Oxford Brookes workshops will help small businesses reduce their carbon footprint

Oxford Brookes workshops will help small businesses reduce their carbon footprint

Oxford Brookes University will be providing expert advice to small and medium businesses in Oxfordshire on how to reduce their carbon footprint and reach net zero, at six engaging networking events from October until December this year.

The events are part of the ‘Taming the Carbon Monster’ programme, which is run jointly by Oxford Brookes Business School and Oxfordshire Business First. The workshops will be held in person at Oxford Brookes Business School on the University’s Headington campus, starting on Wednesday 5 October.

Each of the six two-hour sessions will cover a variety of topics, including how a business can calculate its carbon footprint, integrating net-zero targets into short and long term planning, advice on energy usage, how to turn your product greener, and how to embed a net zero culture in the workplace.

Small businesses’ contributions to net zero

Although the climate impact of a single SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) may be minor at first glance, the combined carbon footprint of all SMEs is sizable as they make up 99% of the UK’s business population.

Giles Orr, Head of Business & External Engagement at Oxford Brookes Business School, said:
“This programme provides SMEs with a great opportunity to get detailed insights, helpful advice and resources from experts, as well as connecting with others interested in the low-carbon agenda. We hope to create a legacy of low-carbon action going forward, and help the whole of Oxfordshire get to net zero!

“SMEs who choose to invest in reducing their emissions can see numerous short and long term business advantages, including improved efficiency and reduced operating costs, enhanced access to capital and affordable insurance, complying with carbon legislation, lower business risk, unique growth opportunities and more resilient supply chains.”

Teamwork with sustainability partners

These innovative sessions are available thanks to collaboration with Oxfordshire Greentech, a business network supporting the growth of the low-carbon sector in the county, and environmental sustainability charity Bioregional.

Hannah Scott, who represents both Oxfordshire Greentech and Bioregional said: “Oxfordshire Greentech and Bioregional are excited to launch this programme of support for Oxfordshire SMEs. Ever since our low-carbon business network launched in 2019, it has been our dual intention to support those already in the low-carbon sector, as well as encourage “traditional” organisations towards greener practices and products.”

Matt Peachey, Economic Development Manager at Oxford City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this vital programme through our Buildbackbetter fund. Our Economic Strategy identified that helping businesses understand the pathway to decarbonisation will be vital to the resilience of the economy as a whole, and we’re beginning to see signs of a real competitive advantage for organisations who are leading the way. We’d encourage all Oxford-based SMEs to sign up to the course and embrace this agenda and the opportunities it brings.”

Oxford-based organisations can book a place on the programme for £50, with the cost for those outside Oxfordshire being £100. Participating businesses will receive a 10% discount to join Oxfordshire Greentech network, which supports the low carbon sector in the county. Find out more about Oxford Brookes’ sustainability targets.