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Medway hosts green conference

Date: 02/01/2008           Category: Waste and Recycling

Businesses can learn how to save money while benefiting the environment at a conference being held in Gillingham next month. More than 250 businesses from across the south east, London and Essex are expected to attend the Buying Greener in the South East event – subtitled Purchasing with the planet in mind - on Wednesday, 6 February. Now in its fourth year, this will be the first time the conference has been held in Medway, and demand for places is expected to be high. Medway Council Sustainable Communities Officer John Ronan, who is working with Remade South East and Business Link Kent to host the conference at Priestfields Stadium, Gillingham, said he hoped as many as 40 local businesses would take advantage of the free event. “This is not just about doing your bit for the environment but about cutting costs,” he explained. “With sessions on topics including the use of biofuel, businesses can learn how to reduce energy costs and save money as well as playing their part in protecting the environment.” The Buying Greener event showcases the growing number of businesses offering more sustainable products and encourages the development of new markets for recycled products and materials in industry and manufacturing. Cllr Mrs Jane Chitty, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, said the conference gave businesses a chance to keep up to date with the latest 'green' developments. "Although firms across Medway are keen to do their bit, becoming more sustainable is not easy for local businesses. This is a way to share experience, find out about the latest thinking and take advantage of new initiatives." Kings Ferry will be running a shuttle bus service from the Dockside Outlet Centre to Priestfields Stadium. With Kings Ferry now running their bus fleet on biofuel, the journey could be a useful introduction to the conference sessions. They include a session on using biofuels as well as workshops on packaging and plastic, ‘carbon jargon’, sustainable regeneration and buying green products. Keynote speaker will be Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for the south east, while Graham Randles from London Remade will present a national overview on sustainable procurement designed to explain “why buying greener is the smart choice”. The Environment Agency’s Alan Cansdale will outline some of the current and future legislation designed to help businesses and understand – and meet – their environmental responsibilities. “This is a vital event where local businesses can learn all about the latest environmental issues,” explained Mr Ronan. “Last year’s conference in Ashford attracted 160-plus people. We are confident that this year’s will attract 250.” In keeping with the green theme, printed invitations will be abandoned in favour of an online booking process. For more details, or to book online, follow the links from http://www.remade-southeast.co.uk/remade%5F06/events/events.asp