From education to employment

Hawick COP26 event helps employers focus on a greener future

Borders College

@BordersCollege Hawick campus recently played host to a ‘Mini COP26’ event, aimed at employers and the practical changes they can make to address climate change in their organisations.

Delivered by the Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation (DEBI), participants got to hear from a number of guest speakers from different organisations.

Director of DEBI Katharine Mathison kicked off the event by welcoming guests expressing how she was delighted to see so many people face to face and how important it was to share ideas, opinions and get involved in the move to net zero.

Katharine introduced the first speaker Richard Cook, who is the Accounts Manager for STEM and Sustainable Construction at Borders College.

Richard, who is helping drive the Hawick building towards net zero, talked in-depth about climate change and sustainability, delivering an inspiring talk to the audience and emphasising how we can all play our part in fighting the climate crisis.

Katharine then welcomed James Napier from Net Zero Scotland Community. James founded CBN Expert in 2020 with a core focus on allowing SME businesses to fully participate in efforts to tackle climate change.

James talked about providing simple, cost-effective ways for smaller businesses to fully deliver on their desire to reduce greenhouse gasses and ensure that they create a strong platform from which to compete in the low carbon world of the future.

Kristine Reilly-Blake, founder of Healthy Homes and Beyond, was the final speaker on the day and talked about her vision to create healthy home/working environments in which families and businesses can operate.

A complete change in lifestyle and career was brought about by her own personal journey, which led her to learn more about the links between lifestyle, health and living conditions.

Katharine commented:

“Our mini COP event was a huge success bringing together people from a diverse range of sectors to learn more about the practical ways they can move their businesses towards net zero. The event gave people the opportunity to network, learn more about climate change and visit our robotics, eco and renewables rooms.

“This showcased just how good the DEBI is at this type of event and how important collaboration between business and education can be in responding to change and driving forward innovation. I would like to thank all the speakers, participants and the DEBI staff team who worked so hard to develop and deliver this”

The event was concluded with Katharine thanking the participants for their time and encouraging them to implement what they had learned into their own homes and workplaces.

The party were then invited to visit the various STEM, Renewables and Advanced Innovative Manufacturing training facilities situated throughout the building, where staff were on hand to provide advice and demonstrate some of the state-of-the-art equipment.

Borders College hosted four events as part of COP26 week with each event linked to the main themes of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference. 

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