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Businesses connect over climate goals at College

Left-to-right: Sasha Beswick, Robin Harris, Daniel Cherryholme, Karen Moore and Gemma Lennon (Billington Structures), Christina Cooper (Barnsley College Apprenticeships), Matthew Smith (Enterprising Barnsley) and Stephanie Donaldson (Fareshare Yorkshire).

A pioneering Barnsley College event – that connected local businesses to share best practice around climate change – is hoped to be the first of many.

The Barnsley College Climate Connect launch, which took place at the College’s Think Low Carbon Centre, saw speakers from Fareshare Yorkshire, Billington Structures, and Enterprising Barnsley, alongside a Q-and-A with Students’ Union Sustainability Officer Robin Harris hosted by Head of Sustainability Sasha Beswick.

Either side of the presentations, guests were invited to chat and learn more about the different schemes and initiatives fellow local firms are employing to tackle climate change.

The College’s Apprenticeship Manager Christina Cooper also spoke about the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship – a key role in many businesses now looking to embed sustainability in their work.

We have launched our own Sustainability Strategy and have, since 2021, established departmental sustainability goals, created a whole-estate decarbonisation plan, and set a net zero carbon emissions target in line with the wider borough’s Zero 45 aims.

Business Development Account Manager Daniel Cherryholme, who organised the event and has also delivered Carbon Literacy training to organisations including National Coal Mining Museum and Barnsley Civic, said: “A lot of businesses are looking for advice and guidance on the direction that they need to move – what resources are available, what funding is available.

“The reason for Climate Connect is to be able to give businesses the information they’re looking for and the right connections to move forward. It’s showcasing to other businesses, who then might be able to offer their help.

“We specifically wanted a platform for students to voice their opinions – they will be the future workforce, so it’s vital for them to engage with organisations, generate ideas, and look at those areas that are important to them when thinking about a potential employer. In the future, they will be embedding themselves into an organisation because they believe in the same things, not just applying for a job.”

A Level Student Robin Harris added: “I’ve had an opportunity to put forward my say and I’m very grateful for that. It’s not very often you hear of people my age being able to have a voice.

“Changes need to be made with the future in mind. Being able to put a future spin on decisions is really important – I’m glad to have a seat at the table, but more people need to have a seat at the table.”


Last updated: 9th July 2024

Originally posted on: 9th July 2024

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