The 3 most important lessons learnt in 2020

- Blog

2020 has been such a challenging year on multiple fronts and it has truly tested us. As we approach the Christmas season and the end of an extraordinarily difficult year, we want to reflect on some of the positive stories that brought our Partners together and collectively made the group stronger. Thank you Tesco, NatWest, Nottingham City Council, Unite Students, Greene King, University of Birmingham and more, for continuing to inspire, lead and collaborate. 

Our Partners’ rapid Covid-19 response was a true testament to the #PowerofMany 

It is the Partners’ collaborative approach to addressing common challenges that is at the heart of the Innovation Gateway. To fully support our Partners’ COVID-19 plans, we dedicated a special sourcing round for innovations that can lessen the impact of this global pandemic and they decided to make public the best practices and solutions that emerged, to ensure that we are truly able to leverage the ‘Power of Many’ for all to benefit.  

The insights, best practices and innovative building solutions to tackle COVID-19 can be found here.

Despite challenging times, our Partners’ continue to build resilience and stay innovative

Like many organisations in the UK, our Partners experienced significant disruption to their business-as-usual operations. The key to their rapid recovery was not losing sight of the bigger picture (2030 climate goals) and understanding that innovation in challenging times is more vital than ever. 

And, there is no slowing down as we head into 2021. We are forging close relationships with accelerators and VCs that focus on underrepresented groups in start-ups, from minority ethnicities to LGBT+ and women. Read our pledge here

2020 has been a year of zoom-learning and sharing knowledge, best practises and experience for our Partners  

Water Consumption: As part of a wider collaboration programme, we held a Water Working Group for our Partners to encourage collaboration on challenges associated with water; as well as to help find innovative solutions for our Partners’ estates. Read highlights from the Leaks and Legionella session.

Since the first water working group session in July, the Partners have had discussions with Carrieann O’Connell from Everything Water on their innovative water saving devices solutions, including their volumisers, showers, taps and flushers.   

Electric Vehicles: Interest in sustainable mobility and electric vehicles is on the rise, particularly given recent commitments to the EV100 initiative and challenging carbon neutral targets. To support the Partners in deploying both public and private electric vehicle networks, we have started an EV working group, with topics covered so far including EV chargers and vehicle-to-grid.  

The last session on vehicle-to-grid with guest speaker Vincent de Rul from EDF held interesting and engaging discussions with the Partners; as well as exciting news from Tesco that they had committed to EV100 with a target of transitioning their fleet to electric by 2028 and Nottingham City Council launching an Electric Van Experience to drive greener vehicle adoptions

To kick-off the New Year, the next virtual session will be focused on EV infrastructure on Tuesday 12th January. 

Net Zero: As organisations begin to publish their Net Zero pathways, we held our first net zero working group session with the Partners on the 10th December, with guest speakers Martin Gettings (Canary Wharf Group) and Lea Fink (CDP and SBTi). This session included interesting discussions on science-based targets, as well as energy efficiency within buildings during the pandemic.  

In the roundtable discussion, the working group celebrated with NatWest in their achievement of being the first group to sign up to the three climate commitments RE100, EV100 and EP100. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed what you have seen from us in 2020 and look forward to sharing more of what’s in store for 2021. If you would like to be involved in or find out more about the Innovation Gateway Partnership, please get in touch. 

Best wishes for the end of 2020!