Climate change will affect us all. But many small businesses aren’t aware of the scale of the issue, or don’t have the knowledge and skills to adapt their organisation to a new way of working.
The Aura Innovation Centre team wanted to give small businesses in the Humber the opportunity to learn how to protect their organisations from whatever the climate throws at them.
Burying your head in the sand over climate change can feel like the easy way out.
Many businesses don’t realise how it will affect them, or simply don’t have the time or resources to spend hours researching and planning to make themselves more sustainable and resilient.
In many small businesses, employees wear a lot of ‘hats’, so the person delegated to deal with sustainability may well be in a senior role, such as managing director. Against immediate concerns such as growing the business, maintaining cashflow and recruiting staff, adapting to the changing climate can feel like it’s a long way down the list of priorities.
And with costs and wages going up, and consumer confidence waning, some businesses may be feeling the hit in their profits too, meaning investing in sustainable technology is out of reach.
The Aura Innovation Centre wanted to give these businesses a quick and simple overview of how climate change would affect their organisations, and what they can do to adapt.
Dr Sarah Shaw & Linda Whicker
University of Hull
We know that for SMEs, time is precious, so we need to deliver our message at a time when business leaders have already put time aside to attend events. To do so, we schedule an event during Humber Business Week, when we know our target audience will be looking to attend events.
We organise a half-day interactive workshop, called “Climate Change? It’s Not My Business.” The event is designed to appeal to businesses who are at the first step of thinking about climate change, but aren’t sure where or how to start.
The event addresses why it’s vital to address climate change, and walks businesses through the first stages of adapting to the changing climate and building up economic resilience.
Delivered in partnership with University of Hull climate change experts Dr Sarah Shaw and Linda Whicker, the event gives practical tips on how businesses can adapt in order to survive.
Our workshop ensured businesses went home with an idea of where to start next on their journey to net zero.
Whether a business is going to carbon map to understand where they currently stand, take simple action to reduce their carbon footprint, or go a step further and work with the Aura Innovation Centre on an innovative or technologically complex low-carbon project, they are now confident on the next steps they can take.
As one delegate said: “I knew a bit about climate change before, but I’ve learned loads about the science behind the headlines. It’s really brought it home to me that we need to take climate change seriously – I’m going straight back to the office to make sure my organisation takes action now.”