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Journey to Net Zero is a fully-funded online programme exclusively for SMEs in Greater Manchester that are at an early stage on the path to net zero emissions.

Via group workshops, study material and one-to-one advice, environmental specialists will guide you through what net zero means for your business and how to prioritise action.

With expert support, you’ll build a strategic plan to cut your carbon footprint, reduce costs, minimise risk and capitalise on the many opportunities awaiting you in the net zero world.

“I was a complete beginner when I met the Hub, but now we’re on track for net zero by 2022 and more successful than ever.”

Richard Hagan, Managing Director at Crystal Doors, winner of the 2021 Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development

The UK needs to cut its emissions by around two thirds this decade

7 in 10 British businesses plan to introduce net zero emissions goals in the near future

Three quarters of the world’s biggest companies expect to deselect suppliers based on environmental performance

The net zero transition is here, and every business needs to take part

In 2019, the UK became the first major nation to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.

The transition will fundamentally transform every part of the economy. Some of  these changes will be visible, such as renewable energy and electric vehicles, but most will happen behind the scenes in the way organisations operate and manage their relationships.

Businesses of all sizes will face new responsibilities and risks, but also new opportunities to grow and benefit from greener and more efficient ways of working.

Businesses like yours have a vital role to play. SMEs are responsible for nearly half the UK’s business-related emissions, and large companies are increasingly focusing on their supply chain to reduce their environmental impact.

The choice is either to start now and capitalise on the opportunities ahead, or fall behind and miss out on the benefits, such as stronger stakeholder relationships, brand reputation and higher profitability

“SMEs need to make a commitment to tackle climate change and take action on that commitment as quickly as possible. It makes them attractive suppliers to the hundreds of multinationals that need SMEs’ emission reductions as part of their bold climate action plans.”

Maria Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition

Our impact

Since 2012, our net zero specialist have helped SMEs in Greater Manchester to save…

Net zero beginners welcome

Journey to Net Zero is a programme specially designed to help senior decision makers develop a clear plan of action for net zero. The course is fully-funded and no prior expertise is required.

Build a strategy from start to finish

Through online workshops, study material, one-to-one advice and shared learning, you will equip yourself with the knowledge and tools you need to:

  • Understand your priorities
  • Implement cost and carbon cutting actions
  • Use data to make decisions
  • Build the business case for investments
  • Engage your staff and suppliers
  • Build your reputation as a green business
  • Commit to a long-term strategy

See the brochure for more detail on programme content: Journey to Net Zero brochure

Learn from environmental specialists

GC Business Growth Hub’s team of environmental business advisors collectively have over 150 years’ experience in supporting SMEs to become cleaner, greener and more profitable businesses.

 

Claire Scott

Claire Scott, Environmental Business Adviser at GM Business Support Limited has more than 20 years experience in providing environmental advice, guidance and regulatory support to businesses - specialising in resource efficiency and sustainability. Claire has a degree in Environmental Science, is an ESOS Lead Assessor, a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (MCIWM), a practitioner member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (PIEMA), a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and an IEMA registered environmental auditor.

Alasdair Dalzel-Job

Alasdair provides resource efficiency and environmental risk support to businesses, helping them to identify and implement low carbon solutions. As well as a Master’s degree in clean technology, Alasdair has over 17 years experience in the Environmental field. He is an ESOS Lead Assessor, a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, an Associate Member of IEMA and an IEMA Associate Environmental Auditor.

Paul Cooper

Paul is a graduate Physicist and Chartered Engineer C.Eng MIE with over 40 years experience in Energy and Renewables sector ranging from R&D, technology transfer to market, design, build, operate and maintain ESCO projects as practitioner and business leader. Trained and practised as "a hands on" site engineer, managing installation, commissioning and maintenance of plant and equipment, Paul has worked both in UK and overseas at a senior level in the electricity industry, multinational companies and is an experienced project manager. Other more recent qualifications achieved were Chartered Energy Manager, ESOS Lead Assessor and international IREE (investor ready energy efficiency) certified.

Clare Fallon

Clare has over 10 years’ experience within the environmental sector. She has a BSC Hons degree in Environmental Management, is a Practitioner Member of IEMA and a Lead Environmental Auditor. She uses her wide experience of working with central and local government, automotive and defence industry, as well as other private sector businesses to benefit her clients. She has particular interest in environment and social value within supply chains and how behaviour change techniques can be used to engage with staff.

Rebecca Chedd

Rebecca has 8 years of experience working in the environmental sector and has been supporting SMEs as part of the GC resource efficiency team since 2015. Rebecca has previously delivered carbon reduction workshops for organisations including Transport for Greater Manchester and Great Places Housing Group. Rebecca holds an MSc in Energy and the Environment and is an Associate Member of IEMA.

Carl Hirst

40 years energy industry experience in: energy efficiency, supply contracts,  networks & connections, metering & data management, energy strategy and project management. I have worked with Industrial, Commercial & Public Sector clients both large and small to understand their businesses and help them to develop energy plans and implement efficiency projects to reduce energy use & carbon emissions and improve business productivity.

Matthew Whitworth

Matt is a dedicated environmental business advisor developing his experience in the sector through using key knowledge and understanding provided by an environmental degree. Since leaving University he has had many roles supporting Greater Manchester businesses and working with local authorities. Matt joined the Resource Efficiency team in 2017 as their grants officer and developed a successful funding mechanism to incentivise project implementation. In 2019, Matt became an environmental business advisor and has since made stong client relationships, reduced bottom line costs and supported grant applications.

Rebecca Bowcock

Rebecca is a Human Geography graduate from the University of Salford with experience in the environmental sector. She has previously worked for leading sustainability focused organisations like City of Trees and Groundwork, as well as completed an internship with the Environmental & Sustainability team at UoS. Rebecca's background in the environmental industry enables her to play a key role in the coordination of the delivery of both the Green Technologies & Services and Resource Efficiency programmes. More recently, Rebecca has changed roles to work soley with the Resource Efficiency team as an ERDF Grants Coordinator.

Net zero blogs

Net Zero: What it is and why it matters to you

The Hub’s Resource Efficiency Lead, Kevin Lambert, explains what net zero means, where it came from and why all businesses need to sit up and take notice.

What does a Green City Region mean to SMEs?

Speaking at Greater Manchester’s 2020 Green Summit, our environmental business advisors discuss what SMEs should care about the city region’s ambitions.         

Making more with less

Environmental Business Advisor, Claire Scott, on the small process efficiency improvements that could make a huge difference to profitability for manufacturers.