December 2023 saw Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) host the inaugural conference for the newly formed Business Climate Coalition in South East Wales. Held in the auditorium at the Spark Building in Cardiff, the Net Zero Action Business Event saw over 80 business people, academics and government officials come together to promote collaboration among businesses to address climate change.
Warren Lewis, Chair of the Cardiff Capital Region Climate Coalition set the scene for the launch event: “The delegates here today are drawn from a whole range of business in the Region – they’re businesses of all shapes and sizes from all sectors and they’re here to learn and help achieve change. The climate crisis is happening now, so the question is what we can do in Wales to help businesses make the difference.”
With a slogan of “Courage, Pace and Collaboration” the South East Wales Business Climate Coalition is a collective effort among SMEs and multi-national organisations based in the Region to address climate change and promote sustainability across the Region. By fostering a united front, the coalition aims to engage businesses in collaborative initiatives, knowledge sharing and implementation of environmentally responsible practices to achieve shared goals and contribute to the overall resilience and sustainability of South East Wales and beyond.
The one-day event emphasized the role of businesses in tackling climate change with a range of participants from across all sectors sharing sustainable practices, adoption of renewable energy, and insights on reducing carbon footprints at the event to highlight the role of businesses in addressing climate change. According to speaker Dr Sarah Gore, Decarbonisation Advisor to Business Wales, there is a real need for clarity among SMEs and other businesses in Wales as to first steps: “Talking to businesses as I do, they know they need to address this, but sometimes they don’t know where to start.”
One of the speakers, Professor Jane Lynch, Professor of Procurement at Cardiff Business School concludes by saying that what this coalition is doing is developing a community of practice: “It’s important that when people go away from an event like this they are able to act on some of the ideas they’ve heard about and share the ideas with colleagues, leading to meaningful actions and changes.”
The next such event is scheduled to take place online in February 2024 with the next face to face event taking place in April.