Here’s how Go Green members are building a resilient Bristol

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Over 80 businesses met last week at The Bristol Hotel for the Go Green Business Breakfast to learn what they could do as organisations to play their part in Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. This Go Green event was run with support from Skanska and the Environmental iNet, and was the fifth in the series of our themed monthly breakfast events – which provide a consistent place for businesses to meet, learn and share experiences on green business practice. The theme of Friday’s event was Planning & Resilience, with a particular focus on embedding green business culture.

What is Resilience?

Before we dive in, it’s important to ask what we mean by resilience, and this short video shows that resilience means lots of different things to different people.

Bristol is one of 100 Resilient Cities

It’s important to note from the video that being resilient is about an ability to bounce back from shocks. But in terms of sustainability, it’s also about making sure that all the green activity, horizon scanning and forward planning doesn’t rest with just one person in your organisation. What if they leave the company – are they going to take all the good work with them? By embedding a green culture in your business, you make sure that all the benefits can be felt across the whole business – and that’s where Business Green Week comes in.

Go Green is a great way for us to share best practice and hear from others – we may be a global business, but we have been inspired by what some of the small businesses have done during Business Green Week.”

Rachel Quinn, Senior Environmental Advisor, Skanska UK

Business Green Week

Our event took place on the final day of Business Green Week. Business Green Week is an  initiative first launched in 2014 which encourages businesses to run green activities in their workplace for one week in June, deliberately coinciding with Bristol’s BIG Green Week. Over 40 businesses took part this year, running in-house activities ranging from locally sourced picnics in the park to low energy days, all designed to help engage staff in the benefits of going green.

Man vs Machine Challenge

Delegates heard from Clifton-based architects and vanguards of Business Green Week, Stride Treglown. Strides were involved with launching the Business Green Week initiative last year along with DAS, Business West, Low Carbon South West and the Schumacher Institute – together the team made an easy to use how to guide that encouraged businesses to run green activities in their workplace.

Showing that they never do things by half, Stride’s head of Sustainability Rob Delius showed a video of their ingenious ‘Top Gear style’ race from Temple Meads to their Clifton office which made headlines last week as they set out on a fun quest to explore the best way to commute to work in Bristol. The video was hot off the press after the challenge had taken place just one day earlier, and we have included it here for you to enjoy – we feel the results are quite enlightening!

Stride Treglown Man vs Machine challenge

Over 40 businesses took part in Business Green Week this year

Other businesses shared their experiences of Business Green Week, which ranged from running treasure hunts and picnics (Bristol Hotel), showing films and documentaries at lunchtimes (Alder King), sports competitions (Harmsen Tilney Shane), providing desk plants for all their staff (Alec French Architects) – and even setting up an al fresco desk in the sunshine to boost staff wellbeing! (Business West) It’s fantastic to see how many businesses have come on board with Business Green Week this year, all bringing such creativity to the table.

We’re really pleased that Go Green and Business Green Week has caught the attention of larger businesses in the region too, and we feel a key strength is that Go Green has been designed with businesses of all sizes in mind. It’s like Rachel Quinn, Senior Environmental Advisor from Skanska UK said: “Go Green is a great way for us to share best practice and hear from others – we may be a global business, but we have been inspired by what some of the small businesses have done during Business Green Week.”  Thanks for that great endorsement!

See what everyone’s been up to on Twitter at #BusinessGreenWeek

Looking ahead

Our June event served as a milestone half way through the Green Capital year, and showed how much positive activity is taking place around the city. We are delighted to have over 200 businesses in our membership so far and are building a vibrant and engaged network, but we are still looking to widen our impact – so we warmly invite other businesses to join in too. Go Green has been designed to provide a legacy from the Green Capital year, so will not be disappearing at the end of 2015; in fact we are just getting started! Visit our Say it page to get started.

Like the sound of this event?

We have lots more green business events happening, all the time! Head to our events page to find out what’s coming up.