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We chat to Aisha Stewart about Net Zero for business

We’re looking forward to welcoming Aisha Stewart, Net Zero Business Advisor at Business West to our next meetup event on Thursday 20th April.

Aisha’s talk is titled; Future proofing your business for net zero

More businesses are committing to take action to reduce their carbon emissions for all sorts of reasons. They may be feeling pressure from clients trying to understand and decarbonise their supply chain, from the public or simply understand that this is the right thing to do.

In this talk, Aisha will:

  • Break down the three different scopes under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol;
  • Explain where companies are starting to make progress on their decarbonisation journey;
  • Discuss how increased GHG emission reporting for companies externally and as part of a supply chain, has made carbon emission reductions a key way to remain competitive in a net zero future.

Aisha is a self-proclaimed Bristolian originally from the city of Brampton in Canada. In 2022, she joined Business West as their Net Zero Business Advisor, supporting SMEs across the South West on their decarbonisation journey.

Outside of work, she sits on the Board of Directors for Bristol Energy Network, an umbrella organisation for community groups and individuals with an interest in energy. You may occasionally find her exploring all the bakeries and restaurants Bristol has to offer or endlessly scrolling looking at cat memes!

Aisha was kind to give us a quick interview ahead of her talk.

How did you become interested in climate change and sustainability?

This is probably a bit cliché but watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth at the age of 13 kickstarted my interest in climate change and sustainability. The film really ignited something in me that really wanted to take action to tackle climate change and make a difference. I then joined my school’s recycling club and never looked back! In high school, I joined an environmental club for students at high schools across the region and feeling that collective drive to take action with other students my age encouraged me to pursue a role in the sustainability field as my career. 

Can you tell us more about your role at Business West?

My role at Business West is Net Zero Business Advisor. I develop and deliver workshops for businesses that are interesting in starting their carbon reduction journey or looking for some support to help them along. Alongside the workshops, I provide 1-to-1 support to businesses to provide more tailored advice and guidance to understand steps they can take to reduce their carbon emissions. 

What happens at your Aiming For Net Zero workshops?

As part of our net zero support I deliver our Aiming for Net Zero workshops, which provide businesses with the foundational knowledge to understand how climate change could impact their business, how to build their carbon footprint, and what steps they can take to reduce their carbon emissions.

What do you think has been behind the growing appetite for businesses to seek out help with getting to Net Zero?  

I think a lot of that growing appetite is largely being driven by the businesses that they supply to or service. Increasingly we’re seeing more larger corporations develop net zero targets that include significant reductions for their scope 3 emissions and are looking at their suppliers to ensure that they align with their sustainability ambitions. As a result, when bidding for new work, more companies are being asked for carbon reduction plans or indicate what actions they are taking to reduce their carbon reductions.

Additionally, more people want to work for organisations that align with their personal values. So, we’re hearing from businesses that people are going into interviews asking questions about what the company is doing to reduce its impact and what sustainability ambitions they have in place.

What are your hopes for the next few years for Bristol’s businesses and the city’s drive towards Net Zero?

I think it’s a really exciting time in Bristol, particularly with the launch of Bristol City Leap! With a net zero by 2030 target, I’m hoping that we can continue to engage and work with businesses within the region to accelerate decarbonisation. I think businesses are slowly beginning to realise the potential implications on their business if they don’t begin to take action and I can only hope this continues.

Thanks Aisha for the chat!

Please do join us either online or in-person at the Engine Shed (6-8pm on Thursday 20th April) – RSVP here