Our Comment: Better time than ever to become a SWM member

It is an exciting time for SWM. For a start, we’re still here having stood the test of time – we’re the continuity among the chaos of global threats, accelerating technology, austerity, Brexit and ever-changing policy and legislation. We were set up in 2002 and in 2010 developed our Roadmap to 2020 and our Vision: that “by 2020 businesses and communities are thriving in a West Midlands that is environmentally sustainable and socially just.”

We are the only region in the country that has such a Roadmap and that holds the West Midlands to task and monitors progress on key sustainability metrics and reminds everyone that despite the chaos, considering the future and acting to make it a sustainable one is now more important than ever. Just listen to what Sir David Attenborough said at the recent COP24 in Poland – “civilisation will collapse unless we take action on climate change.” Whilst SWM can’t change the world single handedly – although we do try – we can encourage every organisation, business and individual in the West Midlands to do their bit and contribute to a future that you’d like to see, and to make you aware that every activity – big or small – makes a worthy contribution to our vision and Roadmap.

Moreover, every activity we get involved in – be it running an event, writing a report or providing general advice – is underpinned by this Roadmap. Everything we do and every penny we earn goes into supporting its priorities and this ethos. We are a not-for-profit organisation for this exact reason.

But this is the really exciting bit. We are more than aware that 2020 is not all that far away. Two more ho-ho-ho’s and we’ll be there. So 2019 is a big year for us, as we need to reshape this Roadmap, our vision and priorities so that they continue to be regionally fit for purpose, but ambitious at the same time. Sir David’s speech, along with the recent IPCC report as presented at our recent Annual Conference by Myles Allen, one of the lead contributing authors, shows that we can no longer assume action is being taken. We need to be bold, brave and courageous and hold individuals to task and celebrate their successes.

Which is where you come in. We need you to help us achieve a region that is one that you’d like your children and grandchildren to see. Make them proud to grow up, live and invest in a West Midlands that is, indeed, environmentally sustainable and socially just, but also resilient to the aforementioned chaos, able to adapt and that has stood up to and thrived in the face of environmental, social and economic challenges that will surely come.

SWM is at the heart of this future. We want to help you to help our region get to this point. So now is the time to have a chat with us and see how we can support you to do this. This week, we have launched our new Membership Offer which outlines how, for a rather modest fee, you can become a member of SWM and gain numerous benefits including the opportunity to promote your business, events and jobs; speak and exhibit at our events; connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals and attend our new Summer Social, an event run for our members, led by our members.

Most importantly, you will be joining hands with us as we develop and deliver our new post-2020 Roadmap. We will be giving our members a chance to tell us what they would like to see in our new Roadmap as we make it fit for purpose. We’re offering them the chance to make their contribution and tell us how they would like us to set out how we can achieve this vision of the West Midlands for the future. Details on how you can get involved will come soon, but you can get in touch with us at any time to comment.

Clean energy. Thriving wildlife corridors. Flood resilience. Hydrogen vehicles. Local job opportunities. Improved health.

Whatever your areas of passion, expertise and interest, we need you to help us make sure that we can deliver an ambition for the future that builds on our existing work. Becoming a SWM member is the best way to do this and will keep you at the forefront of our activities in 2019 and beyond.

SWM Membership Offer

SWM Membership Application Form

Alan Carr, Senior Sustainability Adviser, SWM