HEREFORDSHIRE businesses came together for a sold-out event this month.

The Shell Store in Skylon Park hosted speakers from Two Farmers Crisps, Audi, and The Courtyard at suitably titled sustainability meeting ‘The Big Green Business Event’.

Part of Greener Footprints Week, the sold-out business networking breakfast was hosted by the Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Means Business and Greener Footprints Herefordshire, and saw a turnout of some 100 delegates arrive at Skylon Park’s Shell Store on June 11.

Keynote speakers Mark Green and Sean Mason from Two Farmers Crisps in Ross-on-Wye kicked off proceedings by sharing the journey they went on to launch Two Farmers hand-cooked crisps, including their race to find an environmentally friendly packaging for their home-grown potato product: a compostable bag that changed the game for the brand and sector.

Josie Johnson (Herefordshire Wildlife Trust) and James Mackie (Hereford's Eco Install) attended the eventJosie Johnson (Herefordshire Wildlife Trust) and James Mackie (Hereford's Eco Install) enjoying the event (Image: Jenny Hulme)

"I think people are much more aware of their impact on the environment and looking for ways to change that," said Mark Green. "Any business that is looking to launch and move forward should seek out the most sustainable way they can do it. This combined effort from businesses can only be good. And events like this allow businesses to educate each other - letting people know what is out there, and what is available to support them."

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Two Farmers are part of Herefordshire organisation Greener Footprints' growing business network, now made up of nearly 100 businesses across the county. They were joined by colleagues from the network on stage, including Wye Valley Brewery and The Courtyard and Pedicargo discussing Hereford's approach and success in how to efficiently deal with business waste and recycling. 

"We've been part of the ‘30 for 2030’ network for two years," said The Courtyard’s head of operations, Philip Pearcy. Greener Footprints say their “30 for 2030 scheme puts the spotlight on 30 employers” from across Herefordshire as each business, including Two Farmers crisps and The Courtyard, share their own stories of working towards a net zero carbon future.

Phillip Pearcy was joined on stage by Will Vaughan from Pedicargo to discuss the way they've worked together on efficient commercial waste disposal and recycling, the success of which has been shared across the UK. "It's really good being able to network with other people, both to tell our story and to champion creative, innovative practice - and to hear the experiences of other businesses and the impact they're having," Philip said.

Sebastian Laan Lomas from Hereford's Architype and Roseanna Wilmott from the Greener Footprints teamSebastian Laan Lomas (Hereford's Architype) and Roseanna Wilmott (Greener Footprints team) deep in conversation (Image: Jenny Hulme)


The event also featured discussions around energy saving initiatives, grant funding opportunities, and a talk on electric vehicles for businesses that was hosted by expert speakers from Audi.

This is Greener Footprints’ second annual awareness week and is this year running from June 8 to June 16. Organisers are sharing and showcasing what the community are doing locally on their website, and how organisations can get involved with the growing business network at future events.

Any individual who pledges to make a Greener Footprints ‘swap’ – “such as swapping from a car commute to a walk to work or swapping to local produce for Sunday lunch” - during the week will be entered into a free prize draw to win one of two new bikes.