Let's make green thinking 'fundamental'
“Every aspect of business thinking has to be green as a fundamental rather than something to be tacked on if possible. It is absolutely crucial for the future - and it also makes huge business sense."
To mainstream green thinking into the business world as a ‘fundamental’ is high among the priorities of Paula Deas in her role as Coventry & Warwickshire Business Partnerships Strategic Lead.
Paula, former deputy chief executive of Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, has taken up the new position created jointly by Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council following the close of the LEP.
Her role as the local authorities’ business engagement lead is to ensure that the voice of businesses is fully heard and listened to at both national and local levels. A key plank of that is to continue and accelerate the move towards Net Zero and ensure that businesses understand its significant economic as well as environmental benefits.
As the 21st century deepens, green thinking in business must become a must-have rather than a nice-to-have, she insists.
“I am very excited about my new role and one of my top objectives is to set up a new way of engaging with businesses of the region - the Coventry and Warwickshire Economic Business Forum,” she said. “And one of the key priorities of that will be how we must do more to ‘green’ the economy.
“That’s not just about putting ‘green’ in front of every word and feeling good about it - it’s about action. It’s about how we go about genuinely mainstreaming green into the way we think about economic decisions, whether that’s road-related or skills-related or the digital economy.
“Every aspect of business thinking has to be green as a fundamental rather than something to be tacked on if possible. It is absolutely crucial for the future - and it also makes huge business sense.
“Warwickshire County Council’s Green Recovery Grants are a great example. It is clear from each of the four case studies in this edition of Warwickshire Means Business – Farmers Fayre, Frank Parker Butchers, Disco Bowl Nuneaton and Oakridge Golf Club – how much money can be saved from a diverse range of businesses. They are all great good-news stories - in some cases, businesses that were fighting for survival are now looking to the future with confidence.
“This is a big part of what we want to do with the forum - to convince people that this is the way we should all run our affairs. The commercial benefits as well as the wider ones are there for all to see and we just want all businesses to buy into that and also realise that there is a lot of support out there to help with the logistics and costs of making any necessary changes.
“A lot of progress has been made but there is a long way still to go. Whether it’s individuals, businesses, councils or governments, you have to go on a journey before you realise the importance of the decisions you make about becoming more green, and that it makes enormous sense on an invest-to-save basis.”