THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW: HOW CAN YOUR BUSINESS MOVE TOWARD NET ZERO ?

The Norfolk Chambers of Commerce has launched its Business Climate Leaders (BCL) programme to support Norfolk SME’s starting or continuing their net zero journey.
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Following its announcement in April, the Government’s Energy Security Strategy has raised the country’s ‘clean energy’ ambitions, increasing the importance of working towards net zero by 2050, and placing more responsibility on businesses, including SME’s, to contribute towards reducing the impact of climate change. 

The BCL program brings together a community of Norfolk businesses and organisations to share and disseminate relevant information that will support businesses making alternative choices, implementing policy and changing their behaviours.

Chris Sargisson, Norfolk Chambers of Commerce CEO, explains: “Businesses are more aware than ever that now is the time to take action to tackle climate change, but for many knowing where to start and what to do is difficult to understand and time-consuming. The objective of the Business Climate Leaders approach is simple; a free to access programme for every business, designed to educate, enable and support SMEs to seek, understand and apply appropriate, tested actions and activities that will put them on the path to net zero. The programme is also very much in line with the Chambers vision; to connect support and give voice to every business in Norfolk.”

If Government net zero policies are not met, and the goal is not reached, repercussions are expected to follow, such as the continuation of energy price rises, impacting not only individuals but the businesses and small organisations that make up our economy. Alongside this, the increase in carbon emissions is predicted to have a greater, irreversible impact on our climate. Now is the time to act.

The Government net zero by 2050 goal is set to be achieved through an increase in renewable energy production, decarbonisation, and a more efficient use of energy – but this raises the question; where do small businesses fit into this timeline? Although many individuals are already taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint through new technologies, for businesses, making sense of the mass of information and resources on offer to support their net zero journey can feel overwhelming.

Although independent contributions are greatly important, businesses are equally under observation to do their bit, with the 2050 goal becoming seemingly far to reach for many. However, it may be more achievable than many first think thanks to the BCL program being implemented by the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce.

The regional business membership organisation have recognised that many Norfolk SMEs may find it difficult to know where to begin when it comes to starting their carbon reduction journey. The sustainability support space is noisy and it takes time to correctly navigate through the many ideas, organisations and programmes that already exist to support SMEs and as the region’s economy grows, the announced plans for homegrown power are set to facilitate conversations and support for all local businesses who wish to develop their plans and projects in line with net zero goals.

The BCL programme has its own dedicated pages on the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce website where resources including blogs, podcasts and videos can be accessed, arming businesses with the information they need to support their decarbonisation plans. Alongside free resources there are also many free BCL events available for businesses to access including the King’s Lynn Climate Change Expo set to take place in partnership with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk on the 21st June at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange.

The Expo will showcase decarbonisation measures and provide advice on how this works to benefit local enterprises, as well as reach the 2050 target. This is an excellent opportunity to be part of a sustainable event, presenting the chance to raise your business’s profile in West Norfolk.

Stand space and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Further information on the Business Climate Leaders programme can be found at norfolkchamber.co.uk/business-climate-leaders.

Pictured: Chris Sargisson, CEO of Norfolk Chambers of Commerce
Photo credit: Norfolk Chambers of Commerce

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