Leeds Knowledge Exchange Event sets Business Responsibility Agenda.

“Let’s make sustainable businesses standard business “. This plea from Green Vision Leader Claire Walker, Leeds Metropolitan University kicked off Green Vision’s Inspiring Business Leaders Business Growth Calderdale Series, at Dean Clough last Monday – and was a sentiment that ran true throughout the evening discussions.

Run by Leeds Metropolitan’s Centre for Knowledge Exchange and funded by the ERDF support Business Growth Calderdale Programme, the event saw over 20 SME professionals hear an invigorating ‘Just do it’ attitude to sustainability from Sally Hancox, a lady recognised with an MBE for her contribution to our environment through her work  in social and affordable housing, exploring themes around stakeholder engagement and waste elimination and enhanced competitive advantage through responsible, transparent working.

Sally shared her experience of Gentoo’s vision to remove the obstacles off the table for people living in fuel poverty through improving the ‘Art of Living’. This covered initiatives which involved effective engagement of the Supply Chain, behavioural change considerations, considerable research and the grounding of their work in local community needs.

Darren Hill then promoted a funded programme of Environmental management support for those that would like to get started on the route to Energy efficiency and waste elimination or even those further along the journey wishing to look at Eco Product design.

Speakers and delegates highlighted that in their experience whilst there was a real need for step change from SME’s in Calderdale, this was no longer an environmental issue but a business need to address, in such austere times – efficiency and waste minimisation has never resounded as so relevant to the SME’s in the room. A message to be taken home by all was that making small changes is an effective way of starting from the bottom up with Sally’s ‘Just Do It ‘mentality.

Claire Walker Project Manager for Green Vision said: “Yesterday’s event was a particular success as the event brought together key players who are engaged in Low Carbon events in Calderdale and has sparked collaborative working moving forwards for the benefit of all Calderdale SME’s. The presentations evoked some real enthusiasm and drive to engage Calderdale Businesses and make a difference within the region.’

‘This event has inspired me to look into how to make our business greener, thank you ‘(Kate Akerman, Porkshire)

More information along with presentations and links can be found on our Green Vision site – http://ckehub.org/greenvision

Our next event on September 26th will feature Chris Hopkins MD, Ploughcroft, telling us his inspirational story including his appearance on BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den and how he secured investment from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis, further demonstrating the exceptional credentials of the business and enabling it to extend its profile nationally. Since then Chris was asked to present the Green Apple Global Environmental Awards, held at Westminster, London last year.