Sustainable Earth 2021

The Forum included workshops presented by a range of speakers, from business and enterprise, NGOs and the University of Plymouth. Workshops inspired action and provided attendees with information, tools, strategies and opportunities to implement in their own field.

Parallel Workshops | Thursday, 24 June 15:00–16:00

Becoming a B Corp – using business as a force for good

Presented by Chris Woodfield, Low Carbon Devon

Would you like to use business as a force for good? Are you interested in becoming a B Corp and gaining recognition for the highest standards in social and environmental performance? This action workshop, facilitated by Chris Woodfield and special guests – local Devon B Corps, will explore what the B Corp movement is, how to become a B Corp, what’s involved, why it’s important, an overview of the B Impact Assessment, and how this relates to tackling the climate emergency.

The workshop will give you an insight into the B Corp movement combined with starting you on your journey to becoming a B Corp and joining one of the world’s biggest movements for change. Also find out more about Low Carbon Devon’s B Corp programme taking place in Autumn 2021.

Perfect for SMEs, businesses, researchers, students or staff and anyone with the curiosity to learn how business can be at the forefront of change putting people and planet first.

Carbon footprinting – first steps for small and medium enterprises

Presented by Paul Gilbert, SWMAS

As the clock ticks and the need to move towards a carbon net zero future beyond 2030 intensifies many small and medium businesses may be wondering where to start…

The first step for any business on its journey to become ‘Net Zero’ is to establish what its current carbon footprint actually is. This workshop aims to demystify the topic of carbon foot printing by providing a practical, simple to follow process to establish your company carbon foot print. It highlights what data you need and where to find it, what are the recognised standards, explanations for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions so you are aware of what you need to calculate. The workshop will highlight a range of tools and resources to help you on your journey, making the process quick and simple. Going beyond just measuring the workshop will also provide practical steps of how to reduce your emissions gaining carbon and business savings along the way.

Moths to a flame – take part in an art project for COP26 (Art and Energy)

Presented by Naomi Wright, Art and Energy

Moths to a Flame will turn your calls for urgent action on the Climate Emergency into a magnificent mass-participation art installation at COP26, Glasgow 2021. A project that encompasses and connects our energy systems, climate change and the natural world.

Hear about the project, help us make moths and record messages to those in power.

This project springs from the desire to respond with creativity to the climate emergency. When we act on our own, our actions can feel too small, when we act as communities, we can make a real difference. Our whispers of hope can become a roar for change. We can be heard.

You need to bring with you:

  • a pair of scissors
  • a plastic milk bottle
  • a permanent marker pen.

And to help further: 

Print a template sheet here:

And a UV pen if you have one!!

F: @ArtandEnergy

T: @OurArtAndEnergy

I: @art_and_energy

Moths to a Flame will turn your calls for urgent action on the Climate Emergency into a magnificent mass-participation art installation at COP26, Glasgow 2021.

EVERYONE is invited to join this NATIONWIDE creative response to the Climate Emergency.

If you love the work that we’re doing, please donate!

Net Zero Carbon Strategy in large organisations – challenges and solutions

Plymouth Net Zero Carbon Action Group is a city-wide group of larger organisations coming together to support each other to reduce carbon through sharing carbon action plans, best practice solutions and strategic opportunities where we can identify common challenges in order to accelerate progress. This workshop will introduce you to the Carbon strategies of two members (University of Plymouth and Devon County Council) and also introduce you to two solution providers that we are working with.


Welcome – Dr Paul Hardman, University of Plymouth

Introduction to the Plymouth Net Zero Carbon Action Group – Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council

Net- Zero Carbon Strategy:

Introduction to University of Plymouth Carbon Strategy – Jack Roberts, University of Plymouth

Introduction to Devon County Council’s corporate Carbon strategy – Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

Net Zero Carbon Solutions:

Introduction to C3NTINEL Online Management Software – Darren Davies, Engie

Introduction to Mobilityways – zero carbon commuting– Adam Jones/Stacey Annison, Liftshare Group

Social Enterprises in the Climate Emergency

Presented by Jess Holliland, PSEN

Jess Holliland from Plymouth Social Enterprise Network will be talking about how social enterprises are approaching zero carbon and what we can learn from their attitudes to this important change. You'll have chance to hear about local enterprises and how they're putting change in to action in their everyday business. This will be an interactive workshop where you will be invited to look at your own organisation and how it could make more impact moving forward.

Win – Win: How to improve your Individual Carbon Footprint and Quality of Life

Presented by Mukti Mitchell, Carbon Savvy

Are you ready for some interesting questions and some surprising answers? Find out how making low carbon choices can benefit you on a personal level and increase your quality of life.

In this workshop Mukti Mitchell will give an overview of the main elements of an average carbon footprint, simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint in each of these areas, and how this will improve your quality of life.

You will be given access to online carbon footprint calculators and tools to help you self-assess your quality of life, as well as guidance on the easy wins of carbon reductions.

“Carbon Savvy will come to be seen as a turning point in our approach to sustainability.” Sir Tim Smit, KBE

Parallel Workshops | Friday, 25 June 15:00–16:00

Biophilic design – health, nature and net zero

Presented by Dr Ed Suttie, BRE

Biophilia, deployed as biophilic design, recognises our affinity for nature and is increasingly used in the built environment (new build and refurbishment and fit-out) to humanise where we spend most of our lives – indoors. Wellbeing is part of decision making for individuals and organisations alike when designing, building and even job seeking. We are aware of the impact our surroundings have on us and this is growing with accessible smartphone metrics (thermal comfort, air quality, noise levels and light quality) and new study evidence. Wellbeing provides a personal and engaging touchpoint with sustainability and the transition to net zero. An interconnectedness is revealed such as the deployment of biophilic design providing opportunity for natural materials e.g. wood; which have potential to store carbon in our buildings through carbon sequestration. This workshop will explore our relationship with nature from the perspective of wellbeing and our buildings.

Circular economy in small and medium enterprises

Presented by Emma Burlow, Lighthouse Sustainability

Emma will take you through Circular Economy 101 – the why, what, and how of circular economy and what it means for you as a small business.

It is believed that we can reach just over 50% of our carbon targets through energy and transport actions, the rest needs to come from changing our consumption habits and business models. Which circular business models will you choose? How quickly can you adapt to reuse, hire, repair or remanufacture your product? Could circular services open up new markets and future proof your business? What systems are already in place that you could adopt?

This session will share lots of examples that prove circular economy is more mainstream than most people think. It will offer practical take away options that will contribute to not only carbon savings but also your business’ reputation, supply chain risk, employee satisfaction and bottom line.

Cradle-to-cradle analysis: Life Cycle Assessment

Presented by Lauranne Fauvet, Impact Lab, University of Plymouth

The ever-growing demands for goods worldwide cannot be sustained by a planet with limited resources. Consequently, the stress on the environment and resource depletion have increased dramatically over the last 30 years.

It is therefore critical to develop measures to minimize the environmental impacts of human activities and ensure sustainable use of the resources. In this presentation, I will discuss a powerful toolset to transform our economy, called life cycle assessment (LCA). It is a cradle-to-cradle analysis tool to estimate the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life, from raw material extraction through manufacture, distribution, use, and end-of-life processes.

This workshop will introduce the leading principles behind LCA and demonstrate how LCA can contribute to develop more sustainable products within a circular economy. Practical examples will be discussed.

Low Carbon Devon – Fully-funded Internships and Grants for your Business and Academics

Presented by Chris Woodfield, Low Carbon Devon

How can Low Carbon Devon support you on your low carbon journey? This action workshop, targeted at Devon SMEs and academics, will introduce the Low Carbon Devon project, based within the Sustainable Earth Institute here at the University of Plymouth, and the range of funded opportunities available:

  • 3-month fully-funded internships (Future Shift – Low Carbon Devon Internship and Leadership programme)
  • Grants of £7,500 (Devon Net Zero Innovation Grants)

Join Chris Woodfield for a run through of these exciting, unique and fully-funded opportunities available for local Devon-based enterprises to work with the University of Plymouth. You’ll gain an insight into how accessing free student and graduate talent and academic expertise can provide solutions-focused and practical support.

Future Shift, the Low Carbon Devon Internship and Leadership opportunity can place a current student or recent graduate in your enterprise for 3-months to work on a low carbon project, idea or help to deliver a new product or service. Alongside this, the intern will undertake a series of change-leadership workshops exploring regenerative and transformational leadership enabling them to become future-fit graduates to tackle today’s real world problems. 

The Devon Net Zero Innovation Grants are available to support Devon SMEs to develop new products or services by collaborating with academic expertise from the University of Plymouth’s wide and extensive low carbon network and skill-base. Join us to hear from an existing business-academic collaboration to explore the full benefits this can bring.

How to retrofit your home to support the race to net zero

Presented by Justin Bear, Plymouth Energy Community

In ‘How to Retrofit your home to support the race to net zero’ we will explore the very local (your home) and the national picture for how a county drastically reduces our energy demand.

There is an urgent need for a retrofit revolution:

  • household energy use accounts for 14% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions;
  • fuel poverty is experienced by 3.2m households, costing the NHS £1.4bn annually in avoidable ill health;
  • collectively, households in Plymouth spend £149m annually on heat and electricity, this is overwhelmingly a net economic drain on the city.

You should leave this workshop with a better sense of how to reduce your personal emissions, how the country is innovating and gearing up for this challenge and how local organisations like Plymouth Energy Community will be catalysing this transition.