Sustainability West Midlands in partnership with the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands convenes the Innovative Zero Carbon Working Group (IZCWG) and its associated quarterly meetings, where a cross-sector of stakeholders come together to share good practice and build cross-sector collaborative opportunities around low carbon innovation. At the first meeting of the year, there were reflections on work and achievements so far and discussions looking ahead at the exciting future of the group. Following on front last October’s Multi-Modal Transport meeting, connections were made between members who have now gone away to work together to decarbonise transport across the West Midlands, and an open conversation helped shape the future of the Working Group and its meetings going forward.
Speakers from Tyseley Energy Park helped continue the conversation from the joint meeting on Multi-Modal Transport by sharing ways businesses can contribute to zero carbon transport.
Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) gave an overview of their work in powering clean energy growth in the West Midlands and beyond. A summary was also given of the Climate Innovation Platform (CIP), a business incubator based at TEP that provides tailored support to businesses driving climate innovation through developing low carbon solutions. One business currently in the CIP, Voltempo, shared their experiences as a member.
One of the main aims of these meetings is to provide the opportunity for members to identify potential collaboration partnerships. Multiple connections were made at the meeting, particularly around decarbonising transport across the West Midlands. For example, TEP and Transport for the West Midlands aim to discuss decarbonising the Council’s waste fleets, and SWM and the Innovation Alliance are working to support TEP in reaching out to Small and Medium Enterprises.
The second portion of this meeting was used to discuss the successes and failings of previous meetings, working together to come up with subject areas and formats that will best support and facilitate the members of the Working Group in the overarching aim of a transition to Zero Carbon going forward. It was identified that regular, in person meetings focused on Zero Carbon are still desired, and the group came up with some ways to draw more members to attend in person, along with suggestions for future meeting topics, that will help structure the future of the group. Open and honest conversations are promoted at IZCWG meetings, meaning more opportunity to share failings and challenges with the group will be provided going forward.
The teams at Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands and Sustainability West Midlands are still collecting feedback from members through a survey sent out with the newsletter and will be using the results to support the creation of the programme of upcoming meetings.
If you are interested in joining our Innovative Zero Carbon Working Group, or any of the other working groups under Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, you can learn more, see our current members, and sign up through our IZCWG page.