Fringe Box



Guildford Businesses Gather To Go Sustainable

Published on: 27 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 29 Jun, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

Businesses around Guildford and enterprises met up today (Monday, June 27) to hear about the soon to be launched Sustainable Business Network (SBN), and crucially about funding some of their costs to go greener.

Around 35 enterprises met at Zero Carbon Guildford to hear about the Sustainable Business Network soon to be launched in Guildford.

About 35 attendees from local businesses, Guildford Borough Council, University of Surrey, the police and others networked with “like minded people” on the difficulties of moving their organisations towards net carbon zero.

Tracey Carr from eco-shaper said: “It’s essential what SBN is doing. Awareness is so low generally, it has to be raised”.

One organisation representative said: “We all want to do our bit for the climate crisis. Nobody wants to make things worse but most don’t know how to get there.”

The SBN was described by Zero chair Ben McCalla as a collaborative venture between Zero Carbon Guildford and the University of Surrey’s Research & Innovation department.

He said: “It aims to significantly lower the environmental impact of businesses and social enterprises in the area, whilst helping to build resilience to medium- and long-term threats posed to the local community by climate change.”

His message was that between 25% and 30% of carbon emissions in Guildford come from businesses and “we can’t wait for the council or government to do it, we have to do it ourselves”.

Roger Coleman from Spinning Poodle Games in Godalming said he wanted a local supply chain to be sustainable.

Representatives from LOCASE (Low Carbon Across the South and East, said to be the last EU-funding programme in the UK and available up to April 2023, urged SME (small or medium sized enterprise) businesses to get their applications in for funding of up to £10,000 to fund up to 40% of driving their companies or charities to go greener.

LOCASE speakers Cathy Miles and Brune Torrente said they would help all they could with the applications and there was about a 95% chance of applications being funded after first being assessed.

The feedback after the meeting was positive.

Pat Hepple, environmental sustainability manager for Surrey and Sussex Police, said: “We need to work together for solutions” to the climate crisis.

Jane Lyons from the Keep pub and representing Experience Guildford, said: “I am a small business and I found it interesting. I found the biodiversity side of things really important and we can do so much better. It doesn’t all have to be plastic plants outside shops.”

Roger Coleman from Spinning Poodle Games in Godalming, which manufactures games in the UK, said it was hard enough starting a business but even harder when you wanted it to be sustainable. He said: “To be sustainable, I need to find local businesses to supply us.”

Pat Hepple, Surrey and Sussex Police environmental sustainability manager, said: “The SBN is brilliant. I want to communicate with local businesses. We all have the same goal and problems and we need to work together for solutions.”


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