Kent researchers to lead workshops helping businesses achieve their net zero goals

An image of wind turbines with 'Net Zero Pathway for Change' overlayed

The University of Kent are hosting a series of Net Zero Pathway for Change workshops in partnership with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce to equip Kent businesses with the skills, expertise and confidence they need to take steps towards achieving their net zero goals.

The workshops are one aspect of a wider project which received over half a million pounds from the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund to help Kent’s SMEs take steps towards tackling climate change. In addition to the workshops, it will offer free access to carbon reduction advisers, University collaboration through innovation grants, and funding to support the implementation of carbon reduction activities.

Each workshop in the series will be run by University of Kent academics whose expertise spans architecture to behavioural change. The workshops will cover a range of topics which businesses need to consider on the path to being more sustainable and will offer opportunities for discussion and action planning.

The six workshops will be split between the Canterbury Innovation Centre and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce at Ashford Business Point:

  • Organisational Resilience and Change Towards a Net Zero Goal led by Professor Thanos Papadopoulos and Dr Lina Simeonova from Kent Business School


  • Building Foundations for Net Zero Using Data Analytics led by Professor Thanos Papadopoulos and Dr Lina Simeonova from Kent Business School


  • Zero Carbon Built Environment led by Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou and Professor Henrik Schoenefeldt from the Division of Arts and Humanities


  • Behaviour Change for Net Zero led by Professor Robbie Sutton, Dr Tim Hopthrow and Dr Hannah Swift from the Division of Human and Social Sciences


  • Sustainability – a Deep Dive into Making the Right Choices led by Dr Rob Barker from the Division of Natural Sciences (9am-1pm, 30 May, Canterbury


  • Reducing Environmental Impact Through Lifecycle Assessment and Smart Product Design led by Dr Rob Barker from the Division of Natural Sciences

Visit the Eventbrite page for more information and to register for one or more workshops.

Commenting on the project, Jo James, CEO at the Chamber 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.’

Carole Barron, Director of Knowledge Exchange & Innovation (KEI) at the University said: ‘The University is delighted to be a strategic partner in the Chamber’s successful Net Zero Pathway for Change project. 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 Deep Dive Training Programmes are designed to change hearts and minds on what ‘net zero’ means and the challenges – from technological, to moral, to achieving it. The programme will target 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.’

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.



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