DYNAMO, the region’s tech network, has increased its focus on sustainability.

A recent conference run in co-operation with Amazon Web Services (AWS); the appointment of a new Innovation Manager for sustainability and two workshops are part of a sustainability drive by Dynamo.

The first of two sustainability workshops was held recently at Thoughtworks’ new office in Grey Street. The second is at the same venue on Tuesday, December 13.

The workshops are aimed at helping regional tech organisations formulate sustainability strategies. The first aimed to increase attendees’ sustainability language and awareness, put the subject into context, look at commercial and economic impacts and carbon reporting.

The second workshop will look at how to integrate sustainability into organisational strategies and explore some real-life case studies.

Katrina Appleyard, Dynamo’s new Innovation Manager for sustainability, is running the workshops, which are free.

“My role is to help realise the potential of organisations in adopting a more sustainable approach. I want to look at the practical applications for individual businesses as well as what we all can do as a sector, and the workshops will help with these aims,” she said.

An Australian, Katrina runs her own sustainability consultancy, Appleshed Consulting. In her new part-time role, Katrina can offer Dynamo members and north east SMEs up to 12 hours of support to innovate towards their sustainability strategies and plans.

“I’m an Australian farmer’s daughter with a mother who was always interested in green issues so sustainability and the environment were always part of our conversations at home.

“Add this to more than 30 years of experience in business around the world and my focus in this area makes sense,” she said.

Katrina had been looking at the Benefits Corporation (B Corp) accreditation map for the UK, and saw there appeared to be very little sustainability activity or focus north of Leeds or south of Edinburgh.

“I realised there was a gap, possibly in knowledge and awareness of the issues, however, also possibly in my knowing where to begin. A conversation with Dynamo showed that we share the same goals and want to positively contribute to improve the situation.

“Digital is key – if we want to change the large societal and business systems we operate in then we need to start with the right data and information.

“Tech solutions allow us to gather very large amounts of data, run scenarios and consider different ways of moving forward, becoming more efficient, operating in a different way. Technology is fundamental to engineering and designing our sustainable future and the opportunity with Dynamo will help explore that impact even more,” Katrina explained.

As part of her new role Katrina was a panel member at the two-day Digital Innovation’s role in Sustainability conference at The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in late September.

“The conference was a success and AWS worked with Dynamo and attendees to explore areas such as ways to use a digital-first approach, become operationally more sustainable and efficient, how to create leaner supply chains and build sustainable, future-proof businesses,” said Katrina.

“The workshops are the next step and are open to everyone, particularly those in senior roles who are looking at sustainability in their own organisations. There’ll be a commercial focus to the workshops – it’s important that organisations appreciate that sustainability efficiencies can save money. So we’ll be looking at every part of businesses and organisations, including supply chains.

To sign up to the remaining workshop, go to the events section of the Dynamo website – www.dynamonortheast.co.uk

Dynamo North East is a business-led organisation with the core mission of ‘Growing the north east tech economy through collaboration, innovation, skills and noise.’ With more than 160 members, it is made up of IT organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry.

Dynamo is part funded by the ERDF as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project 2021-23, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork.

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