HomeEmbracing sustainability: Why Abbeydale Training joined Net Zero Barnsley

Embracing sustainability: Why Abbeydale Training joined Net Zero Barnsley

Over recent years, sustainability and net zero have become increasingly important topics. The Net Zero Barnsley project supports local businesses to reduce their carbon emissions.

This funded programme offers free one-to-one coaching, workshops, and networking opportunities. Abbeydale Training Ltd joined the programme in October 2023 and found some unexpected benefits.

Abbeydale was first established in 1999, and originally run by two different people. On their retirement in 2011, current owners Steve Bates and Sarah Brooks took over the reins. Steve and Sarah already ran their own company, Peach Orator Ltd, offering government funded training. They also delivered ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) training through Abbeydale. With Sarah working as an associate for Abbeydale too, their relationship was well-established.

Fast forward to today, and Abbeydale now offers commercial courses in leadership and management, and soft skills. Courses are both in-person and online, allowing them to work with clients worldwide. The company’s participation in Net Zero Barnsley was born from a pragmatic need.

“If I’m honest, I joined for a purely mercenary reason,” Steve admits. “I write tenders for public sector work and there’s always a section in about net zero and the environment. It usually has space for 1,000 words but I’d struggle to come up with a couple of sentences.”

The benefits of joining Net Zero Barnsley

Steve openly questions the impact small businesses can have on bigger climate change issues. He’s aware that with Abbeydale being so small, their impact will be minimal.

“I’m a bit of a sceptic – not about climate change, but about whether we can make a difference at a micro level,” he explains.

Despite this, Steve wanted to keep an open mind during the Net Zero Barnsley programme. He saw value in the sessions and says the delivery was very good.

“The course is well-organised and Shaine Gill-Ohrt has in-depth knowledge of the subject. He doesn’t preach, instead offering practical insights with cost reduction strategies.”

It’s led to several positive impacts for Abbeydale, such as:

Improved tender applications

Steve can now add more information into tenders using the knowledge he’s gained. He has no problem writing 1,000 words about environmental impact, leading to more competitive bids.

Cost savings

The direct impact Abbeydale can have on climate change is minimal due to size. But Steve has learned that many net zero strategies also deliver cost savings. One example is online meetings, saving money on travelling and reducing emissions.

Better client engagement

Steve has gained a better understanding of environmental legislation and net zero terminology. It means he can engage with clients in a different way and share practical net zero and cost reduction tips. Some are larger manufacturing companies, meaning more impact on climate change.

Enhanced networking opportunities

Net Zero Barnsley brings together a wide mix of local businesses. This has led to more opportunities to network with others.

How Net Zero Barnsley can help local businesses

Steve has always been transparent about his main goal for joining Net Zero Barnsley. He wanted to know how to present Abbeydale as a carbon and net aware company for tender applications.

He’s achieved that and more.

The sessions have given Steve a better understanding of the net zero challenges. He’s also learned relevant terminology and environmental legislation. Importantly, he has come away with an appreciation of how net zero can help reduce costs.

Steve’s advice for other local businesses considering joining Net Zero Barnsley is clear:

“If you want to learn about reducing your carbon footprint, go for it. But, if you’re more motivated to reduce costs, I’d still recommend joining the programme. It’s very practical and spurs you to think of other ways to do things. This can help reduce both costs and your carbon footprint.”

Net Zero Barnsley business development manager Kevin Steel said:

“It’s fantastic to see that Steve and the team at Abbeydale Training have embraced all the opportunities presented by the government’s legal requirement for UK businesses to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 – and Barnsley Council’s earlier target of 2045″.

Kevin Steel

About Net Zero Barnsley

To find out more and sign up for support visit Net Zero Barnsley.

The Business Village is delivering the Net Zero Barnsley programme, in partnership with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC), as part of the Low Carbon Project, part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Sheffield City Council is the accountable body for the South Yorkshire region. The Low Carbon project has received £3,445,606 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus

Email: ksteel@barnsleyBIC.co.uk

Website: https://www.netzerobarnsley.co.uk/