Does north Wales have what it takes to lead the green economy?

With one third of UK businesses investing in the research and development of green products and services, could north Wales be a role model for the green economy and reap the benefits?

A landmark event at Bangor University on November 20 brings leaders in the field together to discuss how north Wales can capitalise on the opportunities offered by the green economy. Co-Create a Green Economy is the first in a series of exciting event for business, agencies, government, campaigners and social entrepreneurs to come together to help create real change. Pre-registration via the Green Innovation Network website is vital to attend the event at the University’s Management Centre in Bangor, Gwynedd.

Commenting ahead of the event, Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales said:

“A ‘green economy’ protects nature, enhances communities and creates value in an increasingly resource-constrained world. Such measures need to go hand-in-hand with the creation of opportunities – for long term jobs, welfare improvements, efficiency gains, cost reduction as well as for new products and innovations.

Using resources more efficiently and protecting and restoring natural assets, provides long-term sustainable increases our quality of life, and values the often economically invisible natural assets that have underpinned economic success over the centuries.”

According to Oliver Greenfield, of the Green Economy Coalition, and a key speaker at the event:  “Every business needs to address this transformation to a green economy to be ahead of the pack and succeed in a very different future. We all need the courage to form a new economic vision.”

Stuart Bond of The Green Innovation Network at Bangor University, who are co-ordinating the event explains:

“Developing a green economy for north Wales can drive significant business investment and create sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits. However, in order to achieve this, a major transformation of our economies, policies, technologies and modes of production and consumption is required. If north Wales is to reach its full potential as a global sustainability and green economy leader we need to think strategically about how we can make the transition a reality.”

This first event will bring key strategic thinkers from the Green Economy Coalition, Cynnal Cymru, the New Economics Foundation, Bangor University and business and industry together to discuss what benefits a green economy could bring, and how can we be part of it? What would a green economy look like in north Wales and to imagine how those benefits can be realised in north Wales.

The ‘Co-Create a Green Economy’ series will help provide a framework to achieve this. In particular, it will help identify where there is most need and potential, provide a way to learn from previous experiences, identify and address existing barriers, support the development of a circular economy and make north Wales more attractive for green investment.

The event is part of the wider Green Innovation Network project is part of the Green Innovation and Future Technologies Project, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It encourages and advises small to medium sized companies in the Interreg area as of north West Wales who want to know more about how the ‘green economy’ can help their business.

A green economy will need all businesses to be part of this transformation. The Green Innovation Network helps business take advantage of the opportunities that engaging with the green economy agenda brings, many of which can be small simple steps. If you want to start walking the road towards this brighter future with other like-minded businesses and organisations then contact Sue Francis (s.francis@bangor.ac.uk) to become part of the project.

Publication date: 28 October 2013