Responsible business network Business in the Community has partnered with four Northern Ireland businesses – Arup, firmus energy, Translink and The Irish News – to develop the COP26 NI Business Hub, a one-stop-shop where NI businesses can access events listings, resources and information to inspire and inform businesses to take action on the climate crisis, and be fully involved in the run up to, and during, COP26.
The partners are calling on businesses across NI to submit their COP26-related events, toolkits, publications and resources to the platform where they will be to be available for others to download, access and sign up to.
Kieran Harding, Managing Director, BITC said: “The COP26 NI Business Hub has been launched exactly 100 days before COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference due to take place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021. The biggest global summit ever hosted in the UK, COP26 is seen as a significant milestone in the UK’s push towards achieving its target ‘net zero’ carbon by 2050 and affords government, businesses, NGOs, lobbyists and individual citizens a unique opportunity to campaign on climate issues.
“Northern Ireland must play its part in addressing the climate crisis and business is a key stakeholder. We need to work together for a sustainable future that creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.”
Engineering, design and consultancy firm Arup is the UK Government’s sustainability consultant for COP26 and is aiming to deliver a carbon-neutral conference with sustainability at its core.
Diane Emerson, Associate Director and Belfast office leader at Arup, said: “Arup has committed to achieving Net Zero by 2030 and we are working with cities, governments and businesses in their response to the climate emergency. We’re proud to partner on the COP26 NI Business Hub, which will provide a bank of information, resources and advice on how others can respond to the challenges, and capitalise on the opportunities, that a shift to a low-carbon economy can bring here in Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland natural gas distribution and supply company, firmus energy is focused on helping homeowners and businesses make better energy choices, driving decarbonisation and supporting the Government’s green agenda.
Eric Cosgrove, Director of Engineering and Sustainability for firmus energy said: “Sustainability is a strategic priority within firmus energy and our modern, natural gas network is a ready-made decarbonisation solution which will help ‘green our heat’ in Northern Ireland by 2050.
During this climate emergency we need all NI businesses to work together and take steps towards a greener future throughout their daily operations. The hub is a great starting point for those businesses who have heard about COP26 but aren’t sure how they can get involved in what’s happening on a more local scale.”
As one of BITC’s Climate Champions, Translink is already working with NI businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emission through the Business Action on Climate campaign.
Chris Conway, Group CEO of Translink and Chair of Business in the Community, said: “Translink is leading the transport transformation to net zero emissions with ambitious plans to be net zero by 2040. We’ve signed Business in the Community’s Climate Action Pledge and are responding to the climate emergency, driving positive change for a healthier and more sustainable transport that will be the first choice for travel today, for tomorrow. We also want to inspire others to take action as we all work towards a greener recovery, the Hub is the perfect platform for this.”
With a keen interest in sustainability, media partner The Irish News will be profiling the COP26 NI Business Hub in the coming months.
Annette Small, Marketing Manager, The Irish News said: “The Irish News is committed to improving, learning and working with partners to raise awareness of the impact of climate change. We want to lead the way not only on environmental reporting, but also in our own commitment to sustainability to ensure we live up to the values of our readers and our journalism.”
The Hub is supported by key business organisations in Northern Ireland, the CBI, FSB, IoD and NI Chamber of Commerce.
To find out more or submit your events and resources to the COP26 NI Business Hub, please visit www.bitcni.org.uk/cop26.