24 September 2015

Sustainability expert to drive forward city's low-carbon sector

A renowned expert on sustainability, and Director of CEES, has been chosen to help drive forward Sheffield’s low-carbon sector.

View of Sheffield city centre at dusk

Professor Lenny Koh from the Management School, a specialist on low-carbon supply chains, has been selected as one of three new Chairs of the 'Sustainability Partnership for business, innovation and skills' for the Sheffield City Region.

Professor Koh will work alongside Oliver Coppard, from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and Teresa Hitchcock, from law firm DLA Piper, as co-chairs to represent the education, public and private sectors.

A recent report by Oxford Economics found that over 9600 people are employed in the low carbon sector across the Sheffield City Region, and suggested that the sector will create over 1000 jobs in the region before 2021, adding over £80 million to the local economy.

The sector covers areas such as as low-emission vehicles, waste processing, low-carbon electricity and heat, low-carbon advisory and finance services and developing energy-efficiency products.

Professor Koh said: “We’re really thrilled to be taking on the challenge of driving this sector forward in Sheffield City Region. Given what is going on at a national and international level, the opportunity to develop a thriving, growing sector could not be bigger or more exciting.

“Over the coming weeks and months our priority will be to listen to as many voices as we can from across the region’s businesses, innovation hubs, local authorities and third sector organisations, so that we know exactly what our industry needs from the Sheffield City Region if we’re going to move forward.

“With the Northern Powerhouse and the devolution agenda moving forward so quickly, there is a real, once in a generation chance to get the support from government that our low carbon sector needs. There are some big challenges ahead, but with the right support we really can exploit our well-earned global reputation for excellence and innovation.”

The Partnership will continue feeding into the Sheffield City Region growth plan, through initiatives such as the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), run by Professor Koh. The Centre seeks to develop resource efficiency within the advanced materials and manufacturing, energy, agricultural technology and food, healthcare and transport industries.

Over the coming months, the new Chairs of the Partnership have also committed to a ‘leadership and learning’ model, engaging with the wider low carbon sector through a series of events and meetings across the region.

The first outing for the new look group will be at the launch of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre’s (AREC) SCEnAT+ tool in London on the 24 September 2015 sponsored by Microsoft.

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