Our first speaker was Matt Tudge, Network Manager of Low Carbon South West, the members’ organisation supporting and developing the low carbon and environmental sectors. Matt informed the audience of upcoming initiatives and projects from LCSW including the Future Economy Centre and plans for an environmental trade show later in 2016. To find out more about joining Low Carbon South West click here and sign up to the newsletter here.
Krystian Sordyl of Solarsense was our second speaker. Krystian discussed the landscape for renewable energy installation and how Solarsense can help businesses. Krystian highlighted the changes to the Feed-in Tariff and the movement away from installers putting in ‘as much solar as possible’ to bespoke integrated plans; something Solarsense have been doing for more than 20 years. Solarsense are currently opening their Zero Carbon Hub and Training Centre demonstrating the latest technologies.
Chris Lyons, EEN Sector Lead for Business West talked about support available through Business West and opportunities internationally through Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). EEN helps businesses develop their innovation, identify partners and become more entrepreneurial. Chris also talked about the support available to help businesses identify European and UK funding.
John Hardwick of MoreFrom Coaching talked about his experience moving from engineering into management and how this encouraged him to develop a coaching practice to ensure that leaders have the skills they need to create a sustainable and positive workplace. MoreFrom Coaching provide training to help staff adjust to managerial roles and develop their staff – you can see details of John’s next course ‘Coaching Others to be Their Best’, on Thursday 24th March 2016 here.
Michael Clinton, Director of Research for The Schumacher Institute presented Initiative Homes; a social enterprise set up by the Schumacher Institute to design and provide accessible, affordable and sustainable housing through systems design, looking at not just the houses, but the infrastructure and inclusive facilities. Initiative Homes are currently undertaking stakeholder engagement on the design brief with a variety of key stakeholders including House Associations before moving forward on design and construction.
Our next presenter was Steve Sliney, Director of Collecteco. Steve discussed sustainable procurement and how Collecteco work collaboratively with a range of organisations to make sourcing reused equipment a reality for businesses that want to realise the environmental, social and economic benefits of doing so. Collecteco are promoting the carbon cost savings over and above financial savings and have a number of opportunities for collaboration – find out more here.
Tania Palk of Sustainability and Environmental Management Solutions introduced the sustainability services they could offer to businesses in the area, including environmental and sustainability strategy, energy management systems and sustainability training. Tania offered a free, 2 hour waste or environmental audit to attendees. You can see more about SEM Solutions services, available training courses and contact details here.
Nick Spicer, Chief Operations Officer for Your Group, was our penultimate speaker. Nick discussed how Your Group were delivering on the sustainability aims of COP21 and how there are only 27 years left in the global ‘carbon budget’ to limit climate change to 2 degrees. Your Group work globally in renewable energy and sustainability through their five operational businesses – Your Power, Your Hydro, Your Electrical, Your Renewable Assets and Your Engineering Support Services. Your Group also ensure that they are ‘walking the walk’, with BREEAM Excellent offices, electric vehicles and are currently baselining their staff’s impact for carbon offsetting.
Our last speaker was Amy Nicholass, Manager of Go Green. Amy recapped the impact the Go Green project has had in Bristol during 2015, with over 1200 businesses signed up and 280 action plans created by Go Green businesses. Amy then introduced Go Green’s plans for 2016, including doubling the amount of prove it members to 60, upgrading of the Action Plan tool and Go Green’s expansion across the South West with an introductory Energy & Efficiency event in Bath Abbey on the evening of Wednesday 9th March 2016.