Low Carbon Workspaces explain why, in the face of a global climate emergency, it is important to recognise energy saving businesses.
With the Buckinghamshire Business Awards a little over three months away, it’s the perfect time for the return of our Sponsor in the Spotlight feature. In each edition of our newsletter in the run-up to the awards ceremony on October 9th, we will feature one or more of our valued awards sponsors.
First up, Low Carbon Workspaces, sponsors of the Low Carbon Workspace Award, which was open to any business that has reduced the environmental impact of their premises or operations, by improving water or energy efficiency and/or reducing waste generation, since January 2017.
We put some questions to Rowan Wallis, Low Carbon Workspaces Programme Manager, to get the lowdown.
What does it mean to Low Carbon Workspaces to be a part of the Buckinghamshire Business Awards?
We’re very excited to be part of the Buckinghamshire Business Awards for the first time this year. The introduction of the Low Carbon Workspace Award is very timely. Personally, I’ve worked in the Environment sector for 10 years. We are facing a global climate emergency, but there are plenty of local businesses responding, keen to be part of the solution. We’re pleased to be able to recognise them, through the Low Carbon Workspaces Award.
Why is it important to recognise business’s low carbon activity?
There are some great Buckinghamshire businesses out there already doing the right thing, but also proving that there’s a very persuasive business case to saving energy and minimising waste. Moreover, these businesses are securing a sustainable future, increasing their resilience to energy supply issues and price hikes.
Going forward, the UK Government will be the first member of the G7 group of industrialised nations to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. Increasingly, they will evolve the policy and regulatory environment to align with these sustainability goals and businesses will need to be aware of these national ambitions and how they affect them, but also how they can contribute to them - rethinking their strategy and behaviour in order to thrive.
We’re delighted to share the best of these companies and their projects with you. Hopefully it will inspire other Buckinghamshire businesses to take action and take advantage of grants available via the Low Carbon Workspaces programme.
What are some of the characteristics you expect to see among the finalists for this award?
While Buckinghamshire Business First’s primary function is to support businesses to grow, programmes like the Low Carbon Workspaces grant scheme encourage positive behaviour change such as waste reduction and a reduction in greenhouse gas emission. In the first round of the Low Carbon Workspaces grant scheme, 55% of businesses involved agreed that their attitude towards energy usage had changed.
So when looking at the finalists for this award we’re looking beyond just evidence of improvements; we want to really understand their environmental goals. Some of the projects are quite innovative even if the technology used is fairly mainstream; but what really sets some of these companies apart is the buy-in they’ve achieved from their staff which has led to many additional sustainable improvements, with more planned for the future.
What are you most looking forward to about the Buckinghamshire Business Awards ceremony?
The whole team derive an enormous amount of pride in what we do. It’s nice to step back sometimes and think about everything we’ve achieved to date – so we’re definitely planning to celebrate as a team on the night. So far we’ve awarded over £1 million in energy and resource efficiency grants to over 340 small and medium-sized businesses. We monitor the results of each project, with verified annual carbon savings of nearly 850 tonnes of CO2e, and the same again in the pipeline!
About Low Carbon Workspaces
Low Carbon Workspaces offers grants of up to £2,500 in Buckinghamshire and £5,000 in Hertfordshire and the Black Country to help SMEs invest in their workplace, reduce their carbon footprint and open up opportunities to boost growth through energy and resource efficiency.
About the Buckinghamshire Business Awards
The Buckinghamshire Business Awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday 9th October 2019 at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury.
Finalists will be announced on Thursday 25th July.
Tickets go on sale for the ceremony on Friday 26th July.
For more information, visit the Buckinghamshire Business Awards homepage.