Low Carbon Liverpool: The Role of the Business Community in a Low Carbon Future

Discussion meeting

By Alex Nurse

Last Week (7th February), Low Carbon Liverpool hosted a seminar focusing on the business community and how it can engage with low carbon.
Held at Liverpool Community College’s Vauxhall campus, and chaired by our own Dr Peter North, we heard from Chris Benson (Benson Signs), Mike Bakewell (CT Investment Partners) and Justin Smith (Assistant Principal at the Community College).
Chris Benson spoke passionately about his own experiences greening his own business over the last twelve years, saying that a series of smaller steps can be more effective than trying to modify everything at once.  He argued that the cumulative effect has left his business far more efficient without the outlay of funding everything in one go.
Mike Bakewell then spoke about the business models that are emerging to help support small scale initiatives, and the importance of getting people to understand what is available to them.
Then, audience members engaged with the panel on the importance of sharing best practice case studies, particularly in the printed media, to show what can be achieved and the benefits to be had, as well as making the various funding and support structures well known.

The morning concluded with Justin Smith showing interested parties around the College’s Environmental Technology Centre, which provides training to install the latest in environmentally efficient technologies such as Solar Panels, Rainwater Catchment and Under-floor Heating.

The key take-home messages from the morning were twofold:

  • Firstly, that there is no substitute for enthusiasm in these matters. Being keen and engaged in running a business in the most efficient way possible can deliver benefits on a number of fronts, particularly to your operating costs.
  • Secondly, if you are interested, don’t shy away from a piecemeal approach. By building up your resilience over a number of years, across a number of individual projects you can end up with a business/organisation that is deeply low carbon without having to undergo fundamental, overnight change.

Ultimately, whole day brings to mind a proverb: “Those who say it can’t be done are often interrupted by those who are doing it”. Many of the people we heard from today exemplify this outlook.

For more info see: lowcarbonliverpool.com

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