Welsh eco champions spearhead new net zero campaign
A team of four Welsh business leaders have spearheaded a campaign to make North Wales a net zero region.
The environmentally-friendly four were appointed as ambassadors at a meeting of the new Net Zero North Wales network.
The network has been established by the North Wales Business Council as part of their campaign to create a greener future.
The new ambassadors include Frankie Hobro, owner and director of Anglesey Sea Zoo, Mared Williams, Low Carbon Project Manager for Rhug Estate in Corwen, Rob Lewis, co-owner and director of Mold-based Celtic Financial Planning and Gareth Jones, managing director of renewables company Carbon Zero.
The four will meet with regional and national eco-pioneers and visit the HQs of companies making strides in the battle to achieve carbon neutral status.
It’s hoped that sharing the information they gather will arm firms across the region with ways to reduce their carbon footprints.
North Wales Business Council Chief Executive Ashley Rogers told the forum: “It makes sound commercial sense for businesses to work in partnership to help the region and indeed the entire planet reverse the dire effects of climate change.
“We can only succeed by sharing the very latest information available and jointly gaining access to experts, best practice and the most advanced technology in this field.”
His words were echoed by Frankie Hobro whose efforts to achieve sustainability at Anglesey Sea Zoo have won her a clutch of awards over the last decade.
But she said she has become increasingly frustrated by a lack of clarity and co-ordination between environmental authorities, while the need to take further improvements becomes ever more urgent.
Frankie Hobro said: “We need more facilitators – free or discounted access to experts, innovators, infrastructure, grants and positive pathways to reach the ultimate target of turning round past damages we have inflicted on the planet.
“Taking the sustainable approach needs to be at the forefront of all our minds, the natural first instinct in every action and that means governments must enable us all to follow those instincts without barriers or hesitation.”
At the meeting, fellow ambassador, Mared Williams delivered a presentation explaining her role as Low Carbon Projects Manager at Rhug Estate, which includes an organic farm that uses no fossil-based foods, fuels or fertilizers.
The estate also maintains a hedgerow planting regime to boost wildlife diversity, soil health and improve water quality.
Mared Williams said: “As I see it, we are now at a stage where we all need to reduce our carbon footprint at home and abroad.
“It’s a massive task but, looking at it from a grassroots-up level, each challenge will seem less daunting if businesses work together and share their eco-blueprints for the common good.”
Mared Williams has been recruited as an ambassador to oversee investigations at Rhug Estate and share any knowledge gleaned from research into the farm’s soil health and impact of long term livestock farming.
Managing director of renewables company Carbon Zero, Gareth Jones, will also work as an ambassador by gaining feedback from businesses which installed renewables or other carbon reduction schemes a number of years ago.
Gareth Jones said: “They can tell us how they have operated over a significant time period, and offer ideas on the pros and cons they have had to deal with in practice.
“This is a key way of how we can learn more about developing the new generation of technologies and framing carbon neutral policies into the future.”
Financial planner Rob Lewis said it is always useful to meet representatives of other business sectors and learn of new approaches to reducing carbon footprints, while improving productivity at the same time.
He said: “A by-product of being an ambassador will be that I can better educate myself and my team about the latest carbon-reducing science but also, being in the service sector, we can pass on that information to our clients who are increasingly looking to establish greener work and home lifestyles.
All four ambassadors will deliver reports back to the Net Zero North Wales meetings about their field visits and what they learn, passing on best practice to support other organisations in the network on the journey.
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What will happen if all this has net zero effect?