Businesses across Doncaster could help boost the borough’s productivity while tackling the climate crisis, academics told a symposium of politicians and business leaders.

Ed Miliband MP joined Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, Doncaster Council Chief Executive Damian Allen, academics from the University of Sheffield and manufacturing and engineering business leaders to discuss how the town can achieve green growth.

The event came in response to Doncaster Council’s declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency last September, when councillors pledged to work with partners across the region to help the UK to meet its climate targets.

Participants discussed how Doncaster businesses are embracing the need to be more environmentally friendly and the contribution these efforts are making towards achieving net zero carbon emissions..

Hosted by the University of Sheffield’s Productivity Insights Network, findings from the event will feed into a national conversation about how businesses can reduce their environmental impacts, and what businesses, the council and the government can do to help them achieve this.

Ed Miliband MP, Chair of the Doncaster Local Commission on Climate Change & Biodiversity Crisis, said: “We are right to focus on the threat from the climate emergency but the way that we tackle it can provide incredible opportunities for people in Doncaster. By boosting productivity and supporting existing firms to go green – as well as attracting emerging clean industries – we can create good jobs and improve lives, at the same time as addressing the biggest global challenge of our generation.

“It’s incredibly exciting that Doncaster is pushing forward with this and I’m very proud to have been asked by the Mayor to chair the Doncaster Climate Commission. We can deliver a greener, fairer, more prosperous future for Doncaster.”

Professor Tim Vorley, Co-Director of the Productivity Insights Network at the University of Sheffield, said: “Incentivising businesses to deliver on the green growth agenda is central to Doncaster and the UK becoming a more inclusive and sustainable economy, and will also encourage innovation, open up new markets and potentially enhance productivity.”

Damian Allen, Chief Executive of Doncaster Council, said: “Through our response to climate change we have the opportunity to consider the type of borough we want to see to improve the overall wellbeing of people and places by solving the big challenges.

“With Doncaster’s growing track-record of innovation and delivery and the transformational opportunities within our grasp, we can now set the borough on a path to sustainable and inclusive growth in prosperity.”