Wokingham Borough Council has continued to lead the way towards carbon neutrality this week, hosting its first online ‘Climate Conversation’ with local businesses, as well as another inspiring webinar for other local authorities across the UK.
Local businesses were invited to join host Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for climate emergency, and special guests to discuss how they could make their businesses more energy efficient to benefit both the environment and their bottom line.
The event was the council’s first ‘Climate Conversation’, titled ‘The road to decarbonisation’, which saw Cllr Murray and expert guest speakers openly explore the challenges we all face and opportunities available to help us become more energy efficient at work and at home.
Panellists included Tom McDonald from Low Carbon Workspaces who works with small and medium businesses across Berkshire to provide grants of between £1,000 to £5,000 to cover up to a third of the cost of making energy improvements.
They were joined by Sarah Hitchcox, technical director from Anesco who shared her expertise on renewable energy and battery solutions that can both save local businesses and residents money while reducing carbon emissions.
Amira Hashemi, sustainability manager for Frasers Property, helped explore how collaboration can support organisations to deliver net zero carbon ambitions and discussed what they have been able to achieve at one of their properties Winnersh Triangle Business Park.
How climate change can affect your business
The expert panel welcomed questions from attendees and talked about how climate change can affect businesses including supply chains, transport, new consumer behaviours as well as new regulations. They also covered topics including de-carbonising business operations and what schemes and grants are available that can help fund these actions.
Cllr Gregor Murray said: “We are so pleased that so many local businesses took the time to join our first climate conversation and we are thrilled we were able to provide a stellar panel of experts in this field.
“We are committed to helping local residents and businesses to become more energy efficient. There are many small changes that can have a big impact on our energy bills while reducing carbon emissions. We found out during our climate conversation that LED lighting can reduce the cost of lighting our homes and businesses by between 50 and 90 per cent – imagine the savings we can all make.”
The council has also been inspiring local authorities again across the UK. Council officers, together with Cllr Murray, received extremely positive feedback after hosting their second online conference this week. They discussed how local authorities can achieve carbon neutrality, using the ambitious new carbon neutral Dinton Activity Centre as a fantastic case study.
To watch the council’s first ‘Climate Conversation’ visit youtube and search ‘Wokingham Borough Council’.
The council's first conference, ‘From policy to delivery – How local authorities can achieve net zero carbon’, recorded back in December, can be viewed at cutt.ly/NhIU64E (part one) and cutt.ly/mhIIaWu (part two).
To find out more about the council’s commitment to climate emergency visit the council’s website and search Climate Emergency. To sign up to the council’s new Climate Emergency newsletter launching soon visit cutt.ly/shK8Cpq.
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