The annual Gloucestershire Net Zero Conference took place on Wednesday 29 November 2023, providing the county's businesses with invaluable advice, practical support and inspirational tips on going green, as the UK strives to achieve net zero by 2050.
Delivered with tremendous success, this year's conference — hosted by The Growth Hub and GFirst LEP — really highlighted Gloucestershire's high ambitions around net zero, as attendees gathered to hear from specialist speakers at The Growth Hub within the University of Gloucestershire's Business School.
Keeping up the momentum for change, The Growth Hub is encouraging local businesses to reach out to its net zero team, to receive tailored support on how to start and develop their own journey to net zero.
The fully funded service provides coaching and support, with The Growth Hub's dedicated net zero specialists guiding people to construct a carbon audit to achieve a carbon footprint and a baseline.
The offer provides online support to meet a business's specific needs over a period and is tailored with guidance and signposting to many related aspects of net zero.
To find out more or to book an appointment with The Growth Hub Net Zero specialists, email email@example.com.
Highlights from the Gloucestershire Net Zero Conference 2023
Delegates heard from keynote speaker councillor David Gray about the work Gloucestershire County Council and Climate Leadership Gloucestershire are undertaking to achieve net zero; with valuable insights from local businesses who are already on their journey to carbon neutrality.
There were illuminating case studies from the Barnwood Group and Stroud Brewery; insights into the circular economy from Lighthouse Sustainability; and investment in sustainability from consultant Kit Beazley.
Following his talk at the Net Zero Conference, Stroud Brewery's managing director Greg Pilley, said: 'As a presenter I found it a refreshing event, with carbon reduction framed within the wider sustainability context. Eye opening for me was a presentation on banks and how our investments literally fuel CO2 emissions. It was great to see ever increasing interest in these net zero events.'
While Emma Burlow, founding director of Lighthouse Sustainability, who also spoke, said: 'I was so impressed with the selection of speakers at this year’s Net Zero Conference, it’s rare to see such a knowledgeable and practically focused panel.
'I genuinely believe that attendees will have gained a great deal. I certainly left feeling very proud to take part and with great optimism for the future of net zero across Gloucestershire. I can’t wait for bigger and even better next year — I think Gloucestershire is ready for high ambitions around net zero!'
Target PR delivered a thought-provoking presentation on compliance and the Green Claims Code; Mypower gave delegates a technical insight into the benefits of solar PV; while Hawkwood Centre for Future Thinking pointed to using creativity and innovation as ways of changing the mindset towards net zero.
Delegates also heard how to undertake a carbon audit in a talk by the Growth Hub Guide.
After attending the annual conference for the first time this year, Martyn Gill, who is an entrepreneur, start-up coach and investor, described it as 'informative, thought-provoking and inspiring'.
He continued: 'I look forward to seeing, through my work with The Growth Hub as a mentor, what new products and services are brought to market based on the opportunities highlighted at this event. It’s an exciting area and time for the region. The University of Gloucestershire Business School, for me, was the perfect location too. Well done to everyone involved in organising and presenting throughout the day!'
Nimble Elearning's marketing and brand manager, Jo Cole, said: 'Many thanks for a fantastic day today at the Net Zero Conference. We’re currently working towards becoming a B Corp, and there were so many wonderful speakers and lots of takeaways for us too, so it was an extremely useful and informative day for us.'
The conference was also supported with exhibitors for networking opportunities in the atrium including: SWMAS, Severn Wye Energy Agency, SGS Berkeley Green, Made in Gloucestershire, Wheatley Printers, Fleet Electric Leasing and Cheltenham Zero, as well as teams from GCC sustainability and Think Travel.