‘Green Street’: Newcastle-based SMEs pledge to accelerate their sustainability journeys – edie.net

‘Green Street’: Newcastle-based SMEs pledge to accelerate their sustainability journeys – edie.net

‘Green Street’: Newcastle-based SMEs pledge to accelerate their sustainability journeys

Pictured: Katie Cullen of Green Street participant Block & Bottle, a craft beer retailer and butcher. Image: Josh Wilde

The 25 firms, including retailers and food-to-go outlets, have signed up to the Green Street Pioneers Scheme. First offered in Bradford in 2021, the scheme provides SMEs with grant funding and practical support and advice for improving their sustainability strategizing, performance and communications.

Offered by not-for-profit social enterprise Green Street, the scheme will help participating businesses to implement sweeping sustainability plans covering energy efficiency; waste reduction and management; reducing single-use plastics; product sourcing; supplier engagement and scaling alternative business models.

Each business will have their current performance and strategy assessed, identifying opportunities for accelerating action. Green Street has promised “personalised guidance, workshops and marketing support”.

Additionally, Green Street will facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing between the participating firms.

Among the businesses taking part are musical instrument store Curvy Sounds; food-to-go outlet A Little Piece of Sky and tea brand Estate Teas.

Green Street founder Victoria Robertshaw said the group comprises “an interesting mix of sole traders, social enterprises and independent companies that are at different stages of their journey to become more sustainable”, adding that “many are already leading by example with some really exciting and quirky green schemes”.

For example, Curvy Sounds has vowed never to waste instruments and has instead forged reuse and recycling partnerships locally.

Robertshaw added: “They are all eager to take that next step to an even greener future by providing their customers with more environmentally-friendly ways to shop, dine and be part of the solution, not the cause of further climate change.”

Newcastle City Council is supporting the scheme as part of its plan to revive high streets in the Inner East of the city.

Between 2018 and 2022, some 37,000 retail outlets were lost from British high streets as businesses grappled with challenges such as the pandemic, the shift to online shopping and the energy price crisis.

Net-zero in the North of England

The launch of Newcastle’s Green Street Pioneers Scheme comes less than a month after thousands of business leaders, politicians and education providers across the North of England set out plans to turbo-charge the region’s net-zero transition and levelling up work.

The ‘Manifesto for the North’ has the backing of more than 800 organisations and speaks of “an historic opportunity” to build a “stronger, better-connected, greener and more vibrant” region.

It calls on the next UK Government to better support the region’s green growth, including boosting investment in green energy industries and public transport.

You can read edie’s full story here.


Published 14th March 2024