Greater Manchester launches bid to become easiest place in the UK to be a zero carbon business

Date: 20/10/2021
Author: Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership
Company: Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Greater Manchester business leaders call on businesses to start their journey to net zero
  • New Bee Net Zero website to signpost support and advice available
  • Initiative unveiled at Green Summit as city-region unites to tackle climate change

The Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), alongside an alliance of businesses and partner organisations, has launched Bee Net Zero – an ambitious commitment to making the city-region the easiest place in the UK to become a green business.

Greater Manchester’s thousands of businesses are urged to start their own green journey at BeeNetZero.com, a new platform which signposts the advice and support available as they take steps towards reducing their carbon emissions.

The initiative is being launched at the 2021 Greater Manchester Green Summit, which highlights the people, organisations and communities across Greater Manchester who are taking positive action to tackle climate change, while looking ahead to what still needs to be done.

Greater Manchester’s ambition is to become carbon neutral by 2038, 12 years ahead of the national target, as part of its ambitious Five Year Environment Plan set out two years ago. A greener Greater Manchester economy will create or secure over 256,000 green jobs in the city-region across all sectors by 2038.

Ahead of the COP26 global climate conference, Bee Net Zero will enable Greater Manchester businesses to play their full part in supporting national and international efforts to tackle climate change. 

Backed by an alliance of partners from across Greater Manchester and delivered by the Growth Company, the initiative builds on commitments made to government in the Greater Manchester Levelling Up Deal and the Economic Vision – the plan for a greener, fairer, and more productive city-region economy beyond the pandemic.

Alongside practical support and advice, future plans for Bee Net Zero include:

  • Advice on switching to a renewable energy supplier
  • Support on transitioning to electric vehicles and installing charging points
  • Promotion of active travel for the Greater Manchester workforce
  • Support on use of net zero carbon energy sources, including photovoltaic solar energy
  • Establishment of a broad ‘Green Business Alliance’ for Greater Manchester

Steve Connor, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP) lead for the Environment, said: “Our ambition is to make Greater Manchester the easiest place in the UK to become a net zero business. Businesses have a huge role to play in the transition to a zero carbon economy and it’s vital we make that process as simple as possible. 

“Bee Net Zero brings the networks, organisations and support programmes available across the city-region and nationally together in one place, guiding businesses who want to become greener but are unsure about where to start. We’re now calling on businesses in Greater Manchester to begin their net zero journey.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “For Greater Manchester to become the UK’s leading green city-region, we need to help all businesses develop a net zero carbon plan, so that every business is a green business and every job they create is a green job. Bee Net Zero is there to provide support and guidance, while also inviting more businesses to join us on the journey to net zero.   

“Businesses that make investments in carbon reduction ensure a liveable future for us all and create new opportunities that improve quality of life for everyone in Greater Manchester. A green economy is a levelled-up economy, which in turn creates a healthier, happier place to live.”

Amy House, Head of Green Technology and Services at GC Business Growth Hub, said: “All businesses have a part to play in addressing the climate crisis. Coming out of a global pandemic, we’re acutely aware of the challenges and pressures Greater Manchester’s thousands of business leaders face. We need to play our part by providing support, guidance and advice on how to make the transition to net zero, as well as connecting buyers to providers of green tech to complete the journey.

“Decarbonisation is a challenge, but there are also opportunities for businesses to seize – to save costs, or reach new customers. As we launch Bee Net Zero we encourage anyone who wants to learn more to get in touch.”