Sustainable Business Network

Our next event is Oct 17th, with Lauren Wiseman, author of WWF's Sustainable Office Guide. Sign up here!

The Guildford Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is a collaborative venture between Zero Carbon Guildford and the University of Surrey's Research & Innovation department.

 

The SBN aims to significantly lower the environmental impact of businesses and social enterprises in the area, whilst helping to build resilience to medium and long term threats posed to the local community by climate change.

Our research over the past 18 months has demonstrated the appetite within small & medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase sustainability and resilience, with the main obstacle being lack of clarity on how to move forward. 

We spent the pre-launch phase of the SBN since May 2022 further drilling down into how we can support local businesses on their journey, and have compiled a programme of support which includes talks & workshops with industry experts, financial support for sustainability initiatives, and knowledge exchange. 

Fiona Ball, Group Director of Bigger Picture, Sky's sustainability arm, speaks at our sold out launch event 

Wherever your business is on its journey, we can help. so join our mailing list today.

Background to the Guildford SBN

Between 20-30% of the borough’s carbon emissions are attributable to business, a trend largely replicated across Surrey. We aim to help businesses lower that contribution in meaningful and significant ways that deliver genuine decarbonisation strategies. Alongside this we aim to provide pathways that can help businesses adopt a sustainable approach to their business activities, helping to ensure staff satisfaction as well as long-term resilience to a changing planet. 

Sustainable Business Networks exist in some format across the country, including neighbouring Sussex and Hampshire - but surprisingly, no such network exists in Surrey! During 2021 the University of Surrey’s Living Lab undertook extensive research on the enthusiasm for such a network locally, and found that there was overwhelming support for the establishment of an SBN, particularly amongst small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Despite a vast majority of businesses wishing to take steps toward decarbonisation and improved sustainability, the resounding feedback was that SMEs simply don’t know where to start. The SBN will therefore aim to cut through the noise and gimmickry that can sometimes accompany such strategies, to help businesses focus on their main sustainability objectives, and highlight the most impactful ways to achieve these. In line with the results of the Living Lab research, the SBN will have 4 main objectives.

Goals Of The Sustainable Business Network

​In line with the University of Surrey's feasibility study, and the ongoing baseline research of the Sustainable Business Network team, we have set the following 4 objectives for the network;

  1. Providing pathways for businesses to reduce their emissions and increase their sustainability through interactions with University researchers, sector experts, grant makers and each other

  2. Make Guildford an appealing place for sustainable and innovative enterprises and start-ups to flourish 

  3. Platform the work already being done on sustainability by local businesses, inspiring others to follow suit whilst creating a collaborative network of motivated businesses 

  4. Provide a convening platform for University of Surrey staff to conduct knowledge exchange with businesses with UoS initiatives, research labs, and the new Sustainability Hive

Next SBN Event:

  • Sustainable Business Network: Sustainable Office Guide
    17 Oct, 12:00 – 13:15 BST
    Guildford, 14, 16 Friary St, Guildford GU1 4EH, UK
    Join us as Lauren Wiseman, author of WWF's Sustainable Office Guide, helps us figure out how to navigate our sustainability journeys.
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*Note, this mailing list is specific to the Sustainable Business Network, and is separate from the Zero Carbon Guildford mailing list.

Who Is The Network Open To?

We are keen to engage businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. We recognise that from a practical perspective SMEs based in Surrey, and with 10-250 employees are the most likely to engage, but we will happily help anyone from sole traders to large corporations. 

 

We want to ensure that the SBN is a tool for knowledge exchange, emissions reductions, and cohesion building within Surrey's communities. One which can help us both mitigate and adapt to a changing planet. Therefore we are keen to help any business which demonstrates genuine commitment to the strengthening and development of a strong and resilient local economy, which can help to build self-sufficiency, and which is committed to becoming an integral part of its local community. 

Both ZCG and UoS are based in Guildford, making the borough the obvious location for us to launch the network. However, we welcome participation from businesses in Woking and Waverley during this early phase, and aim to expand across Surrey once we find our feet. So please do get in touch with us if you’re keen to stay in the loop as we grow.

Enquiries

For general enquiries: david@guildfordsbn.org

For event enquiries: jane@guildfordsbn.org

What Does This Project Achieve? 

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Education

Community Cohesion

Emissions Reduction 

Waste Reduction 

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