SHEFFIELD SUSTAINABILITY NETWORKSheffield Sustainability Network will be launched in February – a group of likeminded people working together to drive a positive change in how businesses operate, helping members reduce their organisations’ carbon footprints and remain prosperous in a rapidly changing world.

Rob Cole, director at Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens, tells unLTD all about the new network’s vision, plans and benefits

How to respond to the declared climate change emergency?

How to shift our business practices to be more sustainable in order to stay competitive?

How can small businesses and non-profits work together to help support both ourselves in prosperity and each other on a sustainable planet?

These are just some of the questions that businesses, organisations, charities, and Sheffield residents face today.

Sheffield Sustainability Network was founded by three local business owners who had been exchanging ideas on more sustainable ways of working, and quickly realised this information sharing would be beneficial for others.

We set about creating a platform that supports local businesses and non-profit organisations in their goal to become more sustainable.

Starting with around 10 steering group members, we plan to to more than 100 members by end of 2020, run campaigns and member events, and partner with key local bodies including Sheffield Business Together and Sheffield City Region Sustainability Partnership.

Sheffield Sustainability Network also aims to provide benefits to its members including:

Sustainability audit

We recognise that sustainable practices are not only an environmental need, but increasingly a business requirement – however, knowing where to start can be a challenge. We will provide a simple self-assessment audit process to help identify areas where easy gains can be made.

Shared knowledge

By pooling our information and efforts, we are able to share knowledge and skills to support our members through our online resources, regular meetings and workshops.

Purchasing power

There is an increasing amount of sustainable products available, but the cost of these can be prohibitive for smaller organisations. As a network, the potential for combined purchasing power will help us get more competitive pricing from suppliers.