For the past two years attendees of the Manor Royal Matters event have said that action on improving the environment is important. In 2020 and 2021, almost 50% of delegates agreed that this should be made a priority for improving the Business District.
According to the latest survey results, striving to achieve “excellence in sustainability” is now among the top three most important issues for Manor Royal companies.
Crawley Borough Council too recognise the need to act by committing to cut their own carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050. Their climate emergency action plan, “Action to Zero”, approved last November sets out how they will achieve this.
A decent proportion of the Crawley Towns Fund, an allocation of £21.1m from Government to boost Crawley’s economic growth, is also earmarked for projects that will contribute to a more sustainable economy. This includes investment for green skills, grants for green technology and infrastructure, sustainable travel and “green retrofitting” of Crawley homes.
But what of Manor Royal? How green can we be?
Manor Royal benefits from a number of innovative companies working in the renewable sector that are growing here, like Naked Energy and Bramble Energy. Meanwhile, Metrobus are leading the way in deploying cleaner hydrogen powered buses, with Fastway routes 10 and 20 expected to be powered this way later this year.
A host of other companies are looking at their contribution to net zero too. Elekta now buy all their electricity from green energy suppliers and Lakers Builders Merchants are committed to converting their materials handling fleet to electric as part of their drive to cut emissions. Coordination Catering have launched a new cup washing and recycling business to cut the huge waste from the use of plastic cups at events and festivals, and Opus Innovation’s “My Happy Planet” hand sanitiser includes refillable containers that are made from 100% recycled plastic reclaimed from our oceans and beaches.
Some of these changes are big, some are small, but they all help.
The Manor Royal BID already actively supports the companies of the Business District with projects to encourage waste consolidation, more sustainable travel behaviours and renewable energy options. Perhaps, though, now is the time to take things to another level.
The BID is exploring how the public and open spaces of Manor Royal might better support wildlife and nature as well as employee health and wellbeing.
This might include different planting schemes, wildflower areas or tree planting. Over the next few months consultants expert in the “One Planet Living” framework will be assessing just how far Manor Royal can go in terms of becoming a more sustainable place to work and do business, and those findings will form part of the BID’s new business plan for businesses to vote on.
This journey is an important one. If we all do our bit we will have a better chance of leaving our town in a better place for those we leave it to, and Manor Royal is certainly looking to play its part.
Find out more about Manor Royal at www.manorroyal.org