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We all know by now that green initiatives are becoming essential to modern-day life. It’s no longer possible to feign ignorance to how our actions impact the environment, or turn a blind eye to rising temperatures and sea levels. Organisations are now expected to adapt business strategies with a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly approach, in a market that is continually expanding for environmental goods and services.
Until fairly recently though, environmental and economic concerns were thought of as two entities impossible of reconciliation; increase sustainability and you hurt your business, or irreparably harm your business while attempting to protect the earth. It’s a complex issue, but it also serves as an opportunity for creativity and innovation.
An increasing amount of organisations are now implementing green initiatives and leading the way for change- not only does this provide plenty of  marketing scope, but costings can actually be reduced if approached correctly. So where can you find numerous examples of green enterprises in the UK? London might be the obvious choice, but you’ll find a wealth of environmental achievements being made in our very own city of Manchester.

What role can Manchester play?

Manchester, like so many other worldwide cities, plays an important role in tackling climate change and enabling sustainable living. The city is looking to reduce pollution and waste via its climate change strategy, which works in conjunction with local businesses and enterprises.
Currently, there are over fifty green businesses within Greater Manchester. This spans a broad range of sectors including tech, manufacturing and professional services. These companies form the basis of the several green initiatives operating within the city, which provide support to organisations that are looking to improve their resource efficiency and boost the local economy.

Green Initiatives- say hello to Green Growth

Green Growth is the most prevalent green organisation in Manchester to date. It is an independent, impartial body and support programme available to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Manchester, as part of the business growth hub.
Businesses are invited to commit a ‘pledge’ to reduce their carbon footprint and operating costs, and are supported at every stage of their journey. The companies that have signed up to Green Growth so far have already completed 700 pledges between them, and have now committed to over 500 new ones, whether small or large.
Green Growth also provide assistance in helping companies in Manchester create a green strategy for their business; organisations can commit to actions as diverse as upgrading equipment, re-designing greener products and eliminating waste, as well as more general concerns such as creating an environmental policy or turning off office lights. The platform then helps companies capture and take stock of the actions they have already undertaken to become a greener business, and what needs to be done to further improve.

Green Economy- strategy and development

Other companies such as Green Economy are also looking to pave the way for a greener future.
With an aim to become zero-carbon by 2038, Green Economy’s initiative, supported by our good friends Pro-Manchester, help organisations identify ways that they can become more sustainable, and bring this agenda to the forefront of business development.
They work with a variety of companies and individuals that are looking to reduce pollution by switching to renewable energy sources. A key area that the panel focus upon is transport; the board are working on a long-term strategy with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to improve public transport links, and work with local businesses to discourage staff from using cars. This is also implemented by cycle to work schemes, which are becoming increasingly popular throughout the city.

GrowGreen- a long-term plan

GrowGreen works in a slightly different manner to other examples. This is a worldwide initiative, connecting Manchester with cities such as Wuhan (China), Wroclaw (Poland), and Modena (Italy). The purpose of this scheme is to create healthy, liveable cities by working closely with organisations to find innovative solutions to environmental issues and urban challenges.
Where possible, GrowGreen resource nature-based alternatives for businesses by helping them build a clear environmental strategy that works in harmony with local people. GrowGreen is still business-centric, but the scheme is ultimately concerned with uniting businesses and people as a whole to improve the city’s environmental welfare.

What does this hold for the future?

These green initiatives are invaluable both to Manchester’s environmental reputation and its economic growth. Not only providing a sustainable approach to business within the city, green schemes also work as an opportunity for creativity, and provide scope to streamline processes. For companies that are striving for change and looking to reduce their environmental impact, it’s a solid investment.
With more and more local organisations looking to bring green strategies to the heart of business models, it seems that the tide is starting to turn for sustainable business. Through combined efforts, Manchester is fast becoming a green hub not only for the North West, but for the UK as a whole.
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