23 October 2019
Businesses, community groups and residents are being urged to come together at a ground-breaking event uniting the Humber region behind the critical fight against climate change.
The Waterline Summit will be the flagship event positioning the region at the forefront of the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
The first event of its kind in the region, The Waterline Summit will bring together businesses, campaigners, community groups, colleges and schools to showcase how the world’s greatest threat is also the Humber’s biggest opportunity.
Marketing Humber, the organisation that promotes the region on the national and international stage, is organising The Waterline Summit at the Bonus Arena in Hull on November 28.
The event will add to the growing momentum behind The Waterline campaign, launched by Marketing Humber and the University of Hull, which has brought partners together from the worlds of industry, academia and research and development to pioneer decarbonisation solutions.
The Waterline Summit will focus on the five “grand challenges” the world faces in tackling climate change – electricity and energy, agriculture, manufacturing and industry, transport, and buildings and people – and is open to everyone.
Staged with event partner Yorkshire Water, the summit is in two parts – a free-to-enter, interactive exhibition and a showpiece debate.
The Waterline Exhibition will see businesses, other organisations and community groups host a range of interactive stands and seminars sharing ideas and best practice that contribute to the end goal of a zero-carbon economy.
It will be followed immediately by The Waterline Debate, led by internationally-renowned climate change keynote speaker Dr Gabrielle Walker.
Dr Walker, who has advised governments and global humanitarian leaders, travelled the globe, and written and presented extensively about climate change, will share her knowledge on how the Humber can achieve a sustainable future.
Climate change is a major threat to the Humber as it is one of the coastal regions around the world officially listed as at high risk due to rising sea levels and increasing flood threat.
However, it is also the Humber’s biggest opportunity because the region can build on its strong industrial base and existing green credentials to act as a “living lab” where projects are developed and delivered to showcase how waterfront regions across the globe can work towards a clean growth future.
Marketing Humber Chair Andy Parkinson said: “The Waterline Summit will be the first large-scale event staged within the region focused on the gravest threat facing us all and the positive action that is being taken, and can be taken, to address it.
“The summit will rally support and commitment for the region’s opportunity to achieve a zero-carbon, water resilient economy.
“It will provide a unique opportunity for organisations to share their ideas and initiatives that are already making a difference or have the potential to have a significant impact on the climate change challenge.
“It will also heighten awareness and understanding among the community as a whole and spread the message far and wide. Visitors will be able to see and experience projects that are responding to the climate threat and find out how, collectively, they make the Humber globally relevant as a decarbonisation pioneer.
“The Humber is already making significant progress, but we want businesses, public bodies, community organisations, schools and colleges to come together and feel inspired to act with urgency. Everyone is welcome and everyone has a part to play!”
Mr Parkinson said Marketing Humber’s Bondholders business network was fully behind the The Waterline campaign, with the organisation’s Principal Partners leading the way, but he stressed The Waterline Summit was aimed at the whole community.
He added: “For example, we have dedicated two hours at The Waterline Exhibition to schools and colleges and their students, because we know young people are challenging older generations to take decisive action now to avoid a future climate catastrophe.
“We want to engage with the region’s young people and draw inspiration from their passion for the environment and climate action.”
More than 30 organisations will showcase projects and share ideas during The Waterline Exhibition, including holiday homes specialist Willerby, which has its 90-acre headquarters in Hull.
Willerby will bring its Innovation Zone to The Waterline Exhibition, showcasing concepts and solutions for meeting the challenges caused by environmental change, and will explore these further in a seminar.
Willerby has piloted rainwater harvesting, underfloor heating, solar power and smart boilers in specific models within its range of park and holiday homes.
Sue Allan, Group Finance Director at Willerby, said: “As part of our sustainability mission, we are constantly looking for innovations across our range. As a business, we have an ongoing commitment to encourage residents and holidaymakers to experience an eco-friendly way of life.”
Other exhibitors include OLIO, a mobile app which connects neighbours with each other and local businesses to ensure surplus food is shared, rather than thrown away.
OLIO’s talk and stand at the exhibition is entitled “Food for Thought: Can Sharing Save the World?” and will focus on making food waste management more sustainable and helping businesses operate a zero food waste policy.
Cara Bilson, OLIO’s Hull Market Coordinator, said: “So far, OLIO users have saved 2.5 million portions of food going into landfill, which is the equivalent to taking six million car miles off the road. We want to empower people and businesses to make an impact and provide an alternative to food waste.”
The Waterline campaign builds on the Humber’s established reputation as the UK’s Energy Estuary – a brand created by Marketing Humber and adopted by politicians, investors and decision-makers.
The vision supports the Humber Industrial Strategy, which is being developed by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and focuses on the region’s future as a leader in clean energy, and the Energy Estuary 2.0 initiative, led by the University of Hull, seeking to secure £36m of Government funding for low-carbon innovation.
The Waterline campaign and The Waterline Summit are supported by a powerful group of Marketing Humber Principal Partners made up of many of the region’s leading organisations. They are:
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