Published date 15 June 2022

Metro Mayor launches new Sustainability Champions programme

 Metro Mayor Dan Norris with Sustainability Champions at Windmill Hill City Farm

Two hundred eco-minded West of England workers will become “Sustainable Impact Champions” helping their organisations reduce their carbon footprint, thanks to a brand-new scheme launched by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

The environmentally concerned West of England workers will be trained at workshops and through one-on-one mentoring as part of a wider joint £800,000 investment from the West of England Combined Authority, led by the Metro Mayor, and Bristol City Council.

From local bakers, to office workers, to burger van flippers, Sustainable Impact Champions can work anywhere. What unites them is that they will drive green projects reducing their companies' emissions through ensuring their company implements a sustainability business strategy with clear, achievable goals, including zero-carbon targets and immediate steps to reduce their energy use.

Speaking at the launch, the Metro Mayor said: “As part of our drive to meet our really ambitious net-zero by 2030 target, I’m proud to launch this scheme funded by the West of England Combined Authority I lead. The Sustainable Impact Champions initiative puts the focus on workers driving the change needed to reduce companies’ carbon footprint and so get us on the path to net zero. Thanks to this brand-new programme, workers can access real support and the skills they need. For the West of England to reach net-zero, we need to help all businesses become greener businesses. Thankfully, businesses and their workers are keen to go green, and under my leadership, we’re giving them the tools to do so.”

The organisations will be tracked and supported to see how they implement sustainable strategies in their bid to go carbon neutral over the course of the next year.

YTKO, a company that delivers business support across the region, will deliver the scheme on behalf of the Combined Authority and Bristol City Council. Their Head of Construction and Sustainability, Philip Stott, said: “Being able to deliver this initiative ensures that we can work with all types of businesses - from retrofit companies to photography firms, from accountants to burger vans - and make sure they take steps to reduce carbon through measures which work for their businesses and their workers. It has really come out of the industry research and policy-making that the West of England Combined Authority has led on over the past twelve months. I’m so pleased to welcome the Metro Mayor, which is a great opportunity to show how this project will have a real impact across the length of the region.”

To find out more about becoming a Sustainable Impact Champion and implementing green business strategies, no matter how small, please visit: https://westofengland.ytko.com/sustainability/

The Metro Mayor’s second Jobs and Skills Summit focused on raising the profile of green jobs across sectors, showcasing green career opportunities for local people and hearing from the region’s green workers helping the region transition to net zero.

On the summit day, the Metro Mayor also met students at Chew Valley School, workers in Bristol's retrofit industry, South Gloucestershire companies developing new green technologies and trade unions working to green West of England workplaces.

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