Search is on to find climate change business heroes

Pictured is Ashley Rogers of Mersey Dee Alliance. Picture Mandy Jones

A search has been launched to find Net Zero heroes as companies across North Wales and Merseyside battle to reduce carbon emissions.

The challenge has been set by the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council who are organising a major online conference, Net Zero 2021, on Thursday, May 20, in a bid to inspire business and industry to join the race for a net zero carbon future.

The cross-border business conference will focus on how businesses can reduce their carbon footprint while improving performance at the same time.

Organisations registering to attend are invited to apply to be Net Zero Leaders based on their track record in cutting their carbon footprint and environmental impact across their business.

The Leaders will be chosen across three categories, micro business/start-up, small business and medium/large business categories by a distinguished panel of judges.

Speakers at conference will feature major players such as Airbus, Siemens, Iceland and Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well as small and medium sized businesses from across the region.

Also among the line-up of contributors and supporters are Anglesey Sea Zoo, RibRide, Flintshire County Council, the Development Bank of Wales, Construction Industry Training Board, Chamber of Commerce, Clwyd Alyn Housing, Grwp Llandrillo Menai, the Mersey Dee Alliance and railway campaign group Growth Track 360.

Themes include Energy and Transport, Manufacturing, Tourism and Hospitality, Food and Retail and Buildings and Construction.

Ashley Rogers, Commercial Director of the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council, said: “We want to identify the Net Zero Leaders from across the region because this presents a real challenge to how we have done things for so long but also provides real opportunities.

“These will be the businesses, large and small, that are pioneering change across an area that is uniquely well-placed to be at the forefront of the UK’s drive to be a Net Zero nation.

“Here we have the capability to harness wind, solar and tidal power as well as developing major plans around hydrogen and a nuclear skills base but getting to Net Zero is not just about low carbon energy and new green jobs but also decarbonising our existing businesses in Tourism, Manufacturing, Transport, Construction and other sectors.

“Now we want to recognise the companies that are already leading the way towards Net Zero and celebrate their role as pathfinders to this goal.”

One of the UK’s biggest banks, NatWest, has already achieved Net Zero status and aims to be climate positive by 2025 by working with its 35,000 small and medium sized businesses in Wales to reduce their emissions.

They are also key partners in COP 26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, and at Net Zero 2021 where Kevin Morgan, NatWest’s Senior Director of Wales Business Banking, is scheduled to speak.

He said: “It’s essential that we identify the pioneers already championing the region’s transition towards a carbon zero economy – the positive role models that can generate a significant impact within their local communities.

“The climate change battle needs to be in the hands of the many – and the local business leaders that have already stepped up to the challenge are the top of the pyramid, demonstrating the art of possible to all businesses.

“A multi-layered collaborative approach is essential to drive positive change among the businesses and communities we serve in North Wales – engaging and working with those that have already grasped the responsibility for leading this area.

“Just like the leaders we are identifying, NatWest is determined to not just play our part, but to lead on the collaboration and cooperation that is so critical to influencing the transition to a low carbon future.”

Ashley Rogers added: “Our main aim, given the challenge of improving business performance whilst getting to Net Zero Carbon is one every business faces, is to provide inspiration, information and best practice examples and advice for businesses on their journey to Net Zero.

“Businesses can learn so much from other businesses, large and small, and from other organisations taking part that have a wider remit such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Cymru in Broughton, Bangor and Wrexham Glyndwr Universities, the Carbon Trust and Innovate UK.

For more details and to book virtual tickets go to https://netzero2021.eventbrite.co.uk