The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership is launching a new Sustainable Business Support Programme to coincide with the Big Sustainability Expo 2021, looking at a range of ways to support local businesses not only to reduce their environmental impact, but also to save money.
The Government-funded initiative is available for businesses in the Solent area and will provide tailored support from an expert sustainability advisor.
SJ Hunt, Deputy Chair of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Solent LEP's Business Task Force says: "With the COP 26 summit drawing ever nearer, the topic of climate change, and what we can do to make a difference is an increasingly important topic. The concept of 'Going Green' and becoming sustainable is something many of us aspire to and for businesses based in the Solent region, this is an opportunity to reduce their environmental impact, to become more efficient, and to reduce their overall costs. The Sustainable Business Support Programme will assist them in incorporating sustainability into their strategy, and with how to engage with their workforce, supply chains and customers to make it work.
"Our strategic goals for the region include supporting pioneering approaches to climate change adaptation and decarbonisation. This initiative offers advice on how businesses can combine compliance issues with energy efficient measures that conserve resources - helping them gain a competitive advantage, be better prepared to manage business risks, enhance access to capital and affordable insurance, and grow their business and their reputation."
To support local businesses, the Solent LEP is also launching an online one stop shop - a Green & Sustainable Business Hub, where businesses can find a range of support, grants and relevant information. There are also links to the Government's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Climate Commitment recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.
Lynda Daniels, Director of the Southern Sustainability Partnership Limited said: "We are delighted to see this type of initiative launched in the same week as the Big Sustainability Expo. With businesses already facing a number of challenges and changes such as rising costs, recruitment issues and the rise of e-commerce, the thought of moving to more sustainable systems is a big ask.
"I think that the LEP's Sustainable Business Support Programme will help to identify how these priorities overlap, and how making environmental improvements will also bring financial efficiencies. Our message to delegates at the Big Sustainability Expo is similar: There's a great deal of support and expertise available to help people on this journey, whether that is to assist with energy efficiency, a sustainable growth strategy, digitisation or funding.
"I hope that businesses take the Solent LEP up on this important programme to help set them on the right track, with practical advice, actions to take forward, and onward signposting to help them to achieve their sustainability goals."
For businesses signing up for the LEP's Sustainable Business Support Programme, the one-to-one support will produce increased clarity about the efficiencies and opportunities that come with improved sustainability credentials.
To take part businesses must be based in, or operating from the Solent area, have between one and 250 employees, and be committed to lowering their carbon emissions.
Click here to find out more and to enquire about taking part in the Sustainable Business Support Programme.