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Video: Norfolk businesses urged to take the lead on sustainability.

PUBLISHED: 13:04 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:24 12 June 2014

Delegates at Norfolk Chamber's Sustainability 2014 Conference at John Innes Centre take part in a question and answer session

Delegates at Norfolk Chamber's Sustainability 2014 Conference at John Innes Centre take part in a question and answer session

Archant

Norfolk businesses are being urged to take the lead and make their businesses fit for the future by becoming more sustainable.

More than 300 delegates attended Norfolk Chamber’s Sustainability 2014 event at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

The half day began with an opening video from David Willetts, universities and science minister who stressed the need for research and sustainability issues to be taken up more broadly within farming and agriculture.

There were also presentations from Hewlett Packard, Marks and Spencer, Traditional Norfolk Poultry, EDP Future firm Liftshare, and Green 100 business Marybelle Dairy.

Mark Thompson, director of sustainability at PwC, said a combination of climate change and pressure on resources meant businesses were facing “massive change and massive challenges”.

He said businesses looking to successfully meet those challenges must cut their own carbon emissions, and improve their energy and resource efficiency, as well as that of their supply chain.

“We see this as a key business differentiator and business driver for the foreseeable future. It’s not all about a downside, there is an upside too. There are a huge amount of opportunities for organisations that are prepared to take that step and work on this agenda.

“Businesses can’t wait for governments to get their stuff together. Businesses need to act just as you are acting by being prepared to take the lead.”

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia local enterprise partnership, who outlined details of the Lep’s strategic economic plan, told the delegation that they needed to spread the word to other businesses about how being sustainabile can help boost the bottom line.

“You are the ambassadors who need to shout about this to the people who are not here,” he said. “This really is a call to action for everybody to pull together.”

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