Polly Frost from the Economy, Enterprise and Skills department at Devon County Council discusses the path to Net Zero.
To reach Net Zero by 2050 will require a combined effort from us all, to each participate in every way we can to reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably.
As a parent, a public servant and citizen of the world, I am committed to restoring our natural environment and adapting human processes to reach Net Zero.
There is no use downplaying the challenge that reaching Net Zero presents. We know we must act now, and as the UK continues its progress towards COVID recovery, we can seize the opportunity presented to build back greener. I believe we can grow our economy within our environmental limits, whilst offering support to communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
At Devon County Council, we have identified tackling climate change as one of our key strategic priorities, positioning it at the heart of all Council activities. Our Team Devon Covid 19 Recovery Prospectus is committed to this priority, with assistance programmes and grant schemes centred around generating positive environmental outputs.
Devon possesses a higher-than-average number of small and micro businesses, who are a part of our drive to decarbonise our businesses and industries. In my work at Devon County Council, I have seen a wealth of enthusiasm from small businesses and social enterprises to develop and change their business practices to be more sustainable.
As the home of the highest concentration of climate scientists anywhere in the world, and possessors of a vast amount of natural capital, Devon is perfectly positioned to be a leader in the low carbon sector, and in unrelated businesses adopting green practices.
If you run or work for a small or micro business, there are plenty of resources available to help you contribute to our Net Zero ambitions. The Heart of the South West Growth Hub provides support to businesses across the region, whatever challenges they are facing.
The Make it Net Zero portal created by the Heart of the South West LEP in partnership with the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service is a great source of information for businesses looking to go greener, alongside the UK – SME Climate hub (businessclimatehub.org), a government toolkit created specifically to help SMEs transition to Net Zero.
The future is Net Zero. Consumer demand for eco-friendly products and services and public awareness of the environmental ethics of businesses are both rising, which means that making greener changes to your business now will future-proof your enterprise, and ensure it can keep up as we move towards Net Zero.
Written by Polly Frost and Zoe Smith