SPEAKERS

DAY 2

Chief Operating Officer
at Mer (formerly Elmtronics)

Fred is the Chief Operating Officer at Mer, having joined the business in January 2021. 

 

With ten years working in the technology and mobility sectors, Fred has previous roles in technology investment, start-ups, high-growth SMEs, professional services and financial markets. Fred trained as an accountant and has spent much of his career supporting organisations with their strategic direction and growth. 

 

Fred's interest in technology and mobility has developed over the last decade of working within the wider ecosystem, with a focus now on supporting organisations to make a smooth transition to electric vehicles in a sustainable and user-centric way.

Company Information

Mer is a European EV charging company owned by its parent company, Statkraft, with a presence in the UK, Norway, Germany and Sweden. Founded in 1895, Statkraft, is a Norwegian state-owned utility and Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy. Mer combines the best of both worlds through our extensive experience of renewable energy and electric mobility to power the shift towards a purer way of transportation.

The company acquired Elmtronics earlier this year. Elmtronics was set up in North East England in 2016 and since that date has specialised in supporting businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles, securing some of the UK’s highest FTSE 250 companies as customers. By joining one of the largest European charging solutions companies, the company aims to strengthen its foothold in the UK market. 

Mer offers electric vehicle charging infrastructure for fleets, businesses and homes across the UK, making the transition to net-zero an easy one. We believe that mobility can be better, smarter, more sustainable and our mission is to make electric mobility easy and accessible to everyone.

 

Fred's interest in technology and mobility has developed over the last decade of working within the wider ecosystem, with a focus now on supporting organisations to make a smooth transition to electric vehicles in a sustainable and user-centric way.

Presentation

As the transition to electric vehicles gathers pace in the UK, Fred will discuss some of the key motivations behind companies making the switch. He will discuss how and why our current customers are motivated to drive electric in their operations and some of the benefits that they are seeing - from enhanced brand, ESG reporting and ESG credentials for new business. Fred will also cover some of the barriers facing companies in making that switch and improvements that are required to make the migration to EV a seamless one.

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FRED PARKES

RICHARD HAGAN

From sceptic to converted, Richard Hagan is quoted as being possibly “the Greenest Entrepreneur in the UK” today having been involved with the launch of the Green Parties “New Green Deal” in the Northwest and published showing best manufacturer practice.  Shortlisted for sustainable manufacturing for the MX awards and presents Crystal Doors journey at many organisations’ meetings including IEMA, CIWM, Growth Company and GM Chamber. Carbon neutral by 2022 with employees support and all stakeholder engagement having adopted circular economy strategies.  5 years ago, driving fancy cars with jet set holidays, he is now Vegetarian, drives an EV and banned himself from personal/business flying. 

Richard has during the past 5 years achieved the near impossible to become carbon neutral by addressing every angle.  Offering his knowledge and network of experts he has worked with; Richard will enlighten and inspire the most sceptic climate disbeliever.  Improving sales, efficiencies and profits.

OLI KABERRY

Head of Commercial Operations,
Jones Food Company

Oli started working with Jones Food Company (JFC) in early 2019. He has been instrumental in the company's early development and has led in a number of key areas for the company ranging from commercial strategy, to HR and financial operations. 
Oli’s all-encompassing role means he is responsible for budget forecasting, business plan and business model creation, company strategy, site planning, as well as providing people and organisation support. He also leads on energy management, including future renewable asset dealings and energy usage analysis.
In education, Oli completed his MSc in International Economics at Lund University, Sweden. 

Prior to heading up the commercial operations at Jones Food Company, Oli worked as a consultant for Harmony Energy, where he was in charge of data analytics for their renewable assets and locating new development sites. He also has experience in electric vehicle charging infrastructure through his time working in the e-mobility team at Jaguar Land Rover, where he advised production purchasing buyers, lead analysis projects and worked cross-functionally to support supply-chain design.

In education, Oli completed his MSc in International Economics at Lund University, Sweden and a BA in International Studies from the University of Buckingham.

 

Jones Food Company are one of the UKs largest vertical farm growers. They use hydroponic indoor farming methods to produce food for retailers, food processors and meal recipe box companies 365 days of the year. Their aim is to re-shore the lengthy food supply chains using state of the art, sustainably powered technology that delivers fresh produce to consumers. 

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CRAIG WOODBURN

Craig is a passionate and highly experienced ESG professional. He is responsible for developing Britishvolt’s sustainability/ESG strategies and reporting for all activities, a crucial pillar to overall business success. His previous roles include as a Environmental and planning regulator, consultant and business lead both in the UK and various locations across the globe. 

Craig has worked most recently in the automotive sector developing strategies and systems to support global sustainability, compliance and reporting around Net Zero at Jaguar Land Rover. He led integration of sustainability within JLR’s new plants in Brazil and Slovakia, and other global operations, and worked with suppliers on sustainability integration.

Prior to this he worked with international clients as a manufacturing business sector manager leading on sustainability, permitting and environmental compliance including assessing investment opportunities for banks and due diligence transactional support. His experience covers many technical areas including COMAH, mining, chemical and energy sectors and overall EHS support, all crucial areas for ongoing BV business development. 

Craig is a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Environmentalist and also volunteers as a mentor for students at Nottingham Trent University.

About Britishvolt

Britishvolt is Britain’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and research and development. It is dedicated to developing the future of electrified transportation and sustainable energy storage, producing best-in-class, low-carbon, sustainable, responsibly manufactured lithium-ion battery technologies.

Britishvolt’s aim is to establish the UK as the leading force in battery technology, and associated ecosystem infrastructure. It is working with leading strategic partners/suppliers to achieve this, as it is of paramount importance to the future of the UK automotive industry and the overall economic and industrial health of the country. The company is built on a foundation of ESG Principles and Commitments.

Britishvolt believes that the UK is the right place for its initial investments because of the strength of its automotive and renewable energy industry alongside its expertise and history in industrial and academic battery R&D. 

 

Quarter four 2023/early 2024 has been targeted as the start of production of Phase One of Britain’s first full-scale Gigaplant situated on the old coal stocking yard of the former Blyth Power Station in Cambois, Northumberland.

Presentation

The presentation will provide an overview of the increasing vital need for quality data to support clear, reliable and transparent understanding and decision making. Organisations need to not only work on reducing their immediate operational boundaries but be more aware and influence their whole value chain. Working closely with partners will support this activity so that stakeholders can make evidence-based decisions. The setting up of a new business in a rapidly evolving area, supporting global decarbonisation of mobility and energy, has provided significant opportunity to embed processes and set up data gathering that can act as a template for other businesses. The overall aim if for BV to set new benchmarks in ESG transparency and data reporting.

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LEE JACKSON

Lee leads on business development at SmartCarbon Ltd as well as engaging directly with clients to provide strategic support and deliver bespoke presentations, consultancy and training packages. Through regular projects with clients and environmental partners Lee is involved in an increasing ambition to include more Scope 3 emissions sources as part of organisational reporting, and with that the willingness to incorporate the full impact of the digital footprint. As part of his SmartCarbon remit Lee also facilitates the IEMA accredited Carbon Champion course delivered through Northumbria University.

Lee’s background is in senior business development positions in the travel and payments sectors.  He is an associate member of IEMA and has invested in understanding the areas of carbon management and environmental management. He is passionate and pragmatic in working with both businesses and community groups to create meaningful impact in response to the climate emergency that we face.

 

Lee is also a volunteer community trainer with CAfS (Cumbria Action for Sustainability), Co-founder of CACTUS (Climate Action for Corporate Travel Urgent Sustatinability) and a an active member of Sustainable Keswick where he is leading a community car share initiative.

Recent Positions

Commercial Director, Smart Carbon Ltd (from 2021)

Commercial Director Diners Club UK (from 2017)

Director of European Business Development (WEX Europe from 2012) 

Key Skills

Commercial Strategy

Training development and facilitation

Team Development

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IGOR KOTSIUBA

Igor has lived with and worked with Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure for over 15 years. His background and training is in the domain of Cybersecurity of Energy Grids and EPES. Igor manages R&D Cybersecurity for Energy (EPES) and Digital Transformation of Smart Cities in numerous projects together with EDF, ATOS, THALES, IBM. Together with Cyber North works on building Cybersecurity community and synergy with the cities and municipalities

Cybersecurity and Operation System for Carbon Zero Smart Cities and PEDs

RESPONSE project aims to establish a strategic vision for Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050. RESPONSE aims to turn energy sustainability into a do-able vision by solving the energy trilemma (security, equity/affordability, environmental sustainability) at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

RESPONSE supports the lighthouse cities to facilitate them deliver positive energy blocks and districts. It attracts the interest of various stakeholders by generating innovative business models enabling the upscale and replication of the solutions forming a validated roadmap for sustainable cities across Europe and beyond. The overall focus of the project is to create resilient and safe cities whilst increasing the quality of life and lowering the impacts of climate change. 

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, RESPONSE is a 60-month projectwhere iSolutions Labs Limited, Sunderland based Cybersecurity Agency delivers Cybersecurity and CyberHygiene Framework for Smart Cities and smart infrastructure.

Recent Positions

Management comimittee member in COST Action “AI for digital forensics” of European Commission 

(2018-2021)

Exceptional Talent in Cybersecurity endorsed by TechNation UK (2020)

WP leader of Cybersecurity Projects in EU  - SPEAR, ELECTRON, RESPONSE  (2017-2022)

Key Skills

15 years’ experience initiating and delivering Innovation Actions and research projects

Strong technical and practical experience in Cybersecurity 

Guest lecturer, keynote speaker and cochair in universities of the UK, the USA, Norway as well as at IEEE events and Forums 

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Policy and External Affairs Director, Deputy CEO at IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment)

Martin works in the UK and internationally to support the transition to a net zero, resource efficient and sustainable economy.

Martin leads IEMA’s policy and external engagement activity with government and business.  His personal mission is to help catalyse change at scale for a sustainable future and to inspire others as sustainability advocates.  He has national and international experience in developing and negotiating global and European standards and developing capacity for effective and widespread implementation.  Martin is head of the UK delegation to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) on environmental management and chairs the ISO environmental management systems committee of ~100 countries….no easy task! 

 

Martin is a Board member of IEMA and an IEMA Fellow.  He is a Chartered Environmentalist and a Board member of the Society for the Environment, where he chairs the audit and risk committee. 

Green Jobs and Skills

The transition to a net-zero, ecologically restorative and sustainable economy means that all organisations, large and small, public and private, and in all sectors, will need to operate differently.  Business models will change, supply chains will be reconfigured, and products and services will be designed with a sustainable future in mind

This transformation and transition will require people with the skills and capabilities to do things differently…new green jobs will be created, and the whole workforce will need adopt an ‘all jobs greener’ approach to apply the technical skills, knowledge, behaviours and capabilities to tackle the climate change and environmental challenges we face.  

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MARTIN BAXTER

Jon is a geoscientist with 28 years in industry and 12 in academia following a degree in geology from Sheffield University and a PhD in geochemistry from Liverpool University.  The first part of Jon’s career was in the petroleum industry, much of it being associated with improving our understanding of the subsurface and the relationship between the rock and fluids – water, oil and gas contained therein.  Recognition of the impact of petroleum usage on the atmosphere and hydrosphere along with the realization that the Earth could deliver much more than fossil fuels and do it in a sustainable way led to a career change to academia.  Jon’s research covers geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage, human induced seismicity and the search for helium and gold hydrogen – key components of a low-carbon, sustainable future.  Jon is now the Executive Director of the Durham Energy Institute and he is currently president of the Geothermal Energy Advancement Association.

Low-carbon energy legacy of the UK's coal industry

Coal was king.  The UK was the first nation on Earth to mine coal on an industrial scale.  Indeed, coal drove the industrial revolution allowing the UK to become one of the world’s leading powers.  In all about 15 billion tonnes of coal was mined from the beginning of the industrial revolution until today.  Some 23,000 mines now lie abandoned in the old coalfield areas.  Pumped dry of water during their operational life, they are now flooded and because the Earth is warm so too is the water within them.  Such water can and is used for district heating from a bespoke single warehouse scheme in Gateshead to a whole city in Heerlen, Netherlands.  Pumps powered by a frugal quantity of green-electricity can distribute the heat to end users; and we need that heat!

Over half of all energy used in the UK is for heating and the UK loves its gas boilers, all 22 million of them warm our homes and offices.  However, making heat via such boilers delivers 33% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, well over 100 million tonnes of it.

We can remove most of those greenhouse gases by adopting the mine water heat but as things stand the UK has one operational scheme and a handful more in development.  This presentation will examine the opportunity presented by mine water heat, its technology and the barriers which currently limit its rollout.

 

This transformation and transition will require people with the skills and capabilities to do things differently… new green jobs will be created, and the whole workforce will need adopt an ‘all jobs greener’ approach to apply the technical skills, knowledge, behaviours and capabilities to tackle the climate change and environmental challenges we face.  

Recent Positions

Management comimittee member in COST Action “AI for digital forensics” of European Commission 

(2018-2021)

Exceptional Talent in Cybersecurity endorsed by TechNation UK (2020)

WP leader of Cybersecurity Projects in EU  - SPEAR, ELECTRON, RESPONSE  (2017-2022)

Key Skills

15 years’ experience initiating and delivering Innovation Actions and research projects

Strong technical and

An innovative researcher who has delivered a global exploration strategy for helium and is working on one for natural (gold) hydrogen.

Experience in leading complex, inter disciplinary projects.

Skilled presenter and performer on sciences and technologies.

practical experience in Cybersecurity 

Guest lecturer, keynote speaker and cochair in universities of the UK, the USA, Norway as well as at IEEE events and Forums 

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JON GLUYAS

Peter joined Kromek in 2017 as a physics graduate, working as a scientist with their handheld radiation detectors. He grew that role, writing software to control and model detector systems, and moving to take over the x-ray security team and found the algorithms team, which he now leads. In 2018, Peter began raising the issue of climate change with senior management, and exploring options for the company to do more to reduce its carbon footprint. Since then, he has expanded his efforts to bring the issue to the attention of management, proposing the creation of a sustainability team to guide the company towards a net zero goal. In early 2022, Peter was appointed to found and head this team. Now, he formally faces the challenge of bringing a British SME with a large carbon footprint along a path to net zero.

Kromek is an international detection company headquartered in Sedgefield, County Durham. Kromek started out developing novel techniques for growing the high-performance radiation detection material Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT), which is still at the heart of the business. Since then, however, the company has expanded into a range of detection fields, including manufacturing detectors for medical scanner; creating scanners and software to detect explosives in goods and luggage; and the detection of airborne pathogens.

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PETER RHODES

Algorithms Team Lead and Sustainability Lead at Kromek

Head of Policy Development, Northern Powergrid

Jim is leading on the delivery of customer propositions that support the transition to a smarter more flexible energy system that enable decarbonisation in Yorkshire and the North East of England. Recent projects include preparing Northern Powergrid’s proposals for regional decarbonisation in the business plan submitted to energy regulator Ofgem for the 2023-28 period. This involved widespread stakeholder engagement in order to accommodate the views of customers and stakeholders.

Since joining Northern Powergrid in 2004, his networks experience also encompasses smart grid innovation projects and the regulatory issues and programme management involved in price control reviews that set revenues for the monopoly business. Jim joined the industry in 1991 and previously worked for E.ON in a number of technical and managerial roles in the power generation business before moving into electricity distribution.

 

I propose to focus my presentation on what Northern Powergrid is doing to enable regional decarbonisation while ensuring that resilience and reliability of the local grid are maximised. As such, it is mostly about what we are doing to help society decarbonise rather than how we are decarbonising our own operations.

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JIM CARDWELL

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ALED SAGE

Aled has over 20 years experience developing and operating distributed applications, mostly in the enterprise sector. Particular areas of interest include cloud, automation, Devops, fault tolerance and cost optimisation. Prior to joining Cloudsoft, Aled was Chief Architect at Enigmatec Corporation. He holds a PhD (Computer Science) from the University of St Andrews.

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DAN PUDWELL

Dan is a Cloud Architect and Software Engineer with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries. He is currently a Principal Cloud Architect at Cloudsoft, where he brings his expertise and enthusiasm for cloud to clients at varying stages of their cloud journey. Dan hosts the Serverless North East Meetup, is a volunteer with Code Club UK and is co-founder of Tech For Kids, a non-profit organisation which brings tech companies and kids together for a day full of fun and learning.

Recent Positions

VP Engineering at Cloudsoft

Foundation Member at FinOps Foundation

Chief Architect at Enigmatic

Recent Positions

Principal Cloud Architect at Cloudsoft

Co-founder of Tech For Kids

Technical Director at Grid Smarter Cities

Senior Consultant at Opencast Software

Sustainability in the Cloud

IT data centers and cloud consumed around 205 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2018, or 1% of global electricity. A lack of focus on sustainability during the design of applications and IT systems makes this problem worse: IT professionals need to think about where their apps run, how they scale as user activity varies, how much data is being transferred, how efficient is the code, etc.

 

There is more usage of the cloud than ever, and most people aren’t aware of how their daily habits contribute to it. Streaming, for example Netflix and Spotify, photo storage, instant messaging applications, websites are all run in the cloud with more being added every day.  This means that the tech industry as a whole has an environmental impact on par with the aviation industry.

 

Tech giants are aware of their impact and how they can contribute to NetZero; whilst anticipated power usage has increased slower than predicted (only 6% increase since 2010), this is largely due to the efficiency improvements of the huge cloud providers, compared to companies running their own data centers. 

 

However, whilst industry best practices are evolving to embrace sustainability, IT professionals share responsibility to design and implement software better. Indeed AWS (Amazon Web Services), the largest public cloud provider in the world, recently published best practices around sustainability - practical advice no matter where the applications run. It adds to advice in the “Well Architected Framework” for building apps that are secure and reliable, adding the “sustainability” pillar. How companies and people build and architect their software running in the cloud has a big impact on energy usage. We will look at the best practices of how to do this using the sustainability pillar.

 

We’ll talk about trends in energy usage across the IT industry, and what companies can do to reduce the environmental impact: how they can apply these emerging best practices.

Corporate Communications Manager,
Northumbrian Water Group

Gareth leads for Northumbrian Water Group on policy and public affairs engagement surrounding the environment, affordability, energy and sustainability. He holds a central role in developing and delivering their Emission Possible plan to be the first water company to achieve Carbon Net Zero with an ambitious 2027 deadline. At COP26, he led their engagement programme which saw Northumbrian Water represent the UK water sector at the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action. Alongside this hit sits as a member of the steering group for the water sector’s wider net zero routemap, which has set a plan for the entire sector to achieve this goal by 2030.

Immediately prior to joining Northumbrian Water Group, Gareth was Head of Policy at the British Soft Drinks Association where he worked across economic, health and environmental policy, with a key role in developing the sector’s proposals for a Deposit Return Scheme at the UK level. His experience also saw roles in the alcohol sector where he worked on areas as diverse as packaging design to rates of duty, lightweighting of bottles to entertainment licensing policy. 

Water companies are not like other businesses. They provide a vital public service hinged on major infrastructure and yet we are also a custodian of the natural environment. Moving and treating water is an energy intensive process leading to millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. There is no single solution that achieves net zero on its own. 

In that lies the opportunity for Northumbrian Water, to innovate, delivering a broad combination of approaches and collaboration between water companies, policymakers and the supply chain will be needed. Their journey so far has seen a reduction of over 80% of emissions since 2008, and a commitment to achieve net zero by 2027.  

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GARETH BARRETT

Andrew is Energy Lead with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working to drive growth and job creation through regional energy strengths and sectors. Andrew has extensive programme leadership experience, having created and delivered energy and low carbon programmes nationally and internationally in various sectors. He is a chartered environmentalist, a member of the Energy Institute, and a published journal author.

Andrew will give an overview of the energy sectors which are creating new jobs in the North East, while delivering on the net zero challenge for the UK. Including the Offshore energy, electrification and battery, low carbon heat and greener buildings sectors. He will describe how the LEP is supporting energy projects and these sectors to grow at a greater pace and scale. He will also highlight the career opportunities which will arise and how the LEP is working with industry and educators to understand these skills needs and ensure they are met. 

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ANDREW CLARK

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP

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JO CLOUGH

Director, Regional Development and Productivity, ESG, SME & Mid Corporate

Jo drives the design and implementation of the Regional Development and Productivity elements of ESG strategy within the commercial division of Lloyds Banking Group, focussing on the SME and Mid Corporate business which serves commercial clients with £3m to £100m turnover. She focusses primarily on the part that Lloyds Banking Group plays in supporting small and medium sized businesses in the North and Midlands regions, in line with the Government’s levelling up agenda.

Jo has 20 years banking experience working with SME’s across a variety of sectors including Healthcare, Education, Manufacturing and Real Estate and she is passionate about supporting businesses in the North to increase their productivity and embrace new technologies and skills. 

We have a presentation which we will run through covering the findings from our Now to Net Zero research, what barriers businesses are finding in transitioning to net zero and the business case for becoming more sustainable. Michael will talk through some client examples to bring it to life.

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MICHAEL HINDHAUGH

Relationship Director, SME Banking

Michael has responsibility for a portfolio of clients based in the North East which fall within the SME part of the commercial division of Lloyds Banking Group. SME serves clients with £3m to £25m turnover and Michaels clients sit within the £10m to £25m turnover bracket.

He focuses primarily on the manufacturing sector having gained accreditation via training provided by Warwick University.

Michael has over 35 years banking experience working with SME and Corporate’s in the North East across various sectors. He is passionate about supporting the manufacturing sector and in particular supporting clients on their own journey to net zero.

CEO - Power Roll

Neil is CEO of Power Roll and has 16 years’ experience in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector. Neil has a professional services background and has held key roles in large energy services businesses. He was Director of Investor Relations of eaga plc at the time of its purchase by a major UK Support Services company in April 2011.  He stayed with the enlarged business to become the Finance Director, UK Services, a £1.2bn business employing some 12,000 employees.  Neil has specific experience in financing large scale renewables and pv projects. He joined Power Roll Ltd in January 2014 and is responsible for all aspects of Power Roll’s on-going development and performance. 

Power Roll

Power Roll is scaling a completely new, ultra-low cost, flexible and lightweight solar pv film which has the potential to generate renewable energy on any surface.

 

COP 26 in Glasgow confirmed the need to take urgent action to address the climate emergency:

  • Less than 2% of global rooftops have solar pv installed on them

  • 759 million people still lack access to electricity

  • The recent 6th UK climate budget – recommended a sixfold increase in solar energy generation in the UK by 2035 in order to achieve our energy transition targets and the IEA proposed a similar level of increase globally by 2030

 

There is much to be done and Power Roll’s mission is simple - to dramatically increase the worldwide uptake of solar power through the generation of clean energy from surfaces everywhere by materially lowering the cost of deployment.

The presentation will provide an overview of Power Roll’s platform and the manufacturing process advantages and potential application use.

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NEIL SPANN

BEN GILLEPSY

Director of Operations, Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN)  

Ben has been working with the region’s manufacturing and engineering companies for 6 years building a strong network into which he has used his past experience of supporting the growth of SMEs. Leading the Engineering & Manufacturing Network he has created a wide range of initiatives to remove much of the daily struggles of business owners allowing them to focus on the technical and delivery aspects of their companies.

Over the last few years he has worked with businesses on initiatives around Brexit, supply chain and talent acquisition/retention which have provided major obstacles around growth. Currently however it is recognised that there is also a significant need to support the ongoing issues surrounding general environmental compliance, NetZero and sustainability.

Ben has worked with a range of industry experts to drive the need for businesses to become ‘early’ adopters of these new initiatives thereby ensuring ongoing compliance and the ability to operate in what would otherwise become a very difficult climate. The effect of not creating internal initiatives within businesses to address these key issues could be a reduction in ability to compete alongside fewer opportunities to generate cash based on the policies of lenders and grant funders who will not support this going forward. Ben and his team are therefore working with these organisations to raise awareness of these needs.

Of significant concern is also the ongoing newly phrased ‘green washing’ which is attracting business owners to onboard with initiatives that give the appearance of compliance or forward motion in this regard but are not necessarily as clear as they appear. As in all things, Ben sees the need to ensure that business owners are aware of the importance of driving improvements/reduction and forward motion on this journey for the right reasons, buying in businesses to the ‘ethos’ of environmental improvements rather than simply financial benefits or legal requirements.

He will address these issues within the Conference from a business owners’ point of view, looking at motivation, initiatives and misconceptions alongside the issues of operating in what can be deemed a ‘dirty’ sector where improvements can be difficult to make.

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STEPHEN MCDONALD

Climate Change and Sustainability Principal Officer in the Low Carbon Team at Durham County Council

Stephen leads a team within Durham County Council which focuses upon the Climate Emergency, Carbon Reduction and Sustainability across Council services, whilst also focusing upon messaging and awareness raising.
 

Stephen helps to set the strategic direction for the area, develops funding applications and gets directly involved in the development of individual projects. Stephen led the production of the new Climate Emergency Response Plan (CERP2) for 2022-24, which contains over 100 actions across 10 thematic areas that address both Council and County wide emissions. It is an action plan that attempts to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2030

Stephen has worked in Local Government since 2004, starting for Sedgefield Borough Council, before joining the newly formed Durham County Council Unitary Authority in 2009. Stephen is a registered CIBSE Low Carbon Consultant and a graduate of the Energy Institute.

Presentation

Stephen will give present some of the ongoing work completed and ongoing by Durham County Council as they aim to meet their challenging targets. From EV charging infrastructure to minewater district heating, from solar farms and battery storage to heat pump replacements for gas, the range of projects in development is vast, as it needs to be. Stephen will present a run down of the where Durham is at, where it needs to get to and by when and how they plan to achieve their ambitions.

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