Green efforts of Suffolk and Norfolk firms to be highlighted in manifesto to ministers

PIONEERING green and low-carbon businesses across Suffolk and Norfolk are to be showcased in a manifesto to ministers detailing action needed to spark the green economy.

The counties are set to lead the way in the UK’s shift towards a low-carbon economy after the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was chosen by the government as the country’s “Green Pathfinder LEP”, last year.

That has seen the creation of a Green Econony Pathfinder (GEP) board comprising a leading green and low-carbon businesses who will draw up the manifesto looking at how barriers to growth can be removed.

The board, also including senior representatives from the counties’ chambers of commerce, companies Bio Group, Adnams, EDF and East Anglia Offshore Wind, and the University of East Anglia, has set itself a tough deadline to deliver a manifesto to government in the spring.

Mark Pendlington, group director for Anglian Water, who is chairman of the pathfinder, said: “An effective transition to a sustainable economy will boost economic recovery, create jobs, increase resource security and help make the UK more globally competitive.

“Norfolk and Suffolk have some of the UK’s most dynamic, innovative and ideas-driven businesses and academics, and the project means we can lead the way in helping to tran-sition the green economy of the UK.”

The board, which held its first meeting in the Council House at the UEA, is considering case studies from across the New Anglia region that highlight the success of low carbon industry in Suffolk and Norfolk and how it can lead the way for the UK in repeating this work up and down the country. The manifesto will include highlighting barriers to further growth at this challenging time for the economy.

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The case studies being considered focus on low carbon, business resource efficiency, off shore and off grid, nuclear and natural capital.

“This project is for everyone who wants to put low carbon at the heart of business opportunity and success – and we welcome all thoughts, ideas and examples of best practice in action. Let’s make our voice heard loud and clear in government and across the UK,” Mr Pendlington added.

The GEP team is now drafting the manifesto and will hear from many more businesses at a one-day conference on March 1 it has organ-ised in conjunction with the Environment Agency. Entitled Norfolk and Suffolk – Leading the Green Economy, the event will hear from industry leaders and aims to ensure businesses across New Anglia can input into the process.