Climate change summit

The north east of England recently took part in a national May Day summit to demonstrate how businesses in the area have been taking action on climate change.

A group of delegates, including management from ICE Renewables, CE Electric, Fabrick Group and NaREC, were led on a tour of three companies throughout the day by the Prince’s May Day Network a nationwide group of businesses, with representation in the north east, that is committed to reducing carbon emissions.

Organised by Business in the Community (BITC), of which the Prince of Wales is president, the tour started at Nissan to demonstrate the work being undertaken on zero-emission vehicles and progressed to photovoltaic specialist Romag, which is developing a solar-powered recharging canopy. The day finished at Washington-based electric vehicle manufacturers, Smith Electric Vehicles, to test drive some of the company’s electric cars.

According to research, managers in the north east are split over the impact of climate change. Around 42 per cent have measured their organisations’ carbon emissions and set targets to reduce them, however just as many say their companies do not engage with a climate change agenda.

Karen Wilkinson-Bell, regional director for the north east at BITC, said: ‘This year, we wanted to challenge business leaders to look not only at the challenges that climate change presents, but also at the solutions – and the opportunities that there are for businesses.

‘Here in the north east, we are already seeing the development of world-leading technologies that will help combat climate change and investment in the infrastructure needed to exploit those technologies. Our visit is about demonstrating that there are huge opportunities for business, and also showcasing what is already happening up here.’