We Need Action: Takeaways from our Greater Manchester Green Summit Panel Event
On 3rd October 2022, we held our first Greater Manchester Green Summit fringe event, in partnership with SSE Energy Solutions.
Hosted at Bruntwood SciTech’s Circle Square, the discussion centred on how we can accelerate environmental change in Greater Manchester.
We welcomed guests from across the region to hear the thoughts of our panellists:
Alex Edwards, Director of Sustainability, Bruntwood
Prof. Liz Price, Deputy-Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Sustainability, Manchester Metropolitan University
Chris Matthews, Head of Public and Community Affairs, United Utilities
Liam Knaggs, Land Lead for EV, SSE Energy Solutions
Here are the key takeaways:
We need more action now
Most companies have publicly committed to sustainability objectives in the long term - it’s what can be done today that is vital to a more sustainable future.
Companies represented on the panel all discussed their short term and long term means of creating environmental change now, from driving net zero skills and educating consumers to creating sustainable buildings and improving the UK’s EV charging network.
Communication is key
In the current context, considering the Russia-Ukraine war and the UK’s cost of living crisis, a key challenge for companies is how to link up sustainability and the cost of living. In a recent survey of almost 900 Bruntwood customers, 87% said they welcome support from their employer on how to be more sustainable in the workplace.
There is a real opportunity and significant demand for companies to help consumers to save money and upskill through sustainable initiatives, such as education for reducing consumption habits.
We need strong leadership
There was a consensus around the room that to accelerate environmental change in Greater Manchester and beyond, we need strong leadership. Yes, we need support from the government, but the opportunity is there for companies to lead the way. As panellist Chris Matthews put it, “The people responsible for the Industrial Revolution didn’t wait for the government - they took the initiative and did it themselves.”
Regardless of the current political situation, businesses need to continue on their path to net zero and bring their consumers with them.
Register for our next Greater Manchester Green Summit fringe event 'Future Workspaces: The Sustainability Challenge' here.
Find out more about how we approach sustainability at Bruntwood here.