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Tuesday 2nd November

FSB Small Business Virtual Conference: The Journey to Net Zero

As the COP26 climate talks take place in the UK this November, this gives us the perfect opportunity to explore the significant role small businesses will play in the transition to Net Zero. Join us for this free conference to find out what’s in it for you.

Event details

Climate change and the need to adapt to a host of associated threats is the single biggest challenge of our generation. Changing weather, issues around supply chains, energy price volatility, access to technology, water stress, employment, skills and equality rights – all of these issues linked to climate change and the move to a low-carbon economy will all begin to press down on small businesses across the globe. UK SMEs will feel the effects – many already are – so there is an urgent need to adapt and mitigate. But we cannot forget that there are also vast and exciting opportunities for SMEs to be found to along the journey to Net Zero.

As the international COP26 climate talks kick off here in the UK, join us for a day of online information, inspiration and action for all small business owners that will spark your business’s unique journey towards net zero. The whole day is designed with you in mind; we’ll take you from the specifics around what “net zero” really means and exactly why these international targets apply to you. You will hear from other small businesses about what they are doing to adapt and diversify to meet the challenges. All that before leaving you inspired to form your own action plan so you can play your important part in the UK’s transition towards net zero emissions.

With leading expert names from Government, regulation and policy making appearing as keynotes and motivating case study sessions from other SMEs who have seen real, material benefits to their business since taking their steps along the journey, you are sure to leave far more informed and inspired about this major issue than you arrived. We will also help you form an action plan for your next steps and how you can find ongoing support, guidance and collaboration so this is the perfect one-stop shop to build your knowledge and find motivation to join the journey.


9:45 – 10am: Zoom log-in time

10am – Welcome from our host, Dave Sharpe

Session 1 – “Information”. A scene setting session to help you understand what Net Zero means and why it matters to you

10:10am – FSB and the Race to Net Zero – Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chairman, FSB

10:20am – Keynote from UK Government – Andrew Griffith MP, UK’s Net Zero Business Champion

10:50am – Setting the Scene: Why Net Zero matters to small businesses – Martin Baxter, Director of Policy and External Affairs, IEMA

11:30am – Tea break

11:45am – Panel Discussion – Net Zero: The challenge and the opportunity for UK SMEs.

  • Dave Sharp, Host
  • Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chairman, FSB
  • Martin Baxter, Director of Policy and External Affairs, IEMA
  • Becky Toal, Managing Director, Crowberry Consulting
  • Sat Pillai, Partner, Sustainable Initiatives, Circled Up and Chair of Environment Policy Unit, FSB

12:15pm – Lunch break

Session 2 – “Inspiration”. Motivating case studies from FSB members across the UK who have embedded sustainability into their SMEs and seen real benefits

1:00pm – Graham Oakley, Laundry Efficiency (England)

1:15pm – Mareanne Bradley, Specialist Group (Northern Ireland)

1:30pm – Frankie Hobro, Anglesey Sea Zoo (Wales)

1:45pm – Kenneth McKenzie, Highland Farm Cottages (Scotland)

2pm – Tea break

Session 3 – “Action”. Directing you to the tools, resources and support open to you as you go on to form your Net Zero action plan.

2:10pm – Introducing FSB’s Net Zero Report and New Sustainability Hub – Friederike Andres, Policy Advisor, Federation of Small Businesses

2:35pm – Large Business Net Zero Support for SMEs Panel Discussion

  • Libby Sandbrook (session chair), England Director, Business in The Community
  • Richard Eadie, Head of Investor Relations, Severn Trent Water
  • Abe Tilling, Regional Managing Director of Corporate and Commercial Banking, NatWest
  • Liz Slee, Head of Public Policy, Research and Media, HomeServe Foundation

3pm – Exploring the Broadway Initiative SME Support Hub – Edward Lockhart-Mummery, Broadway Initiative

3:30pm – Close

*The programme may be subject to changes.

This virtual conference is free and open to all, so feel free to book your place now and spread the word among your network.

This event is free of charge and open to all businesses regardless of where you are based, both FSB members and non-members are welcome to attend, so feel free to share with your networks.