December Business Breakfast – Go Green goes Circular!

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Our last Go Green Business Breakfast event of the year was held on 2nd December at the stunning St Mary Redcliffe Church, an incredibly inspirational setting for a fascinating discussion and insight into The Circular Economy.

After a breakfast of delicious pastries and festive treats from Southville’s delectable artisan bakers, Mark’s Bread, we kicked off with Marcus Chantrey from B2 Architects, who gave an overview of the Church’s green initiatives as well as the forthcoming design competition and development project which sees exciting times ahead in equipping the Church for the 21st Century.

Dr Dominic Hogg, Chairman of Eunomia, then set the scene by explaining the theory behind circular economy thinking, the current policy landscape and some of the drivers for making a Circular Economy approach more mainstream for businesses.

Emma Burlow from QSA Partners made business sense of the Circular Economy by highlighting some of the work they have done with commercial organisations who are adopting a more circular approach to their business models.

Kate Royston explained the work of SevernNet and gave examples of successful local business collaborations for the reuse of waste materials. Kate also stressed the importance of getting to know your neighbours in business and how great things can start from just a small conversation.

Steve Hemming from Siniat, a founder member of SevernNet, provided us with a fascinating case study of how the manufacture of their plasterboard, from the raw material gypsum, fits perfectly within the Circular Economy model.

Aimee Campanella from Bristol Textile Recyclers explained how BTR help to divert 20 tons of textiles from landfill every day, the equivalent of 3 x adult male African elephants! Aimee highlighted ways in which businesses can get involved and fundraise with recycling.

Jane Stephenson explained Resource Future’s role in the Circular Economy and led on the fascinating workshop, helping organisations to explore the typical barriers as well as the opportunities offered by a Circular Economy approach to business.

Workshop Actions

Participants from the workshop were encouraged to come up with actions from the morning’s discussions to share and promote the Circular Economy within their organisations.  Some of the declared actions were:

  • Sign up to The Bristol Pound.
  • Investigate textile recycling.
  • Introduce a suggestion box for staff to come with ideas for a greener work ethic and policies.
  • Utilise social media to engage/communicate green ideas to end consumers and suppliers.
  • Pursue facilities manager for better energy performance and recycling facilities.
  • Raise awareness of the Circular Economy to tenants.
  • Actively promote the use of recycled or recyclable building materials.
  • Share Circular Economy case studies across the network.
  • Contact the Knowledge Transfer Network for ideas and connections and potential funding to support Circular Economy projects.

Stallholders

We of course had some wonderful stallholders as well as their commanding 60-second pitches.  Our stallholders were:

Sustain-Live Consulting – Traci Lewis

Sustain-Live is a sustainable development consultancy based in Bristol helping businesses and organisations become more sustainable through projects, partnerships and practice.

Bristol Pound  Stephen Clarke & Ciaran Mundy

The Bristol Pound is the UK’s first city wide local currency and is all about supporting Bristol’s independent businesses.

Life Cycle UK – Frances McMillan, email: frances@lifecycleuk.org.uk

Life Cycle UK is a Bristol-based charity which offers simple, practical, targeted support to help more people unlock the benefits of cycling.

Travelwest – Sue Sanctuary & Victoria Stone

Promoting the use of Car Clubs with their ‘Go Car Clever’ campaign and the membership opportunities with City Car Club, Co-wheels or Zipcar who operate Car Clubs in the city.

Solarsense UK – Krystian Sordyl & Steve Laycock

Solarsense are the UK’s leading provider of sustainable solutions, the National Renewable Energy Installer of the Year and specialise in commercial Solar PV installations.

Planglow Ltd – Rachael Sawtell & Mahanagh Adams

Planglow supply a wide range of eco packaging solutions and display items for the grab and go market.  All Planglow packaging is made from 100% biodegradable and compostable materials.

Treefest

A huge thank you to everyone who made decorations out of recycled and waste materials for our Go Green Christmas tree for Treefest 2015.  We were very impressed by your ingenuity and creative skills!  We awarded prizes courtesy of Pukka Herbs to Planglow‘s gorgeous decorations made out of their fully biodegradable and compostable eco-packaging, Velopost‘s nostalgic tin toy drum and Co-Wheels‘ glorious Pot Noodle angel!  There were over 85 Christmas trees on display at St Mary Redcliffe Church from 8th-13th December during Treefest – it really was a sight to behold!  We also snuk in an additional tree made from waste toilet rolls by the Housekeeping Department at the Bristol hotel, which attracted a fair amount of attention from visitors to the Church!

Toilet roll tree by the Housekeeping Dept, The Bristol hotel

Go Green in 2016 & Go Green Awards

Amy Nicholass rounded off the morning by highlighting some of the exciting Go Green events lined up for 2016, including a behind the scenes tour of Aardman Studios, an evening networking event at Bath Abbey, as well as exclusive events at Folly Farm and The Bristol hotel.  Keep your eyes peeled for the events listings on our website in the new year.

And finally, don’t forget to start getting your entries in for our Go Green 2016 Awards, which are being held to recognise and reward the remarkable achievements of our business community across each of the five themes of Go Green.  The glamorous awards ceremony will be held at The Bristol hotel on the evening of 18th February 2016 and will be free to attend.  Tickets will be available to book in the new year.

The deadline for entries for the Go Green Theme Awards is Monday 25th January 2016 – you can see full details of the award categories and how to apply here.

As part of the Go Green Awards, there is also an award for Bristol’s Best Green Small Business to acknowledge those organisations that have improved their green credentials across all of the five Go Green themes.  The Federation of Small Businesses in Bristol (FSB Bristol) are providing a cash prize of £2,000 for Bristol’s Best Green Small Business (non-FSB & FSB members), and £1,000 for Bristol’s Best Green FSB Business (FSB members only).  The prize money is to be spent on further green initiatives for your organisation, so don’t miss out!  If you are a business with less than 250 employees and have made considerable strides to improving your sustainable credentials, you should get applying!  Applications are via the website www.bbgsb.co.uk and the deadline for applications is 9th January 2016.

We at Go Green are very excited about the year ahead and are so impressed by all your enthusiasm and by everything you’ve done this year to drive forwards and spread the message of sustainability within your organisations.  We really look forward to seeing you again soon and would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Green and Happy New Year!