The last twelve months have seen a number of projects launched to help and support organisations in the county wishing to work on being cleaner, greener and ultimately more resilient.
In May, the University of Northampton held a Sustainability Summit where it launched the Northampton Accord, a multi-stakeholder agreement crafted by participants in the Summit. The Accord lists shared sustainability challenges and outlines the goals that the signatories are committed to pursuing to meet these challenges, namely through collaborative research, enterprise, and knowledge exchange projects.
In July, the University team, led by Dr Ebenezer Laryea, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Business Practices (CSBP) launched SLIPAH, the Sustainability Local Innovation Partnership Agenda Hub. SLIPAH has been set up to champion sustainable innovation and collaboration within the region. Through collective efforts, SLIPAH aims to make a tangible contribution to sustainable development. As members, organisations work in partnership with others, gain access to grant funding opportunities along with research and support to deal with sustainability challenges. It is free to join, but members commit to sharing information and practices, along with promising to collaborate with the University to achieve the goals of the Sustainability Accord.
One of SLIPAH’s early projects is in partnership with West Northants Council - an initiative called 'Towards a Net Zero West Northants (TANZ West Northants)'. Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the aim of this project is to provide research and knowledge exchange support to business and charities which helps them reduce their carbon emissions and progress their journeys towards Net Zero.
A number of businesses and charities have already registered for the project, please visit the project website to learn more.
People, Planet, Pint
Originating in Glasgow in November 2021 during COP26, People, Planet, Pint is a relaxed event bringing together those with a shared passion for sustainability in all its forms. It has been running ever since, with over 75 cities hosting events and 8000 attendees from all over the world.
These events provide an opportunity to chat about what's going on in the Net Zero/Sustainability space and meet others locally to share ‘wins’ as well as challenges. It’s about bringing businesses and people together in an informal environment to take action without really realising it.
The first Northampton PPP took place in June 2023, with events taking place every quarter in a local pub. Alexina Cassidy, co-host of PPP Northampton comments “creating a sustainable future requires connected communities and the connections people make during the PPP event are beneficial to all involved.”
PPP Northampton attendees to date have been made up of representatives from local businesses, community organisations, local government employees and the University of Northampton, along with people working in sustainability.
Richard Lemon, Senior Team Project Manager at Piroto Labelling, Northampton said of a recent event, held at the Brampton Halt, Pitsford; “It was lovely to meet everyone and was very nice to have a chat without Agenda & Judgement. I certainly picked up a few bits to think about and look in to.”
For those interested in coming along to the next PPP on December 7th to coincide with COP28, register a place for free via this link – the first 33 drinks are sponsored by Krystal a premium green web hosting provider.
Be Better with B Corp
Another Northamptonshire initiative that focusses on using business as a force for good is the B Local Northamptonshire group. Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies independently verified to meet enhanced commitments to environmental and social goals.
The aim of the Northamptonshire B Local group is to work together to share best practices and support and influence the wider business community. The county has 13 certified B Corps representing different industries from construction, apparel, beverages and cleaning products to investment services, HR, PR and consultancy.
Reusable nappy revolutionaries Bambino Mio, headquartered in Brixworth, trade in over 50 countries worldwide. Guy Schanschieff, the founder of Bambino Mio and the Northants B Local group says, ‘we hope our commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others.’ Bambino Mio is committed to reducing waste and to date has saved over two billion six hundred nappies from being thrown into landfill.
For local businesses wishing to find out more about the B Corp movement and B Corp certification, the Northamptonshire B Corp group are keen to help, advise and answer any questions.