Businesses Gather to Celebrate Green Achievements in Suffolk


The growth of the sustainable economy was highlighted to 80 attendees at a business networking event hosted by Freckenham-based property developers Woolley on Thursday. Under the banner of Creating the Greenest County and sponsored by Business Energy Efficiency Anglia, the Garden Party celebrated the efforts of local businesses to protect and enhance the environment.

One of the key themes to come out of the speeches was that sustainable business is more about embracing opportunities than self-denial. Introducing the event, Lord Cranbrook – former Chair of English Nature – set the tone with a robust overview of some of the challenges facing today’s policy makers.

Nick Woolley, Managing Director of Woolley spoke about the sustainability measures that have helped them gain the Carbon Charter (Gold level) on four occasions, and the range of benefits to their business they have seen as a result.

The keynote speech was provided by Ben Bolgar, Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, in a fascinating overview of some of their key projects, and how sustainability principles need to be core to planning from the start, to deal with a fast rising urban population.

Simon Coward, of Hethel Innovation, next provided an overview of how local companies are responding innovatively to the opportunities arising from the rapid growth in the green sector.

Cllr Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, rounded off the speeches with a review of work undertaken in the region. In presenting Carbon Charter awards to four local businesses for their energy savings, Cllr Rout welcomed the leading role played by small and medium businesses, saying “It’s great to see so many businesses being recognised for the fantastic work they are doing to enhance their sustainability. The strength of the Carbon Charter network is a fine demonstration of the social responsibility and innovation of local businesses”.

The four businesses that received their accreditation at the event were EV Driver, Woolley, Sunny Suffolk and Cradle Foods. Linda Grave of EV Driver expressed her thanks for their recognition and added “As an environmentally aware SME & entrepreneur, you need all the help you can get. It was so inspiring to hear all about what is happening within our region “we are not alone” the help and support from BEE Anglia and Groundwork has been invaluable”.

After the presentations, guests continued their discussions while enjoying the refreshments provided by the Co-op East of England and Adnams, as part of their support for Creating the Greenest County. They were also able to enjoy the display of cutting edge zero emission electric vehicles on display, with Tesla’s model S and the seven seat Model X joining the unique Tesla Shooting Brake from Qwest Motors – the fastest estate car in the world. In contrast to the supercars, the five door, five seater, 200 mile range Renault ZOE brought an affordable practicality to the proceedings. Elsewhere the electric super bikes from SuperSoCo and Zero motorcycles surprised even the most hardened petrolheads.

Nick Woolley said; “Woolley was delighted to host this important event again this year. It’s clear from the views expressed by Lord Cranbrook, other key speakers and myself, that there is so much to be gained from living more sustainably. We genuinely can achieve those triple-wins of helping our natural environment; saving ourselves money and overall improving our quality of life”.

BEE Anglia has three core offers that have been designed to help businesses reduce carbon and save money using independent advice, funding and recognition for their efforts.

The project is funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered across the region through a partnership of Groundwork, Norfolk County Council, NWES and Suffolk County Council.

If your organisation is interested in the service, register your interest online or call Groundwork on 01473 350370. Our dedicated advisors will be able to answer any queries about eligibility for the programme or potential grant projects.

Ben Bolgar audience edited