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Join regional “Together for Our Planet” climate change event
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Join regional “Together for Our Planet” climate change event

Keele University is working with the UK Government as part of the ‘Together for Our Planet’ campaign – the UK’s year of climate action that culminates in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow in November.

In support of this national campaign, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is hosting an online event exclusively for Midlands businesses, taking place online on 10 February 2021.

The regional event – ‘Your Business Journey to Net Zero’ – will draw on nationally-leading energy experts to provide practical solutions for local SMEs to help them achieve their low-carbon goals. Alongside Keele, the event will feature industry giants such as BT, Smart Energy GB, Deloitte and EON, as well as regional organisations discussing their experiences of improving sustainability locally.

Keele University will be leading the event’s opening panel session – ‘The Business Journey to Net Zero: Opportunities, enablers and leadership’ – with Vice-Chancellor Professor Trevor McMillan chairing a discussion featuring Andrew Griffith MP (the Government’s Net Zero Business Champion), Gudrun Cartwright (Environment Director, Business in the Community), Nicola Lovett (CEO Engie UK & Ireland) and Phil Korbel (Director of Advocacy at Carbon Literacy Project).

The University will also be hosting a second session titled “Joining the energy revolution: what it means for the business community,” in partnership with ENGIE UK.

In addition to the timetabled sessions, businesses will be able to meet with experts from the Keele Gateway to discuss how they can join the 250 other local organisations that have already benefitted from sustainability collaborations with Keele.

Professor Trevor McMillan said:

Keele University is leading the higher education sector in sustainability, not just in our ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2030, but also through our teaching and ground-breaking research into climate change and renewable technologies under the umbrella of our Institute for Sustainable Futures. We are therefore delighted to be working with BEIS on this event supporting SMEs regionally, to meet their net zero targets.

We have transformed our campus into a world-class Smart Energy Network Demonstrator – a European first ‘at scale living laboratory’ that enables the testing, development and evaluation of new and evolving energy technologies, as well as supporting hundreds of businesses to embed sustainability throughout their organisations.

We have also partnered with key industry bodies on two innovative hydrogen trials that could pave the way to saving millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions across the country every year.

Keele is proud to have been one of the first UK universities to declare a ‘climate emergency’, and we will soon be generating up to 80% of our own electricity through solar and wind power, as part of our ambitious carbon neutral pledge.

Despite trebling our student population since 1990, and significantly expanding our campus, we have simultaneously decreased our total CO2 emissions. And over the past six years, we have invested more than £1.2 million into carbon reduction, with more to be invested every year.”

The event will be opened by Ann-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth. She said:

As a key industrial heartland, The Midlands will play a pivotal role in driving forward our green industrial revolution, creating green jobs and building the industries of the future.

It will be a privilege to speak to small businesses in the Midlands about what they can do to tackle climate change, as we transition to a low carbon economy, and build back greener.”

UK Net Zero Business Champion, MP Andrew Griffith, said:

I am extremely fortunate to be able to hear from British businesses, large and small, about the tremendous steps being taken towards cutting emissions and the part they can play in tackling climate change.

With this being the year that the UK hosts both COP26 and the G7 Presidency, I hope we can use this historic opportunity to build a wave of momentum across businesses to drive real change as we work together to protect our planet and build back greener.”

Free registration for the virtual conference, which is taking place from 10am on Wednesday 10 February 2021, is now open and places can be reserved online here.