We were pleased with a big cross-sector turnout for our Business of Greening Redbridge event and we reckon it could be the start of something significant. The feeling of the meeting was that The Time is Nigh for Redbridge to commit to, and benefit from, a vibrant, green and circular economy.
- We found out from Joni Cunningham, CEO, that the Redbridge Institute have made sizeable cuts to their running costs by reducing energy consumption. Anagat of Archant thought this would be a message that businesses would want to hear
- Sharon Strutt, Head of Regeneration at Redbridge Council promised that smaller businesses in Redbridge would get the opportunity to tender for Council contracts. This was well received by Rosie of Eco Cleaning Services.
- Ross Alleway, McDonalds Manager gave an amazing speech on the environmental credentials of McDonalds – it was felt this good practice needs to be shared with businesses
- Nnenna Anyanwu explained ‘cradle to cradle’ production and the ‘circular economy’ which was new to almost everyone there. She said that the environmental issues are an ‘inconvenient truth’ but that we have to make radical changes to how we do things. Chris Elliot of Recycles Ilford said that although this seems radical, it makes total economic sense for the Borough.
How can Redbridge benefit from the Green/Circular Economy? – Save money, save resources, lower Council expenditure, create jobs, re-use resources, learn skills (mending/repairing), educate future generations, pool resources, diversify supply chains, increase civic pride, clean environment, wildlife conservation
How might you use an environmental hub? – Central place of information/updates, network groups centre, starting point for businesses and how they can contribute ideas, promotion of green projects/good practice, showcase of excellence, place of education (business, home, schools), central point for community champions, act as a collective voice. To be both a real and an online hub with forums, Facebook, WhatsApp etc
What would it take for your business/group/organisation to make changes? – Showcase of successes, accessible engagement and education (simple), make it easier to do the right thing, commute results, incentives – reduce costs – e.g. what can be saved on lighting costs, creating champions, taking the first step then monitoring the impact
See the video…
The next steps…
Sophia Hubs will explore with Nnenna Anyanwu funding to pilot an environmental business and community hub. We are sharing ideas and comments from the attendees, and can add your name too. We will set up a 2nd meeting once we have secured Council support for bringing the green and circular economy into its economic strategy. Sophia Hubs is developing the Ilford Green Pop Up market to take on some suggestions from the event, starting from 9th September.
And please do complete the Councils economic growth strategy survey and put in everything you can think of that could be included that’s green.
And here’s a comment from Sharon Strutt, Redbridge Council: It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet some of the borough’s green businesses and the passion for making more of the circular economy. The message about sustainability came across very strongly and will need to be reflected within the emerging strategy. I gained a wide range of perspectives on issues from eco homes, cycling networks and recycling right the way through to ensuring small, creative and co-operative businesses have the opportunity to find affordable co-working space.
Please message or email if you want to be included in the continuing discussions and ideas taking place between attendees of this event.
Ros Southern and Begona Belmonte