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The net zero transition is here, and we all need 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.

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

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.

The new Low Carbon Skills: Journey to Net Zero is a fully-funded programme, for learners who are based in Greater Manchester.

This is an accredited level 3 course and attendees will become fully certified by successfully completing a virtual assessment. This course is also CPD certified by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment).

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.

Learn from environmental specialists

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

Our impact

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

Celebrating success! 

GC Business Growth Hub's Journey to Net Zero, designed especially for SMEs, was a programme that has been hugely successful in helping senior decision-makers develop a clear plan of action for net zero. 

The course successfully helped businesses build a strategy from start to finish

Through online workshops, study material, one-to-one advice and shared learning, businesses were equipped with the knowledge and tools they needed to:

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


Journey to net zero testimonial

Journey to Net Zero testimonials

“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

“Each session is informative, providing an in-depth and rigorous exploration of the challenges and wider context. Where the programme really shines is in the practical tools and strategies it is providing within a realistic framework, enabling small businesses like ours to be proactive in making improvements without being over ambitious.”

Jenny Heil, Business Development Manager at Smith Goodfellow PR in Stockport

“Although becoming carbon neutral is important to our organisation, it’s a lot of work for a small team to put the measures into place. The Journey to Net Zero course has given me practical, step-by-step advice that has made it easy for me to lay the foundations for our organisation to be able to take action and achieve our goal of becoming carbon neutral.”

Kat Mulhall, Events Manager at Victoria Baths Trust in Manchester

“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

“The programme content is practical, useful and cuts through all the jargon- the facilitators were excellent and were able to make it real which was a key objective for us partaking in the programme.”

Brett Mendell, Director of Thomas Kneale & Co Ltd, a manufacturer, importer and distributor of textiles based in Manchester

"I found the workbook very useful, it was a great forum to discuss sustainability issues with people from different sectors, and it was really good to be able to have questions on sustainability answered by ‘experts’."

Kei Patrick, Sustainability Manager at Manchester Care and Repair

Net zero resources

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.

A quick-fire guide to 'Scope 3' emmisions

Claire Scott breaks down what is meant by ‘Scope 3’ greenhouse gas emissions, why they are important and how SMEs can begin to measure them as part of their carbon footprint. 

How to be a 'Net Zero ready' supplier

Clare Fallon explains why supply chain sustainability is a vital part of any net zero strategy and how SMEs can cement their place as a supplier of choice for increasingly climate-conscious customers.

Greenwashing: What is it and how to avoid it

Kevin Lambert explains the rising awareness of ‘corporate greenwash’ and why businesses need to be accurate, clear and transparent when promoting their environmental credentials.

The case for sustainability: Thoughts from two SMEs on the frontline

Rebecca Chedd shares the thoughts of two of her clients in Greater Manchester who are making great strides towards sustainability, despite differing perspectives and challenges.

A beginner's guide to carbon footprinting

Environmental Business Advisor Claire Scott explains what a carbon footprint is, how they are calculated and why it’s something every business should consider. 

Why sustainable supply chains are essential in the post-coronavirus world

With insight from our expert team of advisors, resource efficiency lead Kevin Lambert shows how supply chain sustainability offers both resilience and opportunity as we recover from COVID-19.

How SMEs can prepare for Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone

Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone could be just a year away. Rebecca Chedd, Environmental Business Advisor at GC Business Growth Hub, sets out how businesses should prepare.