Redway Networks Attends Net Zero MK Event to Deepen Sustainability Goals

As the first city in the U.K. to have kerbside recycling back in 1990, Milton Keynes has always had the environment at its core. Over 30 years later, it continues to push initiatives that seek to benefit our planet, often being the first to trial emerging tech like driverless vehicles for deliveries of everything from takeaways to books, prioritising green transport from cycling to electric, and placing care and respect of its many green spaces (starting with 40 parks) above all.

With around 15,000 businesses in MK, being more conscious of the environment doesn’t come without its challenges. Milton Keynes Council, however, see this differently. With a huge concentration of offices, infrastructure, and commuters, the city is well placed to encourage small steps that have a huge impact; if every organisation takes even the smallest action, this scales to a huge regional effort that is both at the heart of the city’s identity, but also showing the way for other cities around the country.

NetZero MK are working together with MK City Council and Buckinghamshire Business First to help the region’s organisations start on their journey towards ‘net zero’ through a highly proactive, supportive framework. They provide participating organisations with an action plan based on circumstances and current usage that focuses on reducing energy waste, reducing physical waste, single-use plastics, reducing scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Having already started on our own journey, we attended their event, ‘What’s Good for the Planet is Good for Business, last week to find out more and hear from leaders in sustainable business models.

Dan Cope, Climate Change Programme Manager at BBF, spoke about the first step being both the hardest, and the most crucial: understanding your current carbon footprint. This is vital for taking action as it’s only by seeing how your changes make a difference – in real-time thanks to their dashboard – that your organisation is motivated to take increasingly larger steps towards that net zero goal.

Another speaker was Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Blacks. She discussed the brand’s longstanding ethos that what’s good for the planet is good for business, and how doing the right thing for ecosystems and struggling economies can go hand in hand, leading to the longevity of success. As the first brand to have a fairtrade logo back in 1994, Green & Blacks transformed how the country’s biggest businesses – such as major supermarkets – saw ethical business models, and forced them to respond to the public’s then-growing support for organisations using them.

Jo encouraged business owners at Thursday’s event to take time for themselves when discussing the overwhelm and exhaustion many feel when trying to juggle running a company with caring for the environment. She compared this to aviation guidelines of putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others, stating that you’re serving the world better by first taking care of yourself. In regards to the rapidly changing world of commerce, she added that now more than ever, businesses need a microscope and a telescope to succeed – it’s no good just looking internally since the world and its own needs are so vital for longstanding success.

The event provided a space for a community of like-minded organisations, and we left the event feeling impassioned to go further with our goals. Having just moved into a new office in Aurora House, MK, we’re focusing on transforming it into an occupancy-based smart space, reducing the use of plastic, reducing energy usage, as well as water usage. Our first steps have been fitting a water filter in our new office so we can source drinking water from mains and eliminate water dispensers which bring plastic into our operations through the bottles, and the additional emissions of delivery and collection vehicles.

Find out about our sustainability initiatives here.