Recognising the increasing focus on greening our economy – Suffolk Growth convened a regional officer workshop in October.
The focus was on the whole economy and how all businesses / sectors could be supported to operate in a more environmentally sustainable way. Workshop attendees discussed approaches to boosting Suffolk’s green credentials and promoting Suffolk’s position with national Government as a trailblazer for delivering a greener economy.
Key messages that came out of the workshop include:
- The Suffolk public sector must work together to develop greener policies to drive growth within our own organisations and across our business base.
- We need to build capacity in organisations, in communities and in individuals to deliver more sustainable approaches to doing business.
- Business support programmes need to recognise the drivers for commercial change.
- Customer-led expectations and procurement requirements result in businesses changing approach – our support programmes must recognise and address these drivers.
- Suffolk’s potential to capitalise on green trade opportunities is significant – but to do so will require a joined-up effort to align trade and environmental policies, with partners identifying potential green traders within their geographies.
- Public sector organisations have done a lot to make jobs / processes more sustainable, but much remains to be done – we need to lead by example.
- The right skills are critical to deliver against the green agenda, not just those working in renewables, but across all sectors.
- Accreditation programmes for learners are not keeping pace and colleges are facing increasing staff shortages/staff skills gaps.
- Definitions are important and Suffolk must agree the focus and priorities – what is a “green” job in a Suffolk context? How can we measure how our economy is becoming more green?
- Suffolk Growth will be preparing a summary report from the workshop with short terms actions identified and allocated to partners.
The group will reconvene in Spring 2023 to assess progress on actions.
List of organisations attending:
Cities & Local Growth Unit (central government)
East Suffolk Council (climate change, economic development)
Federation of Small Businesses (development lead)
International Trade Team (SCoC) (trade manager)
Ipswich Borough Council (economic development)
New Anglia LEP (data analyst)
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce (policy lead)
Suffolk Climate Change Partnership (communities)
Suffolk County Council (skills, economic development
Suffolk New College (project director)
University of Suffolk (climate change, business engagement)
West Suffolk Council (economic development)