HomeSpecialist support given to Barnsley businesses to lead the charge to net zero

Specialist support given to Barnsley businesses to lead the charge to net zero

Barnsley means business when it comes to tackling climate change as dozens of companies have been given specialist support to cut carbon emissions.

Net Zero Barnsley, a free accelerator run by The Business Village, has helped 35 key employers start work on environmentally friendly action plans.

The fully-funded programme, which ends next month, was set up to help businesses start work towards the Government’s legal requirement for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050, and Barnsley borough’s own target to achieve this ahead of the national deadline by 2045.

Net Zero Barnsley coaches have helped each of the participating Barnsley businesses carry out a full diagnostic assessment of their current carbon footprint; then identify ways they could significantly reduce emissions. The programme has included one-to-one coaching, innovation support, in-person workshops and peer group networking.

Net Zero Barnsley business development manager Kevin Steel: “Clear targets have been set for all UK businesses and none can now ignore the need to reduce carbon emissions as far as possible in every aspect of their work. But many are unsure how to measure their carbon emissions and get going on their journey to net zero.

“That’s where our specialist accelerator has led the charge and given timely expert advice to help trailblazing Barnsley businesses get head and tackle this essential challenge.”

Actions taken by local businesses to reduce carbon include switching from fossil fuels to more sustainable forms of energy such as solar panels; improving efficiency; adopting new smart technology, reducing waste, considering the environmental impact of procurement processes and supplies chains; supporting sustainable transport schemes for staff and making culture changes in the workplace.

White’s Bakery has reduced emissions by ensuring optimum use of oven capacity for every bake and removing carbon-emitting ‘cooling tunnels’ from its production process altogether. Hot cakes are now allowed to cool naturally instead. Lighting with motion sensors, automatic off switches, cardboard and plastic recycling have also been introduced.

Director of White’s Bakery David White said: “Net Zero Barnsley has been fantastic in helping us to get our heads around our impact on the environment and work out what actions we can take to become a more sustainable business.

“We’ve seen an impact straight way with the changes we have made. We’re now keen to monitor gas and electric meters weekly, the subject of carbon emissions is always on the agenda of our management meetings and all staff are mindful of saving energy and reducing waste in their work.

“As businesses, we’ve all got a duty to try our best to be part of the solution not the problem.”

Some other actions taken by businesses supported by Net Zero Barnsley:

* Metalliform school furniture manufacturer has conducted a full energy audit of their 50-year-old premises;

*Brebur Ltd has begun investing in a new electric vehicle fleet to reach their construction projects at hospitals and public buildings across the north

*Sonelli hair and beauty trading is introducing a comprehensive recycling collection service for its salon clients across the borough.

* Fernco, formerly Flexseal, a leading UK manufacturer of pipe couplings, has appointed to a new post of environmental and sustainability co-ordinator to deliver the strategy it has drawn up with the support of Net Zero Barnsley

Kevin Steel said: “The fact of the matter is that, as well as the urgent need to respond to the climate crisis, the business case for getting stuck into tackling carbon emissions early is strong.

“There is increased customer demand for environmentally friendly products and services and many tenders for contracts are requiring evidence of a clear commitment to net zero. Now is the time to act, innovate, build your reputation and bring new ideas to the growing net zero market.

“It also makes sense for the bottomline as new technology and energy-efficient measures to reduce emissions, will very often cut production costs and increase profitability too. Plus, getting started now means businesses can spread the costs of the investment needed to transform their company into a net zero emitter.”

Funding for the Net Zero Barnsley accelerator comes from the UK government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Barnsley Metropolitan Council.

Net Zero Barnsley was launched in February and this first cohort of businesses will complete its seven-month programme next month.

Further accelerators are planned and expressions of interest from ambitious Barnsley businesses with high-impact potential to contribute to net zero are welcome.

The Business Village has also run a series of net zero roadshows and continues to offer support and advice to Barnsley borough businesses on reducing carbon emissions.

To find out more visit #NetZeroBarnsley or contact Kevin Steel on 01226 249590 or