More than 100 business owners and managers gathered earlier this month to to take their first or next step towards a more sustainable, profitable and efficient way of working.

The Grow Through Sustainability conference, the first such event organised by Hertsmere Borough Council in partnership with seven other Hertfordshire district and borough councils, was held at The Fielder Centre in Hatfield and included presentations from a wide range of expert speakers.

Among the speakers was Andrew Griffiths from Planet Mark, a certification scheme which commitment to continuous improvement and reducing carbon emissions, energy and water consumption, travel and waste; Jo Southernwood of Eastern New Energy, a project which aims to build a stronger, local energy and low carbon economy in the region and Sophie Owen of Sky Studios on their work towards net zero.

Sarika Jain, Climate Change and Sustainability Officer from Hertsmere Borough Council, pictured above, speaks at the conference.
Councillor Caroline Clapper, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “It was very encouraging to see the wide variety of businesses who attended our conference, from start-ups to larger companies.

“By coming to a conference like this, they’re actually taking the initiative and taking their first step towards a greener, more sustainable, more competitive way of doing business.

“I hope they’ve found, during the day, they’ve been able to share ideas, share best practice and learn from other businesses that are already making changes to help tackle climate change.”

Closing the half-day event at The Fielder Centre in Hatfield Business Park was a question and answer session with four Hertfordshire-based businesses who are leading the way towards decarbonising and a more sustainable future.

On the panel was Duncan Lewis, Chief Executive of Emmaus Hertfordshire and Loyd Davies, Service development manager of ElectrAssure.

Mr Lewis said: “We’ve taken away some learning and it’s been nice for us to hold ourselves up as an example of one organisation that has made this concept work on a sustained basis.”

In the audience was Keith Sheena, Managing Director of Right at Home. He said: “Coming to a conference like this has hopefully given me some contacts that I can go to and say please help me on my journey; please show me where I can look to start, where I might be able to find places where I can go a bit greener, reduce my carbon emissions and generally, take that back to the national office, as well.”

Rob Andrew of Auditel said: “It was well-organised and well put together, with a great variety of speakers and some interesting content.”

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