Over 100 businesses have now committed to taking steps to cut their emissions and help the West Midlands become net zero by 2041.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens, The National Lottery, Severn Trent Water, and Black Country-based manufacturer AVACE are among the latest cohort to sign the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Net Zero Business Pledge, joining some of the highest profile employers across the region.

Reducing carbon emissions from businesses will be key to achieving the #WM2041 target of being a net zero region within the next 20 years. A new dedicated website – www.wmnetzeropledge.org.uk – has gone live to coincide with World Environment Day (Monday 5 June) to make it even easier to make a pledge and find out what others are doing across the region.

Sara Blair-Manning, chief executive at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, said: “In our role as a West Midlands environmental educational charity, we're committed to meeting UK environmental legislation, promoting good environmental practice, and encouraging behavioural change to all who engage with the gardens.

“Signing up to the WM Net Zero Pledge offers an opportunity for us to be supported by an expert team and a chance to engage with a cohort of like-minded businesses and charities. We are delighted to have made the pledge."

The West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge is a partnership between the WMCA and Sustainability West Midlands (SWM) to provide businesses and other institutions with the practical support and guidance they need to begin or continue their journey to net zero. Steps businesses are taking include installing energy saving light bulbs, using cleaner manufacturing or building processes, switching to electric vehicles, looking at environment-friendly packaging and waste management options and encouraging their supply chains to take action.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “Our region has been described as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and therefore - as one of the earliest contributors to pollution on our precious planet - you could argue that this gives us a special duty to be at the forefront of the coming Green Industrial Revolution.

“To lead change at this scale, we need businesses of all sizes - and from all sectors - to commit to new ways of working. That’s why it’s great news that we’ve reached this milestone of 100 signatories to the net zero business pledge - an ideal complement to the WMCA’s own #WM2041 net zero commitment.

“I’m sure more firms will now be encouraged to follow suit - cutting costs, becoming more energy efficient and ultimately reducing their environmental impact on our region.” Anna Bright, chief executive at SWM, said: “We know how hard many businesses in the region are working to reduce their emissions and wider impact on the environment.

“By operating more sustainably, businesses can cut costs, build resilience, and gain competitive edge. Making their Net Zero Pledge is a means of getting free support on this journey, learning from other businesses, and gaining recognition for their efforts.”

As well as supporting businesses to cut their emissions through the Net Zero Business Pledge, the WMCA is also helping residents to contribute to the region's #WM2041 target by running free Carbon Literacy Training courses. Councillor Ian Courts, the WMCA’s portfolio holder for environment and energy, and leader of Solihull Council, said: “Transitioning to a new greener way of life is going to be vital if we are to meet our net zero ambition by 2041 and the WMCA is committed to doing all we can to help businesses and residents do that, through the Net Zero Business Pledge and free carbon training that is available to all.”

Sign up to the WM Net Zero Business Pledge at www.wmnetzeropledge.org.uk.