BarNET ZERO Challenge

Are you ready to be a part of the solution and shape a sustainable future for Barnet? We invite you to join the BarNET ZERO Challenge – a competition that encourages individuals and communities to come forward with creative and innovative ideas that will reduce carbon emissions.

The BarNET ZERO Challenge is open to those who live, work or study in Barnet and are passionate about sustainability and have an idea that can make a real difference in the borough. Successful participants will be able to attend workshops to develop their idea, showcase their projects to a panel of experts, receive funding from a cash pot of £10,000 and prizes including:

  • X Box Live Subscription
  • 1 Year Microsoft Office Subscription
  • An opportunity to be part of the Natwest Accelerator Programme

The initiative is led by London Borough of Barnet and Middlesex University, with the generous support of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, NatWest and Microsoft.

About the BarNET ZERO Challenge

In May 2022, Barnet declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency recognising that urgent action is needed. London Borough of Barnet Council and Middlesex University have both committed to becoming Net Zero, and have teamed up to launch the BarNET ZERO Challenge.

The aim of the contest is to help develop innovative ideas for solving some of the borough’s sustainability challenge areas;

  1. Waste and Sustainable Consumption
  2. Learning, Communication & Partnerships
  3. Nature and Biodiversity
  4. Travel
  5. Housing, Buildings & Renewable Energy

The above five challenge themes have developed from Barnet’s Citizens’ Assembly discussions on Climate Change and Biodiversity – read more about this here:

Discover Barnet’s residents’ recommendations to becoming a more sustainable borough | Engage Barnet

How does the Challenge work?

Review the five challenge areas and decide which one you’d like to submit your idea for.

Write a 200-word outline of your idea, including an explanation of why you think it is a good idea and how it could be implemented.

Enter the challenge here:

Submit your 200-word entry, by completing the form here.(External link)

The closing date for entries is: 29 November 2023.

The following format is a guide:

Your idea in 200 words:

  • Provide a title to your idea that is catchy but sums up what the idea is about.
  • Introduce your idea in the first sentence by stating the essence of the idea in practice. (20 words)
  • Follow this up with further information on how the idea could be implemented in practice. (90 words).
  • Add some concluding comments on why you feel this idea could be implemented across the borough to reduce carbon emissions. (90 words).

Submissions will be reviewed by an independent panel and successful applicants will be invited to a launch event and to attend a series of workshops to help develop their idea.

After the workshops have finished, applicants will submit their updated idea for consideration by another independent panel of experts to determine finalists. These finalists will then receive additional support for their projects and a share of up to £10,000 and additional prizes.

The finalists will also be displayed online and in Brent Cross shopping centre for a public vote in May 2024 to determine the top three ideas.

Eligibility and selection

To be eligible for the competition, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have the right to work in the UK
  • Live, work or study in London Borough of Barnet
  • Have an idea for a net zero solution that is practical
  • For individuals or community groups
  • Submit your expression of interest by 29 November 2023.
  • Agree to Challenge Terms and Conditions

Benefits and incentives

By participating in the competition, you will have the chance to:

  • Win part of the £10,000 prize fund; £5,000 for first place, £3,000 for second place, and £2,000 for the third place. The prize money can be used to further develop or implement your project.
  • Attend workshops led by NatWest and Microsoft to help develop and refine your idea.
  • Receive feedback and guidance from experts in the Net Zero field, who will offer support throughout the competition.
  • Network with other participants, judges, mentors and sponsors, who share your passion and vision for Net Zero.
  • Gain exposure and recognition for your project, as the competition will be promoted and covered by various media outlets and platforms.

Expectations and responsibilities

As a participant of the competition, you are expected to:

  • Commit to the timeline and milestones of the competition, and submit your deliverables on time and in the required format.
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with mentors, judges and organisers, and respect their feedback and opinions.
  • Follow the rules and guidelines of the competition, and uphold the values of integrity, honesty and professionalism.
  • Acknowledge and respect the intellectual property rights of others, and ensure that your project does not infringe on any existing patents, trademarks or copyrights.

Contact details

If you have any questions or queries about the competition, please contact us by email at:

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