Clean growth has become a buzzword for a modern business.

Environmental sustainability is no longer seen as simply fulfilling regulatory compliance – it can aid recruitment, enhance reputation, cut costs and create business development opportunities.

There has been a steady rise in demand for low carbon goods and services in recent years, and the openings for East Midlands firms to tap into this market are clear to see.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in May 2017 said that the low carbon environment goods and services sector contributed £62.5bn to the UK economy, accounted for about 335,000 jobs and was expected to grow by 11% a year until 2030 – four times faster than projections for the UK economy as a whole.

Analysis by the University of Derby Business School (DBS) of surveys conducted by the Chamber over a three year period showed that the number of businesses supplying low carbon and environmental goods and services in the East Midlands is growing.

Twenty-four per cent of companies surveyed in 2017 derived some degree of turnover from the sector compared to 16% in 2015. Twelve per cent of businesses reported they were generating more than 20% of their turnover in the sector in 2017 compared with eight per cent in 2015.

The opportunities for local firms to become global leaders in the sector will form the basis of a free Sustainability Summit being held next week by the Chamber in partnership with the Low Carbon Business Network – an ERDF-funded project delivered by Chamber Patron the University of Derby.

The summit will focus on how environmental sustainability and clean growth is now an intrinsic element of any business growth strategy and offers untapped potential to re-energise business performance.

It will also explore the direction of travel in the East Midlands and hear from a range of exemplar organisations that already embed and deliver sustainable and environmental business practices.

“From a business and an environmental perspective, the option to stand still has long since passed,” said Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber.

He added: “The business community must act on promises to preserve and enhance the natural environment to provide a legacy for generations to come, while remaining economically competitive, and today’s summit will provide some answers on how this goal can be achieved.”

The Sustainability Summit is being held at Eastwood Hall, Mansfield Road, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, NG16 3SS. It starts at 8.30am and ends at 1.30pm.

Through a series of keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops the Summit will:

  • Explore why clean growth should be intrinsic to any business growth strategy

  • Link productivity and performance gains with environmental sustainability

  • Provide details on how to develop and grow a sustainable business profile

  • Discuss the benefits of getting it right and the consequences of getting it wrong

  • Hear from exemplar organisations on why they build sustainability into their business plans and visions – exploring the wide range of business benefits, and

  • Provide delegates with a range of information about the support available to assist in achieving clean growth goals.

A recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned that there is only a decade or so left to keep global warming below 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree increase will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

A full list of speakers at the summit and booking details can be found at

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