A new innovation network is linking firms with sustainable technology products, explains Zainab Dangana
The government has made clear that its plans to rebuild the economy post-pandemic would include ‘building back greener’. With this came a £134m investment to keep the greenest, most innovative businesses thriving, to help others meet their environmental targets.
At Wates Sustainable Technology Services, we work with green technology startups and SMEs, and we’ve seen first-hand the impact they can have on our customers. So far, we’ve introduced more than 125 of them to our network of SME innovation partners, linking major businesses to new sustainable technology.
These eco tech businesses have always faced challenges in bringing their products to market. At Wates we try to bridge this gap. We can use our influence within construction, residential and property services to act as an ‘innovation broker’ between our customers and the sustainable technology marketplace.
“By providing the information as open source, we hope that more organisations and businesses will learn about the marketplace for green products”
It’s meant we’ve linked Wates customers such as a leading UK banking group with tech providers who can help reduce its carbon footprint across more than 1,300 buildings. We’ve identified 20 potential sustainable innovations which might help, with nine on trial at sites across the estate. One already in place is EndoTherm, an energy and gas saving central heating additive that is independently proven to save up to 15% on heating bills.
We are now connected to 42 tried-and-tested suppliers, and this number is growing all the time. We’re also seeing a major uptick in interest from our customers.
To connect more companies with our sustainable technology supplier portfolio, we’ve launched the Wates Innovation Network portal, a free-to-access online hub through which they can directly access a growing directory of approved companies.
What’s more, we’re no longer limiting our work to our customers. By providing the information as open source, we hope that more organisations and businesses will learn about the marketplace for green products. Any innovation on our portal will be subject to our technical screening panel, including more than 40 environmental experts from organisations such as the BRE Trust and AMD Environmental.
The Wates Innovation Network has a two-fold purpose: it provides a platform for new and emerging technologies, as well as a clear means for companies to source innovative products at a time and place that suits them.
Dr Zainab Dangana is sustainability technology services manager at Wates Group.