Sustainable Growth

Empowering the economic development of the West Midlands whilst encouraging environmental improvement
Sustainable Growth

Why this theme?

The sustainable and inclusive economic development of the region is essential. The West Midlands was one of three trailblazing regions to publish its Local Industrial Strategy which includes low carbon technology, energy and clean growth as sector strengths, with this being backed up by the regional Low Carbon Goods and Services study that SWM and k-Matrix published in 2021. 

The Low Carbon & Environmental Technology sector is expected to grow dramatically in response to the need to decarbonise our economy. It already contributes £3.6 billion to GVA in the WMCA area alone, and could end up making up 10% of the entire economy. Harnessing this potential is critical, and we will work with our existing members who operate in the low carbon goods and services sector to scale up activities and share good practice.

Alongside this, the cost of living crisis in 2022 has shown us that growth needs to be inclusive, ensuring that those who need the most support do not get left behind.

Target: By 2030, sales in the Low Carbon Goods and Services sector will reach £40 billion.

This is why we made the decision in 2022 to remove our target original target of ‘by 2030, increase GVA per head by 40% from 2019 levels.’ Along with the data metric changing, we also feel that measuring GVA is not ‘sustainable’ enough, and have therefore derived a target specifically to the LCEGS sector, as outlined below.

The current target was established in 2021 in line with the publication of the Midlands’ Low Carbon Goods and Services Sector analysis outlined above. It was with the advice of kMatrix that we are able to establish this new target which gives us a strong ambition to accelerate sales in the LCEGS sector by 2030. kMatrix believe that this target is not only realistic, but necessary in line with Net Zero targets. In 2019/20, sales were just over £18bn, so essentially we need to see more than double this by 2030 to meet the target. We aim to liaise with kMatrix annually to monitor the progress we’re making as a region against this ambition.

Current progress on this target (2021) – sustain current action. The 2030 target was based on progress analysed in the aforementioned report. Therefore, it is currently deemed a realistic target based on available data.

What our Members are doing


The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) was created in 2016 was created to deliver an ambitious plan to drive inclusive economic growth in the region. This means that the WMCA does not just focus on economic growth, but factors in inclusivity, equality and diversity into its policies from the start, to ensure no-one is left behind. They also support the development of skills in young people and integrated environmental aims into all decisions, as part of its plan to reach a Net Zero carbon target by 2041.


EQS Management Systems offers a range of consulting services to help businesses grow, be more resilient and sustainable – they use environmental principles to boost business growth. The company works with all businesses to identify, enable and deliver the benefits of robust environmental and quality management systems, improved process and resource efficiency, reduced compliance risk and improved competitiveness.

They believe that good environmental and quality practice is a business opportunity and not a cost. The company works with businesses to provide practical, realistic support, guidance and solutions tailored to individual organisations’ needs. They support businesses with implementation, audit and maintenance of ISO standards, guidance with legal compliance and improvement projects to enable businesses to thrive and grow. With a wealth of experience in management systems, standards and environmental management in industry, EQS Management Systems gives its clients the tools and partnerships to deliver business improvement sustainably.

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