West Sussex enterprises are leading the way with carbon-cutting initiatives – and have now told their inspirational stories on camera to help other businesses.
The County Council, in collaboration with all seven district and borough councils in West Sussex, has produced the Low Carbon Business video series so business leaders can hear from other Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) about their carbon-reduction journeys.
Deborah Urquhart, chair of the West Sussex (Councils’) Joint Climate Change Board, said: “With raised awareness on climate change, there’s an increased need for businesses to act if they are to remain competitive.
“Climate change is everyone’s ‘business’ and smaller businesses have a vital role to play in reducing collective carbon emissions. 99.6 per cent of West Sussex business are MSMEs, however recent research has found that more than 75 per cent of UK MSMEs do not have carbon reduction plans in place.
“Collaboration and shared learning are key and we have been working with a group of exemplar businesses who are leading the way with cutting their carbon emissions. They have worked with us to identify the best ways to support MSMEs to make changes and realise the business benefits of doing so, which include winning new contracts, satisfying their supply chains’ needs, attracting new talent, accelerating innovation and cutting ongoing running costs.”
The films feature businesses from across a wide range of sectors including tourism, agriculture, transport and logistics, retail, wholesale, construction and manufacturing. Here’s just a taste of the films’ content:
• Laker Builders Merchant, Crawley: Construction is arguably one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise. Laker have completed a series Scope 1 emission upgrade to their business and are working hard to make low-carbon products a default choice for their customers. This is a story about a business that has decided to take sensible, incremental steps to make a big difference and influence the construction supply chain and trade for the better.
• The Adelphi Group of Companies is an award-winning manufacturer of packaging machinery and equipment. Its eco-friendly production facility, in Haywards Heath, includes solar panels, an evaporative cooling system, air source heat pump and rainwater harvesting facilities. The film explains how the Group’s inclusive and sustainability-focussed culture has recently led to another new eco initiative – an innovative idea from the production floor to replace plastic foam packaging with a plant-based, biodegradable alternative.
• HISBE (‘How It Should Be’) Supermarket, Worthing, is proud to be a ‘rebel‘ food retailer that provides green alternatives and stands for “better food and farming”. The supermarket is lowering carbon emissions through reducing waste, sourcing local food and offering hundreds of products without packaging.
To view the films, please visit the County Council's YouTube channel.
Deborah added: “There is work to do to support businesses, but there are promising signs of an increase in business spend on sustainability-related activities. The ingenuity and agility of smaller businesses will help the transformation to a greener West Sussex. Decarbonisation is a fast-moving picture but there is already a wealth of support for MSMEs, including grant funding which we are helping to signpost people to through our Business West Sussex website pages.”
Businesses can find out about local and national support available to move towards net zero by visiting: www.westsussex.gov.uk/greenbusiness