You might recall that the British precursor of NBC's The Office was set in the town of Slough. Well, Slough has another claim to fame, besides, that is, being the Scranton, Pa., of the U.K. (or rather Scranton is the Slough of the U.S. since the British show came first): carbon neutrality.
The city has joined a growing list of communities worldwide, including Rizhao, China and the island nation of Niue, attempting to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.N. agency charged with minding environmental matters of global import. Of course, as actor Steve Carrell's TV character Michael Scott might observe, that could mean the residents of Slough have to cut back on breathing, too, given that humans and other animals exhale carbon dioxide (CO2), the most ubiquitous greenhouse gas warming the climate.
Ditto for The Office's paper company. After all, pulp and paper manufacture is not exactly a green business: in addition to chopping down those carbon-gulping trees, it takes a heap of energy to process the wood into the paper churned out by office workers and the such.
But Slough's goal is a bit less ambitious—at least for now. It's just looking to cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2028 and, toward that end, to replace public and government vehicles with ones that burn unspecified "cleaner fuels." Not exactly carbon neutral but the slogan certainly helps with the public relations slog of trying to make Slough—"a historic stopping point for coaches traveling between London and Bath"—sexy.
Still employees of the fictional Office companies of Wernham Hogg (U.K.), Dunder Mifflin (U.S.) and even Cogirep (France) might well be alarmed by this news. Maybe it calls for a strategy session or a morale-boosting talent show? Of course, we'll need a pre-meeting to discuss the details of that…
Credit: Courtesy of NBC