Learn Congleton defibrillators
Cllr Firkin opens the Net Zero Conference

Congleton Business Net Zero Roundtable

In September 2023, the Town Council, together with Congleton Partnership and the East Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, invited Congleton businesses to a confererence at the Town Hall to share ideas and best practice about sustainability in business and commerce.

Several businesses, from large corporations to SMEs and not-for-profits, shared their own experiences. Four organisations – Siemens, Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows, Congleton Hydro & Solar and Weetwood Brewery, gave presentations that you can find at the bottom of this page.

All the leaders in the room had sustainability objectives, and many had started on reducing waste, cutting down on travel or improving efficiencies in order to reduce their carbon footprint, but felt they would like to do more.

The conference split into working groups who brainstormed and came up with a number of potential ideas for future work. These will be prioritised and developed further in future workshops.

Business Net Zero ideas – September 2023


  • Explanation of what this means in simple terms for businesses – checklist?
  • Where is Congleton on the net zero challenge – information to encourage participation
  • Green EV chargers using solar (like Bentley)
  • Facilitate the sharing of information on Electric Vehicle charging 
  • Examples of money and energy saving 
  • General way to suggest initiatives e.g. online
  • Ongoing sharing of ideas and best practice
  • Case study sharing – online / Green champions

Mentoring / Joining Forces:

  • Different solutions for different businesses – size and type
  • Financial support e.g. share a consultant – apply for grants?
  • Share details of the group including speciality – logistics, fundraising, digital…
  • Mentoring programme – experts to help other businesses e.g. AstraZeneca is mentoring East Cheshire Hospice
  • Sharing with other Town Councils e.g. sharing an expert between us
  • Shuttle buses/community, shared by businesses all in the same office building 

Project ideas:

  • Toolkit for SMEs – can CTC provide this? Maybe develop it as a project working together?
  • Green Ambassadors’ Network?
  • Become a Business Improvement District – can get extra funding to invest in expertise – CTC to look into this.
  • Local Awards scheme – can we lead on this e.g. for shops – sustainability mark?
  • ‘Sustainable Living in Congleton’ (SLIC) eLearning course CTC learn.congleton-tc.gov.uk 
  • Business version of SLIC course needed 
  • River Dane – an opportunity for a clean-up project
  • Food waste – education on the impact of this in terms of environmental and cost of living (>£300 per household per year). Biggest challenge quickest win/cooking courses
  • Congleton’s own e-commerce site – promoting local suppliers / local supplier database

Next steps: All those present expressed an interest in continuing to work together to improve sustainability, biodiversity and carbon footprint in their businesses. The Partnership and Town Council is planning a series of events for businesses in 2024.

What about you? If you’d like to join the Business Net Zero Roundtable, please Contact Us.

Conference Presentations – September 2023

Siemens Congleton: Journey to Net Zero – Paul Grattidge

Bird Bellows’ Net Zero Strategy – David Armitage

Congleton Hydro & Solar Team

Weetwood Brewery: Becoming Net Zero – Jon Hopkins

For more information, see our Green Business Resources.

Page last updated: 31st January 2024