Sensors and smart tech were high up on the agenda at the Sustainability Summit
The focus of this year’s University of Derby and East Midlands Chamber Sustainability Summit was ‘Why clean growth is good for businesses’. With increasing demands from consumers, partners and the wider supply chain, businesses are under increasing pressure to convey that they operate in sustainable and ethical ways. The annual summit, held at Eastwood Hall in Nottinghamshire, presented the latest developments and opportunities relevant to both SME’s and large corporations. Rob Pritchard and I, Rebecca Shaw went to represent our company, Scenariio, intelligent infrastructures, as a low carbon business and to find out the latest developments.
The summit welcomed a range of speakers whose businesses are leading the way in sustainability. A key point being, clean growth is positively correlated with increasing profits while at the same time benefitting the planet. “Determined to leave our natural environment in a better condition than we found it. Clean growth is not an option, but a duty we owe to the next generation” Theresa May 2017, UK Governments Clean Growth strategy.
It was interesting to hear Dr Fred Paterson, and Dr Polina Baronova provide insights to recent research confirming all large corporations questioned could see the benefits of considering their environmental impact and were proactively incorporating environmental policies, if they had not done already, into their core business values. Data showed smaller companies seemed less convinced of the importance of it. We were encouraged to have open dialogues regarding how various sized businesses can work together to combat climate change. Dr Fred Paterson exclaimed, ‘Our greatest challenge is not the issue itself, but how quickly we can mobilise ourselves effectively against it’.
A presentation that aligned closely with our business objectives was given by Giles Ellerton who described how BT had put sustainability at the centre of their businesses purpose; ‘using the power of communications to make a better world’. A fundamental aspect of their technology advancements has been enabled by the internet of things (IoT). The impact of our product at Scenariio is based on this intelligent infrastructure and through a rich sensor network enables the connectivity of ever-expanding functions such as security, lighting and building management. BT’s growing number of smart sensors networks are being trialled and installed at a rapid pace, adding to our ability to plan for essential city infrastructure effectively.
When we first saw Uber on the agenda, we weren’t quite sure how they were going to contribute to a sustainability summit. However, Shammi Raichura’s inspiring presentation urged us to plan our cities in a smarter way. Representing Uber, he convinced us that by ‘thinking differently we could achieve so much’. Car ownership is on the decline; a car sits idle for on average 95% of its time. Young people are choosing to shift the paradigm and are forcing us to think smarter, embracing the other, now reliable and affordable options that are becoming so easily accessible. The combination of Uber and public transport services in major cities are dramatically disrupting the way it has always been; it is just no longer sustainable.
WHAT THE SUMMIT EXPLORED:
The Sustainability Summit explored forward-thinking developments and innovations in a topic that is gaining significant traction. Businesses are considering ways in which they can engage in this agenda, consequently, becoming more attractive to customers and potential employees. The growing number of disruptive services, such as live tracking of pool cars available on our smartphones, transport is there when it’s needed. The event showed us a smarter way to move forward.
The challenge is keeping up with the developments that are happening; the pace is rapidly increasing as businesses mobilise against climate change. Being a member of the Low Carbon Business Network supports us in keeping abreast of environmental updates. We were delighted to exhibit our low carbon technology alongside so many other ‘green’ businesses.
We look forward to the next summit and encourage others to consider the green agenda across all businesses, using clean growth as an opportunity to maximise opportunities while moving towards an eco-friendly approach.
Scenariio delivers smarter solutions for smarter buildings. We specialise in the design, supply, and implementation of leading technologies to optimise utilisation and productivity in your workspace. We aim to improve the way your organisation connects with technology to achieve responsive results, more efficient systems and ultimately, business growth.
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