Popular workspace and digital community hub, Electric Works, hosted 200 delegates for the launch of Sheffield Sustainability Network. The packed event, which took place on Thursday 27 February, sought to connect, inspire and inform Sheffield organisations wanting to adopt and evolve sustainable practices.

Sheffield Sustainability Network is on a mission to support organisations to become more sustainable. Following a surge in popularity, the launch-event was moved last minute from the previously booked Arup Offices, to the spacious Electric Works conference room and break-out space. The new venue was able to accommodate the large numbers of delegates representing businesses, charities, local authority partners and stakeholders from across the city.

Sheffield Sustainability Network co-hosted the event with Sheffield Business Together; delivering a series of talks and facilitated working groups around the topics of business, resilience, competition and sustainability in a rapidly changing world. The aim? To build a proactive network of pioneering people and resources that will work together to help make Sheffield a zero-carbon city.

We caught up with Sheffield Sustainability Network Co-Founder, Efua Uiterwijk to learn more about the event and next steps for the network, Efua said: “It was incredible to see so many people at the launch. There was a real buzz, lots of excitement and engagement and a lot of people willing to make this work. Perhaps the best part of the event was that it demonstrated that there is a real appetite for change in Sheffield. Businesses, third sector and public sector partners want to understand how Sheffield can be more sustainable; and people are prepared to work together to make it happen. The next step for us is to galvanise these commitments and convert them into real action!”

Sheffield Sustainability Network was founded by three local business people; Rob Cole, Founder of  Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens, Efua Uiterwijk, a Sustainability Consultant for thinkstep and Sheffield-based artisan furniture maker, Finbarr Lucas.  The trio began meeting regularly to exchange ideas on more sustainable ways of working and realised early on the value in building a network of like-minded organisations from across the city. 

The success of the launch and the appetite for change is evident from the #ssnlaunch Twitter chat that ensued. It’s clear that the Sustainable Sheffield Network and its mission has piqued the interest of a wide variety of players across the city. 

Creative Space Management, Managing Director, Toby Hyam said: “We were very happy to support the Sheffield Sustainability team to launch their network and would encourage people to learn more by joining the network. The Electric Works team did a fantastic job hosting at short notice and it’s always a pleasure for the team to invite new people into the workspace. We look forward to the network evolving and are keen to play our part in a sustainable Sheffield.”