More than 60 local businesses joined the Somerset Business Climate Summit 2022 held at Queens College in Taunton on Wednesday 21 September.
The event opened with a surprise flash mob choir performance from Year 4 & 5 students from Queen’s College, who performed an inspiring and poignant rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’.
Over the course of the morning, delegates heard from other Somerset businesses how they have successfully reduced their carbon footprints while deriving other benefits and reduced costs in their business. The speakers provided insights on a wide range of topics relating to how businesses can reach carbon net-zero and take steps to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Guest speakers from businesses of different sizes and industries, including Thatcher’s Cider, My Carbon Coach, The Field Works, South West Manufacturing Advisory Service, Trees for Good Causes, and New Leaf Design, a recently certified B Corp business, discussed topics including advice on the easiest ways for businesses to cut carbon, what Net Zero means, the journey to B Corp, and sustainable agriculture and manufacturing.
Cllr Dixie Darch, Somerset County Council Associate Lead Member for Climate Change and the Environment, said: “It is good to see so many local businesses engaging on this important subject. The speakers were able to offer practical and relatable examples of how taking steps to become more sustainable has benefitted their businesses.”
Michele Cusack, Acting Lead Director of Economic and Community Infrastructure at Somerset County Council said: “We know the national cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll and there are likely to be some tough months ahead for businesses. But rather than pushing any environmental aims to one side until the economy stabilises, now is actually a great time to consider carbon-saving initiatives. Doing so can save money, give businesses a competitive advantage, and improve their image as an ethically and environmentally responsible operator, while protecting the environment in its time of need too.”
Following the various presentations, the audience participated in an interactive Q+A session with the presenters to ask questions, followed by networking in the EXPO area with various exhibition stands promoting help available for businesses to become more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Organisations supporting the conference, alongside the five Somerset local authorities, include New Leaf Life Design, The Field Works, Taunton Chamber, Somerset Chamber, FSB and the NFU.
Building on the event, there will be several workshops held across Somerset between October and December to continue supporting businesses in reducing their impact on the environment, promote networking and the sharing of best practise.
You can find out more information about these workshops here: Future Workshops (somerset.gov.uk).
To keep up to date with latest information about tackling the climate emergency in Somerset, visit Climate Emergency (somerset.gov.uk).
Front: Pupils from Queens College, Back: (L-R) Jason Loomes – The Field Works, Tim Walker – My Carbon Coach, Ed Prouse – Trees for Good Causes, Nick Golding – SWMAS, Becky Wright – New Leaf Life Design, and Michele Cusack, Acting Lead Director of Economic and Community Infrastructure at Somerset County Council