Derbyshire businesses can play 'key role' in climate action while reaping commercial rewards
East Midlands Chamber is confident businesses in Derbyshire can play a ‘key role’ in climate action while remaining profitable.
The body which represents companies in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire has spoken out about how businesses can help in the fight against climate change following a landmark UN report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published yesterday (Monday, August 9).
The study found that global warming could make parts of the world uninhabitable and human activity is changing the climate in ‘unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways’ with an increasing number of extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding on the horizon.
East Midlands Chamber however is confident that businesses across the region can form part of the solution to global warming, with companies ‘embracing’ sustainability and more businesses selling ‘pro-environmental’ goods or services in the last year.
Commenting on the sixth assessment report by the IPCC, East Midlands Chamber director of resources Lucy Robinson said: “Today’s report by the IPCC is a sobering reminder of how each and every one of us has a role to play in the fight against climate change, and this is particularly true of businesses – no matter what their shape, size or location.
“The Chamber launched our Sustainable East Midlands campaign last year to help more organisations in our region embrace the sustainability agenda after recognising how businesses account for 18% of the UK’s emissions.
“The good news is we are moving in the right direction.
"Our latest research, conducted in partnership with the University of Derby, shows the proportion of East Midlands companies that derive turnover from supplying pro-environmental goods or services has increased from 16% in 2015 to 37% in 2021.
"Even in the past year, we’ve seen a 7% rise in the number of firms that have integrated clean growth into their business strategies – now at 36% of businesses.”
While the body claims companies are ‘moving in the right direction’ the chamber outlined that more work needs to be done to help smaller businesses grow their operations sustainably.
Ms Robinson added: “We still need to do more though, particularly in supporting SMEs to adopt a sustainable growth strategy.
"While the latest IPCC research illustrates how reducing our carbon emissions is clearly the right thing to do if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, there are also strong commercial benefits to adopting a greener and cleaner approach to doing business.
“Just like the automotive industry is now beginning to shift from petrol and diesel to building electric cars because it has identified the direction of the market, engaging with sustainability will make our business community more competitive in the long term – whether it’s in securing public sector contracts, cutting operating costs or offering innovations that help solve climate challenges.
“It will ultimately also make the East Midlands more competitive as a region, but it also plays into our strengths as we have all the pieces of the sustainability jigsaw – the high energy users in manufacturing, the energy producers in our coal field heritage, and new hi-tech businesses coming out of our world-leading universities.”