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Eddie Black Managing Director of Eco Group in the boardroom at the firms HQ in Annan Dumfries and Galloway 768x511

Businesses urged to seize the net zero opportunity

CUMBRIAN businesses investing in net zero technology and practice will be at the forefront of unprecedented opportunities for growth.

That’s the message from entrepreneur Eddie Black who says the net zero industrial revolution offers businesses the chance to make a positive impact on the planet while future-proofing their own organisations.

Speaking during UK’s first ever Hydrogen Week (February 13 to 19), Eddie, who is Managing Director of Annan-based solutions business Eco Group, believes organisations which commit to reducing their carbon footprint will reap the benefits both now and in years to come.

Eddie’s own business is pioneering world-leading net zero technology with the launch of a hydrogen separation system at its HQ in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, this summer.

Eco’s collaboration with climate tech company Levidian will see the first remote deployment of the LOOP technology in the UK, producing hydrogen on site for use in R&D projects across a variety of sectors.

“As a clean, low carbon energy source, hydrogen will play a crucial role in the UK’s transition to net zero,” he said.

“As a business we have been following the development of this technology for several years and our collaboration with Levidian offers a practical, decentralised energy solution for businesses and industry.

“With the increasing pressures of rising costs, supply chain issues and a challenging labour market, the thought of adding net zero to your to-do list can seem overwhelming but it is essential to future-proofing your business.

“The question businesses should be asking themselves is not whether they should implement a net zero strategy but whether they can afford not to. Actively demonstrating your commitment to reducing your carbon footprint will help retain staff and clients, win new customers and contracts, and attract talent to your organisation.

“By seeing net zero as an opportunity rather than a challenge, you can make a positive impact both on the planet and your own business value.

“It’s not just good business sense, it’s a chance to do business for good and with purpose.”

Eddie’s comments follow the publication last month of the Mission Zero report by former energy minister MP Chris Skidmore. Commissioned by the UK Government last year, it is based on more than 1,800 responses from business and climate experts, making it one of the largest engagement exercises on net zero in the UK.

The report stated that net zero was the economic opportunity of the 21st century and included recommendations to back businesses in net zero transition.

The UK Government has also announced that it will be creating a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which will focus on security of energy supply, ensuring properly functioning markets, greater energy efficiency and seizing the opportunities of net zero to lead the world in new green industries.

Eddie said making the transition to net zero easy, accessible and affordable for businesses was essential to ensuring a sustainable future.

“SMEs are the main drivers of job creation, innovation and growth in the UK economy and they have the potential to be the catalyst to achieving the UK Government’s net zero target by 2050 (2045 in Scotland),” he said.

“We know that policies and regulations need to change to make net zero adoption easier for SMEs and we’re meeting regularly with representatives from Government and local authorities to push for change across a range of sectors and areas.”

Multi-disciplined solutions business, Eco Group, supports businesses and organisations across the UK on their net zero journey through its EcoGoZero range of carbon mitigation solutions which includes EV charging stations, off-grid lighting and energy decentralisation.

The Levidian LOOP10 system with fully integrated hydrogen separation which is due to be deployed at Eco’s HQ uses a patented low temperature, low pressure process to crack methane into its constituent atoms, hydrogen and carbon, without the need for catalysts or additives – decarbonising methane-rich gas to deliver hydrogen and graphene on site.

Following the initial deployment of the LOOP10, Eco will work with clients and partners to deploy larger LOOP units, creating decentralised hydrogen hubs. A single LOOP1000 reduces CO2 equivalent (CO2e) by approximately 2,400 tonnes per year. The project is being backed by business and community development agency, South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE).

Eddie said: “The ultimate objective is to develop hydrogen hubs which will enable businesses and industry to reduce their carbon footprint through self-producing hydrogen for their own use, which supports the decarbonisation of our economy.

“By working on a model of decentralised hydrogen hubs, it accelerates the transition to net zero because businesses do not have to rely on the delivery of a national hydrogen pipeline network.

“In order to reach net zero targets, we need to challenge conventional thinking and think outside the box. The fact is that everyone can make a difference and, through sharing knowledge and collaborating with each other, businesses can be a force for real and lasting change.”

Hydrogen Week brings together stakeholders across the UK to celebrate and promote the role of hydrogen in reaching net zero. For more information visit