Lancashire Leads Net Zero Conversation

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Lancashire’s low carbon technology innovators are leading the UK’s drive towards net zero and have a massive opportunity to sell their products and knowledge globally.

The county’s prominent role in the green revolution was highlighted at The Lancashire Net Zero Carbon Conference 2023, organised by Lancashire Business View.

The conference also heard Lancashire is well placed to develop its leading role further, developing more technologies and creating more jobs and export opportunities.

Held at The Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth and attended by more than 100 delegates from a wide range of sectors, the event examined in detail the opportunities and challenges associated with achieving a sustainable and low-carbon future.

It also brought together experts and leaders to share knowledge, exchange ideas and explore solutions to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint or achieve net zero status.

Miranda Barker, chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, has helped spread the message of the county’s low carbon expertise globally, with delegations to the UN procurement summit in March and COP27. A delegation is also planned for COP28.

She revealed she is also meeting with chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt to press the need for investment in Lancashire’s low carbon companies.

Miranda told the conference that the county was now home to a cluster of low carbon technology innovators.

She said: “Lancashire has been almost predestined to be a leader in low carbon technologies and that's because the industrial revolution was here, the pollution was here, so we were the first area to start inventing new low carbon technologies.

“We’re really brilliant at developing low carbon technologies locally and that gives us the opportunity to generate jobs, but also to have leading products that are exported to the world and there are a lot of support mechanisms to help people do that.

“If you think of our expertise, we've got advanced manufacturing, that digital creation capability and all of these technologies. We’ve got companies across Lancashire in the low carbon sectors.”

The conference also heard from three county B Corp businesses who shared their journey and the impact of the accreditation on them.

Only around 1,200 businesses in the UK have this hard-won certification from an organisation whose ethos is using ‘business as a force for good’.

Celia Gaze, founder of The Wellbeing Farm, venue for the conference and the first UK independent events venue to be B Corp certified, spoke of the B Corps ‘profit with purpose’ view.

Charlie Hansford, partner at Brabners, the biggest law firm in the UK to achieve the status. He discussed how the organisation was serious in its ambition to get to net zero. Accountability was also an important part of the accreditation.

Amy Kershaw, chief of staff at Modern Milkman shared their ambitions to be Lancashire’s first tech unicorn, a billion dollar business.

Key speakers included Thomas Brewer, global energy technology specialist at Budweiser Brewing Group and Vicky Paley, lead project manager at Protium. They discussed the challenges of getting the ‘Samlesbury Net Zero’ project off the drawing board. If approved by planners it would see a state-of-the-art green hydrogen production facility constructed next to the South Ribble brewery, just off the A59.

The hydrogen would be used by Budweiser to meet the thermal demand of its brewing processes and to fuel hydrogen-ready heavy goods vehicles

To encourage the delegates to start their net zero journey, Lancashire Business View handed out bee seed bombs for the guest to plant and monitor the growth.

Lancashire Business View also pledged to donate to the Woodland Trust, who will be planting trees on their behalf.  

Other speakers at the conference included Melissa Conlon of AMRC North West, Becky Toal of Crowberry Consulting, David Lord of Burnley College, Robin Jones of Lancashire County Council / North West Net Zero Hub, Manesh Pandya of ELE Technologies, Zowi Whittaker of Fox Group, Marc McLoughlin of Greenarc Vehicles, Ged Ennis of The Low Carbon Energy Company, Noel Ferguson of Trident Utilities

The conference was delivered by Lancashire Business View in association with AMRC North West, Crowberry Consulting, Fox Group, Trident Utilities and The Wellbeing Farm.

The event was also supported by Bretherton Energy Partnership, Burnley College, Greenarc Vehicles and The Lancashire Colleges.

For a full report on the conference see the July/August issue of Lancashire Business View.

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