Taste of the West, the UK’s largest independent regional food group, is the latest organisation to get behind NatWest and Newsquest’s recently launched climate campaign.

The Make A Pledge climate drive aims to get 1,000 businesses in the South West to make at least one commitment to reduce their carbon footprint. In the first week alone over 120 businesses signed-up by making their pledge.

For thirty years Taste of the West has championed food and drink producers from the West Country. Formed in 1991 the Exeter headquartered organisation represents over 1,000 food and drink businesses in the region. It is throwing its support behind the campaign by encouraging its members to make a climate pledge.

John Sheaves, CEO of Taste of the Waste, said: “The South West is a UK-leader for world class food and drink and much of this success is built upon the strong ethical standards of the businesses and industry innovators based here.

“Many have already taken huge steps to reduce their carbon footprints by adopting more sustainable practices, which have positively influenced other regions of the UK.

“This campaign is an important opportunity to build upon the foundations already laid by these businesses. We hope as many members as possible get behind it and make their pledges.”

Paul Edwards, Chair of the NatWest South West Board, said: “The South West’s food and drinks industry is a key part of the region’s economy. It has an excellent track record of innovation in sustainability and we hope that by working with Taste of the West we can help these businesses even more. The urgency for action has never been greater than today, which is why this campaign is so important.”

Tracy Hayden, a director of advertising at Newsquest, said: “We’re delighted to welcome on board Taste of the West as our latest supporters of the climate campaign. This is such an incredible organisation to have supporting the drive to get businesses to make a climate pledge and we appreciate the efforts of John and their members.”

To make your pledge email your company name and pledge number (1-10) to climate.pledge@localiq.co.uk.

The 10 pledges in detail:

1 – Measure and Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The first step for any company is to measure its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. You can use an online carbon footprint calculator for this. The Carbon Trust has a great one for SMEs. You can then look at ways to reduce your emissions.

2 – Reduce Energy Consumption

Turning off the lights in the office in the evening, slightly lowering the heating or the air conditioning or taking devices off the plugs when it’s not needed are some good actions companies can implement. It can also save you money which is great news too!

3 – Give Renewable Energies a go

Fossil fuels have a major impact on green house gasses, but moving to renewable energy suppliers who source and use 100% renewable energies means you can reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save money too.

4 – Reduce office waste

Avoiding disposable cups, stirrers, and capsules for the coffee machine and using kitchen crockery instead; reducing the number of prints, reusing papers as drafts, sorting waste for recycling correctly; and repairing and recycling equipment all plays a massive role in helping the environment.

5 – Help your staff go greener with their travel

By encouraging employees to take public transport, to carpool with other colleagues living close-by, or by giving them discounts on public transportation can significantly reduce their indirect CO2 emissions and therefore their impact on climate change.

6 – Choose Greener Infrastructures and Equipment

Choosing more environment-friendly infrastructures and equipment makes a huge difference. Switching a car fleet to electric vehicles doesn’t just help the environment, it can be cost-effective too. Inside your office, when it comes to buying new printers, air conditioners, laptops, screens, bulbs or office materials, make sure you recycle the old ones and choose the most efficient and sustainable new ones.

7 – Choose Sustainable Suppliers

Look at your supply chain and try and work with those who are making an effort to follow your lead with good environmental practices. If you’re a bigger company looking to achieve B Corp status this is even more important because you’ll be measured against who you work with.

8 – Contribute to climate action in society

Your employees and clients can take leading role too. Here education is key. Raising awareness of sustainability and the actions will all need to take is a powerful way of positively influencing this people.

9 – Promote Environmentally Friendly Ways of Working

Remote working and video conferencing are great as you can leave the car. The amount of paper we use also has a strong environmental impact, as do computers and the Internet because of servers. Did you know you can save a lot of CO2 emissions by cutting down on the number of people you copy in an email?

10 – Sign-up to the UK Government’s Together for our Planet Campaign

Supported by NatWest, the Government’s campaign is running in the lead-up to COP26 in November. As well as making a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions, businesses get a tool kit of support to help their reach that goal. You can find out more information and sign-up at smeclimatehub.org/uk