One key focus for Hull city region now is to help companies to lower their carbon footprints, she says, with a recent Parliamentary event and roundtable dinner organised by the Hull-based global corporate Reckitt Benckiser helping to spread the sustainability message among local employers through the ‘OH Yes! Net Zero’ movement launched in March 2022.
“We now have 150 companies signed up to help create a movement where we ask them to look at ways of lowering their carbon footprint, and get the larger firms to help their smaller counterparts,” says Louise. Another reason for the environmental focus, she explains, is its link to economic development. Larger companies are also being placed under increased pressure to lower their carbon footprints through tighter regulation.
“That will have a knock-on effect on the supply chain, with smaller companies facing the threat of closure if green credentials cannot be demonstrated up the supply chain. So, we are hosting a business breakfast and creating ‘carbon clinics’ where big companies and smaller companies can work together to talk through the issues.”
Louise is excited too about the growing number of technology focused companies springing up in the city. “It is a joy to work with small and medium sized companies in the area who are often self-funded, doing amazing stuff and pretty much carrying the whole region.
“They are doing extraordinary things and often don’t see themselves as particularly innovative and forward thinking. If you pass their founders in the street, you wouldn’t think that they are an entrepreneur or work for an innovative company.
“Our SMEs in the Humber are the backbone of our economy and the key to big change. Fostering collaboration is important and what we focus on in Aura, because at the end of the day this is all about helping people to get on; it’s about clean growth for the region’s economy so that everyone benefits.”