Business opportunities in a sustainable future

With high energy costs and a gloomy economic outlook, coupled with a lack of fireworks from COP27 that the planet needs, it can be hard to stay motivated. But there are reasons for businesses to be optimistic.

Has COP27 kept up with the promise of COP26?

COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 saw a historic moment where we committed to achieve Net Zero by 2050. Ironically, COP27 is about keeping that target alive.

COP27, taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, has many objectives, but a couple stand out as deal-breakers for the planet.

Firstly, upholding the promised $100 billion per year investment to assist developing countries (developed countries are urged to lead by example with “bold and immediate actions”).

Coupled to this, there is an expectation on businesses to act now on their own emissions and activities.

No doubt, the issues facing the business community are devastating. But we must recognise that problems we face in our future should also be viewed at a global level, not least because we import heavily (including energy).

There are four words which bear the weight of our hopes at the conference: Finance, Mitigation, Adaptation, and Collaboration.

Whilst we may go from one turmoil to another, climate change will not dissipate. Rather, its consequences intensify each year that passes. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel

So, COP26 may have been the sparkler, while COP27 may not conclude with the fireworks we and the planet had hoped for. With high energy costs and a gloomy outlook, it can be hard to stay motivated.

That’s one reason why our Climate Change Manager Daniel Cope sat down recently to talk with Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green and Black’s Chocolate, to see why she is more optimistic than ever about business opportunities in a sustainable future.

Listen to their conversation on the latest Talking Heads podcast from Buckinghamshire Business First.

Grants to reduce winter heating costs

One opportunity this winter is a Low Carbon Workspaces grant. Funding of up to £6,750 to cover up to 45% of the cost of energy saving projects is available.

The cold, energy intensive months may be fast approaching, but upgrading your business’s heating may help for the period ahead.

Average cost savings for heating upgrades are currently over £2,200 per year. Twinned with the upfront savings with a grant, upgrading your heating system could take the edge off the cost (and the cold) this year.

Our grants have contributed to amazing combined savings for businesses over time:

  • £1.2 million saved on energy bills per year
  • 3,646 tonnes of CO₂e saved per year

Visit the Low Carbon Workspaces website to find out how you could benefit.

Join our Net Zero Collaboration Circle

So, the global fight against a climate emergency is on, and the business community has a part to play no matter what the size of the business or the sector it operates in.

Here at Buckinghamshire Business First, we are not only looking at how we can reduce plastics, waste, and carbon in our own business, we’ve been looking at how our community of local businesses can drive innovation and change in their own organisations to contribute towards a Net Zero Buckinghamshire economy. 

That's why we launched our Net Zero Buckinghamshire Collaboration Circle to bring together a group of businesses with a shared ambition to create a Net Zero Buckinghamshire economy by pooling knowledge, resources and and ideas.

Learn more about this concept and how to join >