Sustainability Matters: Technology round-up

Made in Britain’s Sustainability Matters webinar series continues, with a focus this month on Technology. We were joined by Daniel Lewis, Founder at Awen Collective and Chris Spinks, MD at Westcotec. The session was moderated by Romily Broad, Managing Editor at Tech for Good and hosted by Green Growth Programme Manager, Victoria Page. 
Romily opened with an insightful overview of the role of sustainable businesses. He highlighted that businesses must protect the environment, because it will be impossible for businesses to thrive on a planet that doesn’t function. Aside from the planet, Romily outlined the importance of business being sustainable to attract and retain the best talent too. 
Industry 5.0 will fundamentally change how we run our businesses. The advance of AI means that intelligent machines will do more, and that will alter the type of workforce that leaders need to build – one that is made of empathetic people. 
Moving to Westcotec, and Chris Spinks opened, explaining that Westcotec manufacturers vehicle activated signs and was founded in 2014 out of a shipping container. From humble beginnings, the business continues to thrive and in 2018, moved to an employee ownership model for all 21 employees. 
In terms of sustainability, Westcotec has been an early pioneer for some technologies such as electric cars, and for every sign sold, Westcotec plants a tree. Ten thousand have already been planted, with plans to plant another two thousand. Carbon neutrality is also an ambition for the business, which recently completed a £400k expansion and refurb of their factory. Solar panels will also be installed in the not too distant future. 
Awen Collective’s Daniel Lewis explained that Awen is an industrial cyber security business, covering sectors from energy to transport and many more. As a values driven business, Awen is focused on supporting employees, acting as a caring company. 
In terms of the Awen product, Dot is the company’s main offer. It helps people to look into their networks and gain a full and detailed overview of all devices. It enables the prediction of maintenance required and is key to data collection. 
The collection of data through multiple sensors and trackers is an interesting facet of a sustainable business. Westcotec makes a product which monitors air pollution and aims to make vehicle journeys as efficient as possible. And while “data is the new oil”, it’s true that with more devices, more energy is required to power those devices and interpret the data they gather. 
Both speakers gave advice to those watching, urging everyone to ‘just begin’ on becoming a more sustainable business, by addressing some of the easier to tackle, low hanging fruit first, like waste and recycling and make smarter choices around energy use. Awen Collective’s David Lewis, based in Wales, used a Welsh phase to sum this up - Pethau Bychain, pronounced Pehth-aye Buh-[ch]-aye-n" with the [ch] a little like it is in Loch, meaning “the little things”. It’s up to us all to start on our sustainability journey, and future proof our businesses for years to come. Through making a difference with the little things, we can hope to build more sustainable businesses. 
Sustainability Matters webinar series is part of Made in Britain’s Green Growth Programme. 

The Green Growth Assessment and Programme are designed to help every manufacturer become more sustainable, by understanding their progress and then taking concrete steps to improve. The service is free to all Made in Britain members via their Member Profile and is completely confidential. Find out more about joining Made in Britain.

By Made in Britain 1 month ago | Made in Britain news

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