Save Money? Cut Carbon?

The go-to people for homes and organisations that want to reduce the cost of energy and water bills are on stand 53 in hall one of the 4th The Big Sustainability Expo 2019.

Everywhere in the UK people are looking for ways to reduce utility costs and their impact on the planet. SaveMoneyCutCarbon exists to help them do that.

Their promise is in their name and reflects the clear, no-nonsense way they go about our work. At SaveMoneyCutCarbon, they deliver on that promise simply by being experts in helping people to use water and energy in more sustainable ways.

They help everyone through the products and expertise we provide; because when you save money and cut carbon, everyone benefits. Find out more – they are on stand 53 in Hall 1 with Hansgrohe and Signify.

Their customers all want to take real, practical steps towards sustainable solutions for their homes and their businesses, they’re just not sure how. Save Money Cut Carbon provide clarity and confidence; one number to call and one provider to deliver everything required to save money and cut carbon.

For businesses and organisations, SaveMoneyCutCarbon offer UK-wide consultancy services, including energy efficiency audits, investment ready proposals and installation.

SaveMoneyCutCarbon’s Capital Free funding solution enables businesses to achieve sustainability agendas, without requiring the upfront capital.

Cut water use

They’re also demonstrating ways to cut water use with Propelair at the Expo (Stand 23  Hall 2) – with a chance to win a free installation. Propelair is a high-performance, water-efficient UK manufactured toilet. As the principle UK partner SaveMoneyCutCarbon have installed over 1,000 toilets and maintain over 25 sites.

The Propelair toilet uses an impressive 1.5 litres of water per flush compared to the UK average of 9, saving up to 84% water and using up to 80% less energy, as well as improving hygiene with its SteriTouch protected lid and handle.

You can win a fully funded Propelair installation of up to 4 toilet, subject to a free drainage survey and site sustainability. Propelair and SaveMoneyCutCarbon will have a show floor stand as well as a bespoke visual demonstration experience at the Expo entrance just outside main hall.

Free savers pack

They’re also offering a free savers pack if you sign up to our Learn & Save newsletter.

Their Learn & Save knowledge hub provides hundreds of articles and case studies to discover how others have saved, purchased online, or worked in partnership with our field team from first appraisal through to final fit.

As SaveMoneyCutCarbon CEO Mark Sait says: “Ultimately, we make it easy for our customers to act now; to save money and cut carbon. We have completed 1,000+ successful water and energy saving projects, across a range of clients, including hospitality, distribution, schools, theme parks and corporate offices.”

JOIN Mark in the Keynote Speaker Theatre at 11.30am on the second floor media suite.

JOIN Save Money Cut Carbon in the Thought Leadership Hub at 2.30pm in Hall 1.

Is your position in the supply chain under threat?

This is a question every SME should be asking, says Lynda Daniels, director of The Southern Sustainability Partnership consultancy – and organisers of The Big Sustainability Expo (Southampton).

Just as every organisation before us, we strive to build a reputation for quality and customer service to ensure our place in the supply chain. Is this enough, in a fast-evolving commercial landscape?  In my experience, the simple answer is no and, in part, this is why.

I am referring to the ‘new kid on the block’, one that poses a very real threat to our businesses and is making its way through the supply chain, link by link to you.  What do the words ‘sustainability’, ‘environmental management’ or ‘social value’ mean to your business?  No longer simply buzz words associated with large corporations, if they are not already on your agenda they need be and this is true whether you operate in the B2C or the B2B arena.

Large corporations have been working under the weight of environmental legislation for decades, with particular emphasis placed on waste and energy management.  Often based on reaching a certain number of employees – or on turnover it has forced these issues onto the agenda. The burden of legislation is never easy and nor is environmental compliance, however, it is proving to be a game-changer for many of these organisations and that’s why it has gained such momentum.

Organisations soon began to recognise there were enormous benefits to compliance and, when those benefits included significantly reduced running costs, it’s hardly surprising people began to take notice.  And, it doesn’t stop there, improvements were seen across processes and, by no means of less importance a more positive perception of their brand. Additional benefits that will themselves manifest in monetary gain over time.

With tens – and in many cases – hundreds of thousands of pounds being saved came greater scrutiny of the entire process in pursuit of further ways to reduce costs and increase those game-changing media headlines.  Organisations began to create dedicated job titles to facilitate this process within their organisations, an investment in legislation – certainly – and in the creation of further financial gain and carbon saving opportunities.

Organisations around the globe began to adopt the international standard ISO 14001. Now a family of standards launched as far back as 1996, it provides practical tools for organisations of all type, shape and size looking to improve – and manage their environmental responsibility.

Back then ISO 14001 helped organisations adhere to legislation, as well as gain an understanding of what the term ‘environmental management’ actually expected of them with an all-important road map. Today, organisations view it as a standard that simply makes good, practical business sense – one that supports their infrastructure and running costs and helps set their business apart from the competition.

As an SME is this even relevant to us?

When I hear this – and I hear it often, I am reminded of another business growth limiting expression: “We have always done it this way.”

In the absence of actual environmental legislation knocking on the door – there is a comfortable feeling out there that environmental issues are not something SMEs need to concern themselves with. Yes, they may have read the media headlines that talk about large organisations reducing their carbon impact or making running shoes out of waste plastic from the ocean – but, they are not their customers and never likely to be. And, who they are and what they do seems a world apart.

I get it. I do. Running a small to medium-sized business is not easy.  There is enough to concern yourself with, why would you add anything else?

This is why it pains me to relay; this assumption is no longer a valid one.

The supply chain does start at the top, yes, with the largest organisation and their suppliers. However, don’t they have suppliers, who have suppliers who have suppliers? You get my gist. There can be no such thing as denial here, that train is on the track and its stopping at a station near you – it’s just a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

So, what can you do about it?  Well, you can find that nail in your tyre? You know the tyre is going down so do you act now and avoid what could be at best an inconvenience – or worse still an accident? Or, you can wait – after all – it’s not flat yet is it?

Let’s imagine for now you work for one of those large organisations

You are head of sustainability at a large organisation, one that strives to meet legislation and has adopted ISO 14001. You have already experienced the monetary benefits of adhering to an environmental management strategy and you have made sure as many of your processes now reflect even further saving opportunities. You have ensured your customers understand they are now working with an ethically based supplier and, its been a highly lucrative strategy. Perhaps you have also gained some of those coveted, positive media headlines for your organisation.

You now run as clean a process as you can and you are continuing down this road, learning with the rest of those large organisations as you go. You offer your customers complete transparency of your organisation and its processes. Why not, you are confident they will stack up to scrutiny.

Here is the one I want you to think about. How long will you wait before asking for that same transparency from your own suppliers? After all, if they are not working to some kind of environmental policy what does that say about them or their processes?  What does it say about how much they care about their community or their workforce? Or, you the customer and your ethics – they must have seen those headlines – right?

Worse still, could this supplier actually damage your brand if it comes to light you buy from them. After all,  what you buy from them is now part of ‘your’ more ethical process.

We are safe, large organisations don’t buy from us

We come back to this argument and it’s true, of course, for most of the SMEs I speak to. However, I still need to hit home that if the first link on the supply chain is rattled won’t the effects continue to ripple through the chain. Will it stop before it reaches you? Are you prepared to take that risk?

It’s simply a matter of understanding your customer, albeit in a slightly different way than you have before.  It’s about asking different questions. Or, to be honest, it’s simply about reading their brochure or scanning their website and that way you may not even have to ask.

Going back to the term ‘risk’ I alluded to earlier – I would like to elaborate on what I actually meant by risk?

Let me plant a further scenario for you.  Let’s imagine an average Wednesday at 2.30pm in the afternoon.  The phone rings, it’s one of your most lucrative accounts and one you have worked hard to earn and even harder to retain for more than five years. “Do you have an environmental management policy,” they ask.  Your stomach turns over; you remember reading an article somewhere about the supply chain – you did nothing.  “It’s on the ‘to-do’ list” you reply.  “We’ve just been so busy.”

How do you expect this to play out?  Will they reply “we were only asking, after all, you’ve been a great supplier for five years, providing the best products and customer service.”  If that was the case – why would they be asking?

Whether you have now lost the customer, or not, you are now facing the prospect of other customers asking the same question. It’s time act to protect your business.  To shift your mindset. It’s time to look at this as a positive for your business too. Like so many businesses we meet day in, day out, we can promise the best outcome when you simply give in to this inevitability.

As well all know, playing catch up is far more expensive – in time and money – than putting a planned step by step strategy in place.  It just makes good business sense.

Just before I stop labouring the point

Are you on plan to grow your business? If so, it would be wise to consider environmental legislation and at what point you will need to comply.  Are you planning on tendering for business? A testament to the points I have been making already is the fact that tenders now feature your environmental policy. It comes back to transparency again – and the type of company those larger organisations choose to work with.

What does a step by step plan look like?

The good news is it’s not as daunting as you might think and, almost certainly, you will notice the enormous savings from a greener way of thinking – and operating within your business. No one is suggesting you install fifty solar panels on your roof – unless you want to, of course.  Or, go plastic-free in two weeks.

No one is expecting you to have all the answers, even the large corporations will admit they don’t have all the answers.  As we find through running our Expo new solutions are coming on board all the time.

It’s not really about having all the answers, or about how much you spend, it’s about demonstrating that your organisation is taking some kind of action.  That it cares enough to put the issue on the agenda. It’s addressing the fact that we do have finite resources – buying smarter and, therefore, reducing wastage. And, what does this mean – ultimately? It means saving money in the process.  I told you this was going to be a positive move, didn’t I?

The most important place to start?

Your team. You need your management team on board first and they need to understand exactly why you need them to scrutinise processes that have ‘always been done that way’. It’s good to remember that people respond well to being able to take ownership of something. In my opinion, it’s wise to also explain that you are completely open to what they might find and that you understand there may currently be processes costing more than they need to. For instance: Energy usage, unnecessary waste, water leaks etc. Why mention this? I can demonstrate areas where tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds could have been saved yet never implemented, simply because team members did not have the confidence in those above them to admit the system is flawed.

Don’t go it alone – you don’t need to

Once you have made a commitment to future-proof your organisation and protect your position in the supply chain you will find you are by no means alone on this journey. There are support and networking groups and companies out there designed specifically to support you through the process.  There are dedicated Expos such as The Big Sustainability Expo held each October at the Hilton Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Free to attend and free to park, it’s a practical resource of products and education all under one roof.

Start looking at what other organisations are doing for ideas, or, better still contact them. Success breeds success and people love to share what they are proud to have done well.

Let’s wind back and look at your team again for a moment

How much do you value your team?  How much does your team value the company they work for? How important is it for them to work for a more ethical organisation or one with higher social values? The ones most likely to consider these values are the members of your team more likely to be motivated, dedicated and highly valued. And, if you shout about what you are doing, you may well attract others just like them.

I’ll leave that thought with you.

The benefits are not all about reducing your costs 

This is the time to shine. Make the most of this new strategy by shouting about it.  Firstly, build an environmental policy page (https://southernsustainability.co.uk/meet-the-team-2/

for your website, make it prominent – don’t bury it and keep it up to date.   Include each small success in your social media feed, PR, newsletters, brochures, leaflets and advertising.  Contact your customers and tell them what you are doing – don’t wait to be asked. Follow groups for more ideas – talk to people and to experts in your region who will be only too happy to help.

This movement has become a dynamic community – join it.

Why not become an influencer?

 Share each small success – it’s great for your business and for inspiring others. Put your company forward to present what you are doing at networking groups, chamber events and other business groups where being known for good practice will be great for attracting new business.

Make a real impact in your region by becoming an organisation that is not only known for great products and customer service – but for best practice too.

Summary

My hope is that your mindset will now change. That I have not scared the living daylights out of you – but helped you realise what a positive move this will be. If you are one of our invaluable pool of SMEs and, arguably the backbone of our economy, do act now and protect what you have worked hard to build. You will very soon find out this has the opportunity of becoming a huge advantage – an actual game changer for your company.

My advice is to take advantage of all the help and support that is out there, both locally, regionally and nationally.  Involve your management team and your staff.  There are smart ways to do this and it will mean the final outcome is far more rewarding. This is not a strategy meeting twice a year, it’s an item for the agenda at every meeting you have. Consider it alongside every process and every element of running your business because it has the ability to positively impact on them all.

This may not be a pool you are used to swimming in, but trust me when I say the water is fine and the natives are extremely friendly.

The Southern Sustainability Partnership

Organisers of The Big Sustainability Expo (Southampton) 2019

01202 971186

https://southernsustainability.co.uk/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndadaniels/

Expo Invites Energy Thought Leaders to Join 2019 event

The Big Sustainability Expo (Southampton) opens its doors for the fourth year on October 8th at the home of Hampshire Cricket. The Expo, located at the Hilton Ageas Bowl is a highly focussed look at Corporate Sustainability and Environmental Management with up to 100 exhibitors, a keynote speaker theatre and a LearnZone programme of workshops held throughout the day.  Organisers and sustainability consultancy, The Southern Sustainability Partnership, has now agreed the plans to launch an Energy Thought Leadership Hub for the 2019 event. The Hub will support organisations serving the renewable energy, energy management and energy reduction solutions marketplace, inviting them to take a thought leadership role on the day.

Director, Lynda Daniels: “Energy remains a consideration for many organisations. However, it also comes with one one of their biggest question marks due to the perceived size of the investment and its payback time. For this reason, we need to provide greater clarity on the subject and with it invite those who will take a leadership role.  The Hub creates a 30-minute keynote address for each participating company, coupled with a space on the Hub show floor to aid collaboration and to keep these important conversations going.”
With its easy air, road and rail links, the Expo continues to attract delegates from large corporations, the public and private sectors and SMEs from across the UK.  Delegate places and all workshops and keynote presentations are free, as is parking on site.
Contact Number:    01202 971 186

​Expo Reaches Four Year Milestone

​The Big Sustainability Expo, formerly The Big Green Event, is set to open its doors for the fourth year running on the 8th October at its home the Hilton Ageas Bowl Southampton. Organisers, The Southern Sustainability Partnership, mark this year as a strategic milestone from which they planned the event would either sink or sail. They are delighted to announce it is a genuine contender in the UK and ​making ​an important impact on the region’s carbon reduction.

Anita Potten, Director said: “The message​ ​is finally hitting home for businesses that the expectations of their customers and workforce is radically chang​ing​ and is only likely​ ​to continue to do so.  It’s a simple case of getting on board now or risk being left behind in an already tough​ and​ competitive market​place​.”

The Expo attracts visitors from both the private and public sector, from right across the UK, and represents an enormous success for the region which now hosts its largest, dedicated event ​that focusses on corporate sustainability, environmental management and social value.

​Lynda Daniels, Director: A business operating in this way is one that is not wasting money, that is driven to improve profits, that is reacting to changing customer and workforce demands, is reducing risk and future-proofing its efforts. That is why this Expo is so important and this is why we urge the region’s organisations to mark the 8th of October in their diary now.”  

The Expo is free to attend, with ample free parking and visitors can expect up to 100 exhibitions stands, a keynote speaker theatre, ​series of workshops in the LearnZone, eco transport zone, innovation hub and eco coffee lounge. 

Central Banks Warning

BBC News Climate change: Central banks warn of financial risks in open letter 17 April 2019

Mark Carney
Image copyright PA  Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney contributed to the open letter

The heads of two major central banks have written a stark warning about the financial risks of climate change.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney and France’s François Villeroy de Galhau set out the dangers to the global economy in an open letter.

“If some companies and industries fail to adjust to this new world, they will fail to exist,” they wrote.

The letter was co-signed by the chair of the climate-focused Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).

The NGFS is a coalition of 34 central banks which was formed in 2017, with the Bank of England as a founding member. It released its first major report into climate-related financial risks on 17 April.

What does the climate have to do with finance?

In the letter published by the Bank of England on Wednesday, Mr Carney and Mr Villeroy de Galhau describe “the catastrophic effects of climate change” already having an impact on the planet, such as “blistering heatwaves in North America to typhoons in south-east Asia and droughts in Africa and Australia”.

They say that “these events damage infrastructure and private property, negatively affect health, decrease productivity and destroy wealth”.

The NGFS elaborates in its “call to action” report, saying that climate change will lead to “disruptive events such as mass migration, political instability and conflict”.

This is why world leaders signed the Paris climate agreement in 2015 and committed to reducing their respective countries’ carbon emissions, the letter continues, in order to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

“But this transition brings its own risks,” they add.

Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThe current drought in Hungary may cause farmers to lose hundreds of billions in income

But how, exactly?

The NGFS sets out three climate-related financial risks that companies, banks and governments need to fight against.

    • Physical: These are the immediate problems caused by increasingly frequent climate and weather-related events – such as severe droughts or cyclones that affect crops
    • Transition: For example, when a business moves away from carbon-intensive industries and technologies in a “sudden or disorderly” way, their business models and asset valuations can end up taking a hit
  • Liability: When people or businesses claim compensation for losses suffered from either the physical or transition risks, which can have a huge impact on insurers

It is the second risk in particular – of switching to a green economy without proper planning – that Mr Carney and Mr Villeroy de Galhau focus on in their letter.

“Carbon emissions have to decline by 45% from 2010 levels over the next decade in order to reach net zero by 2050. This requires a massive reallocation of capital,” it reads. The full NGFS report adds that “while urgent action is desirable, an abrupt transition could also have an impact on financial stability and the economy more broadly”.

“The speed and timing of the transition are crucial,” it continues. “An orderly scenario, with clear policy signalling, would allow adequate time for existing infrastructure to be replaced and for technological progress to keep energy costs at a reasonable level.

“In contrast, a disorderly, sudden, uncoordinated, unanticipated or discontinuous transition would be disruptive and costly, particularly for those sectors and regions that are more vulnerable to structural change.”

Companies and industries that do not adjust or properly plan for these changes, Mr Carney and Mr Villeroy de Galhau say, “will fail to exist”.

So what do they propose?

They suggest that companies “integrate the monitoring of climate-related financial risks into day-to-day supervisory work, financial stability monitoring and board risk management”.

In simpler terms – businesses need to make climate change planning an everyday thing.

They also say that central banks should “lead by example” by making their own operations more sustainable.

But most importantly, they call for more collaboration within the financial sector, with different companies and bodies sharing information about how they are dealing with these climate risks.

“An important element to achieving effective consideration of climate risks across the financial system is to support internal and external collaboration,” they write.

The NGFS has also called for regulators to come up with a classification system that shows exactly “which economic activities contribute to the transition to a green and low-carbon economy”.

“We need collective leadership and action across countries and we need to be ambitious,” they add.

“The NGFS is the core of the response of central banks and supervisors. But climate change is a global problem, which requires global solutions, in which the whole financial sector has a crucial role to play.”

Read more

An Essential Read

If a book has changed your thinking on the subject of Climate Change or inspired you in a way that you would like to share with others do let us know about it and we will add it our recommendations here.

The Decade we Could have Stopped Climate Change

Could there be a more powerful headline than this?

In his book, a gentleman named Nathaniel Rich tells us that by 1979 we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change – what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had a very real opportunity to stop it.  Obviously, we failed.

This book is a groundbreaking account of that failure – and how close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all before the fossil fuels industry and politicians committed to anti-scientific denialism – is already a journalistic blockbuster, a full issue of the New York Times Magazine that has earned favorable comparisons to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Rich has become an instant, in-demand expert and speaker. A major movie deal is already in place. It is the story, perhaps, that can shift the conversation.

In the book Losing Earth, Rich is able to provide more of the context for what did – and didn’t – happen in the 1980s and, more important, is able to carry the story fully into the present day and wrestle with what those past failures mean for us in 2019. It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it’s truly too late.

To get a copy click here

The Uninhabitable Earth

It is worse, much worse than you think and you can find out why -and listen to part of the story here

In this book by David Wallace-Wells he explains that the slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all. And says if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today.

Over the past decades, the term ‘Anthropocene’ has climbed into the popular imagination – a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet. But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. In the meantime, it will remake us, transforming every aspect of the way we live – the planet no longer nurturing a dream of abundance but a living nightmare.

The Circular Economy – A Wealth of Flows
How we can – and must make the change
The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows: 2nd Edition by [Webster, Ken]The inspirational Ken Webster, who we have had the good fortune to meet and to have him join us a Keynote Speaker at some of our events has written a book that our team studied at night school at Bournemouth University. It explains how a circular economy has profound consequences for production, employment, education, money and finance but also induces a shift in public policy and taxation. The economic advantage of this model lies in designing out waste, enabling access over ownership and favouring radical resource productivity, with the prospect of rebuilding capital and resilience. The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows gives a stimulating overview of this emerging framework.
Since the first edition of this volume in 2015, the global economy has remained relatively subdued and the reduction of strain on resources, especially in terms of waste and carbon emissions, is certainly not yet in sight. However, during the same period, the digital revolution has only accelerated, bringing in its train a myriad of opportunities to rethink the connection between people, resources and products. More than ever, the circular economy gives the direction of travel and appears as a model for economic prosperity.
This revised volume contains one entirely new chapter, expanding on the role of digital; on how we see the world; how the economy really works and how we can act within it. The other major revision is in rewriting the final chapter, as it becomes obvious, argues the author, that current social tensions and the rise of populism mean that the evolution of an attractive economic model is no longer just a desirable development, but a matter of some urgency.

Ken Webster is Head of Innovation at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a leading organisation on the circular economy. This publication gathers contributions from Walter Stahel from the Product-Life Institute, Geneva and Jocelyn Blériot, Executive Officer at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Grab  your own copy here
If a book has changed your thinking on the subject of Climate Change or inspired you in a way that you would like to share with other do let us know and we will add it our recommendations here.