Professor Thanos Papadopoulos and Dr Lina Simeonova will hold workshops as part of the Net Zero Pathway for Change workshops run by the University of Kent in partnership with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.
The initiative will help Kent’s SMEs with the skills, expertise and the confidence needed to tackle climate change.
Each workshop will cover a range of topics to guide businesses on the path to being more sustainable and will offer opportunities for discussion and action planning.
Dr Papadopoulos and Dr Simeonova will be hosting their workshops with a focus on Organisational Resilience and Change Towards a Net Zero Goal and Building Foundations for Net Zero Using Data Analytics.
The six events will be split between the Canterbury Innovation Centre and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce at Ashford Business Point and include:
- Zero Carbon Built Environment – led by Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou and Professor Henrik Schoenefeldt from Kent School of Architecture and Planning (8 June,00-13.00, Canterbury Innovation Centre)
- Behaviour Change for Net Zero – led by Professor Robbie Sutton, Dr Tim Hopthrow and Dr Hannah Swift from Kent’s School of Psychology (10 June, 00-13.00, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce)
- Reducing Environmental Impact Through Lifecycle Assessment and Smart Product Design – led by Dr Rob Barker from Kent’s Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science ( Part One – 16 June, 10.00-12.00, Part Two – Date TBC, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce)
- Organisational Resilience and Change Towards a Net Zero Goal – led by Professor Thanos Papadopoulos and Dr Lina Simeonova from Kent Business School (17 June,00-13.00, Canterbury Innovation Centre)
- Building Foundations for Net Zero Using Data Analytics – led by Professor Thanos Papadopoulos and Dr Lina Simeonova from Kent Business School ( 23 June,00-13.00, Canterbury Innovation Centre)
- Sustainability: A Deep Dive into Making the Right Choices – led by Dr Rob Barker from Kent’s Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science (Date TBC,00-13.00, Canterbury Innovation Centre)
In addition, the project offers free access to carbon reduction advisers, University collaboration through innovation grants, and funding to support the implementation of carbon reduction activities.
Carole Barron, Director of knowledge Exchange & Innovation (KEI) at the University said: ‘There has never been a more important time to move forward the net zero agenda with COP26 highlighting the significant amount of work that needs to be done to reach our carbon emission targets.
‘The Community Renewal Fund will act as a catalyst for change in the region. Our Net Zero workshops are designed to change hearts and minds on what ‘net zero’ means and the challenges – from technological, to moral, to achieving it. The project is targeting the hardest to reach group of small businesses who lack the absorptive capacity to recognise the value of net zero, assimilate it, and apply it to their environment. Immediately following the training, our academic experts will contact the businesses attending the sessions to identify innovative interventions to drive net zero changes.’
Jo James, CEO of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘Every businessperson I have spoken to now has climate change foremost in their mind and there is a desire and a sense of urgency to get things done. However, after a turbulent eighteen months and continued instability in certain sectors, small businesses have needed more than just facts and figures to help them make a difference. This programme will give businesses the practical financial support and relevant guidance they need to implement carbon reduction activities. We’re delighted to be working with the University of Kent again on this vital programme and proud to be leading the way.’
Those interested in attending the workshops can find out more and register for one or more workshops via Eventbrite.
The Net Zero Pathway for Change programme will run until October 2022. Businesses based in Thanet, Canterbury and Gravesham can receive up to £5k to access University expertise to achieve their net zero goals.