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Net Zero: Translating the “talk” into “action”

We were delighted to welcome members back in person to our latest QES Economic Business Breakfast briefing, the first since January 2020. The theme was Regeneration and Net Zero, and how the two must go hand in hand to achieve commercial success and create a positive impact for local communities across the city region.

The event opened with a summary of the latest results of the British Chambers Quarterly Economic Survey, by the Chairman of Liverpool Chamber Neil Ashbridge which you can find here.

The event was moderated by Alistair Houghton, Editor of Business Live, and explored a number of themes including how businesses were translating net zero “talk” into “action”, supporting the city region’s ambitions to attract inward investment and create skilled employment opportunities. The importance of good design in social housing to address economic, social and health inequalities was also highlighted.

The Panelists discussed the challenges around relevant skills shortages, the importance of good planning and design at an early stage in any major regeneration projects, the impact of net zero investment decisions, particularly for procurement and supply chains and whether we need to do more locally to help our businesses to be more competitive.

The Panel were invited to give advice to those SMEs who were just starting their own net zero journey. Darren Jones, Associate Director at ShedKM explained the importance of each business establishing what was important to them, deciding how they measure and doing it routinely. Only by establishing benchmarks can businesses know if they are making progress.

Graham Bond, Office Managing Partner at RSM agreed that any action should begin by looking at your own internal ways of working and levels of consumption. He advised businesses to get ahead of the game and not wait until they were required to do so.

Jenny Martin, Bid Manager at Morgan Sindall reinforced the advice for businesses to keep it simple and not to run before they could walk. Engaging everyone in the organisation was really important so that everyone felt they were part of the journey.

Christine Vaudrey, Group Director of Strategy and Communications at Torus, agreed and emphasised the importance of having commitment at the most senior level.

A view reinforced by Neil Ashbridge who felt that this was an issue which should be on every company Board agenda. Ultimately it will be consumer behaviour which drives this forward and businesses will need to undertake their own net zero journey to meet consumer expectations.