#NetZeroBucks highlights the role of businesses in reducing carbon emissions and the innovations that can result from a low carbon economy.
Written by Philippa Batting, Managing Director, Buckinghamshire Business First
Here at Buckinghamshire Business First, we are not only looking at how we can reduce plastics, waste and carbon in our own business, we are looking at how we can inspire local businesses to drive their own innovations and change to contribute towards a Net Zero Buckinghamshire economy.
#NetZeroBucks highlights the role that businesses can play in reducing carbon emissions and the innovations that can pave the way for those reductions.
Inspiring change and innovation
To effect change, it’s useful to have inspiring stories to show the way. At our most recent AGM, we brought together a panel of incredible businesses to speak about sustainability and carbon reduction.
We heard from:
- Will King, whose Beaconsfield-based King of Shaves are leading the way in developing refillable grooming products
- Benjamin Jones of Terracycle, a global platform that enables consumer product companies and retailers to shift from a disposable supply chain to a sustainable one
- Alex Cullen of BLA London, who help businesses understand new consumer expectations around sustainability and how to get their messaging across
- Daniel Cope of the Low Carbon Workspaces project, which delivers grants to businesses to help pay for efficiency projects
After the speakers had inspired the crowd, members of the audience took their chance to ask questions and share their own experiences, showing a willing appetite among the business community to develop the Net Zero theme into a tangible, lasting legacy.
Together, we started a conversation around carbon reduction in the business community and explored opportunities to learn from and collaborate with those who are already delivering change and innovation.
Our responsibility to reverse climate change damage
Carbon reduction is one of the most pressing issues facing our society and planet today. It can be hard for ‘big picture’ issues to cut through amid the daily grind, and it can be uncomfortable to admit to ourselves that we as individuals play a contributing part in climate change and have a responsibility to reverse the damage. But cut through it must, and responsible we are.
The #NetZeroBucks campaign needs focus, humility and honesty. It’s right to ask if we are all truly doing everything we realistically can to reduce our carbon footprints, but it’s also important to be level-headed and not disheartened if you realise you’ve been recycling the wrong items, or the right items but in the wrong way. Learning something new like this is a step forward, not a step back, as you are now equipped with the knowledge you need to effectively reduce your environmental impact.
Carbon audit & offsetting carbon emissions
At Buckinghamshire Business First, we have undertaken our first audit to understand our carbon footprint and have committed to offset our emissions through paying for the planting of trees, and have now set ourselves the target of reducing our emissions in 2020-21.
Since 2009, through our subsidiary company Ngage, we have delivered business support programmes with sustainability at their heart. These programmes have helped businesses with their travel planning, adopt low carbon technologies, bring eco-innovations to market, and helped farmers and land owners reduce their carbon footprint.
Over the last 10 years, through these programmes, we have enabled almost 1,500 businesses to save in excess of 800,000 tonnes of CO2e. That’s almost the equivalent of planting two new woodlands the size of Wendover Woods.
But given that there are over 30,000 businesses in Buckinghamshire, imagine what we could collectively achieve if we all take steps towards a more sustainable way of working.
You can carry out your own carbon audit
An audit like the one we carried out is something every business can do to understand their own carbon output. Once you know what your current output is, you can start planning to reduce it. This may help you identify opportunities within your business that you never knew existed, save you money, encourage an increasingly environmentally-savvy consumer audience to buy from you, make your staff even happier to work for you, and just generally make the world a better place.
To help us all on our journey to a low carbon economy,, we have created netzerobucks.org – a place bringing together inspiration, ideas and resources that we have developed and picked up over 10 years of delivering low carbon-focused initiatives.
The page has recently launched and is in no way exhaustive, so please keep checking back for updates and if you can recommend useful resources we can share with the Buckinghamshire business community, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d also love to hear about any low-carbon initiatives you are implementing, or would like to implement, in your business.