Conference spotlight for ‘green’ ambitions

SUFFOLK’S green credentials came under the spotlight as the county hosted a conference as the culmination of a three-year European collaboration to tackle energy efficiency.

Businesses from across East Anglia joined partners in the ANSWER project – A North Sea Way to Energy Efficient Regions – for the event, titled “Questions for a Greener Future”.

The conference, held at Trinity Park, Ipswich, and chaired by Iain Dunnett, low carbon development manager at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, explored the challenges for businesses of being energy efficient and provided practical advice on the environmental agenda.

Professor Jules Pretty, pro-vice-chancellor, sustainability and resources at the University of Essex, spoke about the dilemma of economic growth which increases consumption but creates more damage to the environment.

“The economy thinks consumption is good but the earth thinks it’s bad,” he said. “We need to think about the green economy innovatively.”

Vanessa Scott of Stratton’s Hotel, a winner of the Green Tourism Business Scheme’s Gold Star, focused on measures her business has taken in its environmental policy which have made good business sense while putting the hotel, in Swaffham, Norfolk, on the map for its award winning green credentials.

The ANSWER project involves 13 partners from five countries – the UK, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Sweden – with Suffolk County Council as lead partner.

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Councillor Judy Terry, the council’s portfolio holder for Greenest County, economy and skills, said: “Suffolk’s ambition remains the same – to be the greenest county – and we want to learn from the examples of the ANSWER project.”

The conference also marked the official launch by media company Archant, whose titles include the East Anglian Daily Times, of the GREEN 50, a new listing of Suffolk’s most environmentally-aware companies.

Mark Westall of Archant thanked sponsors Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Adnams, Green Call and EDF Energy for their support.