On Wednesday 8th February, Lucy and Julia from Bright Green Enterprise attended the Climate-KIC conference on ‘Supporting Green Business Exchange’ at the Innovation Campus of Birmingham. The event was hosted by Climate-KIC, Europe’s biggest public-private innovation partnership focused on Climate Change, which seeks to bring together multidisciplinary innovators from across Europe in business, academia (students and researchers), SME accelerators, funders, educators and more. Ultimately, those who have a passion for our planet and Climate Change and who are doing something to help tackle its growing instabilities.
As well as presenting on BGE’s work, we heard from a number of exciting organisations who are ploughing the path towards a more sustainable future. Focusing primarily on the business sector, the conference spotlighted those whose model seeks to mitigate the impact of Climate Change either through science and technology, education or influencing policy-level support. The keynote speech was given by Christophe Williams, the managing director of Naked Energy, an award-winning British design and innovation company specialising in solar technology and energy conservation.
So what did we learn? Hearing from these sector-disrupting organisations, it was clear to see that the path to greener growth is already underway. How quickly the business world can become greener, however, remains to be seen. What needs to happen are not just top-down changes to the way we manufacture and implement policy-level decisions but how we as consumers apply our ethics to the things that we buy. Moreover, it’s about building the right capabilities through education to inform these choices and develop skills in design, technology and business acumen to implement these plans; it’s about building the right capabilities in product design and manufacturing so that we can reduce our carbon footprint; and it’s about building the right capabilities at a national and international level so that we’re no longer ‘locked-in’ to pathways that are counter-productive to pursuing greener growth targets.