Farming technology company, the Small Robot Company, was celebrated at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow. The company was commended in the Heroes of Net Zero competition in a special awards ceremony hosted by Intuit.
The Wiltshire based firm, which specialises in robotics and AI, was awarded in the small business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including sourcing materials from sustainable suppliers, creating products and packaging with recycled materials and powering their robots and laptops using recycled batteries and solar power.
Ben Scott-Robinson, CEO and co-founder at Small Robot Company, said: “Our company is on a mission to help farmers feed the world while regenerating the planet. Creating a sustainable future for agriculture also means creating a sustainable path towards it.
“We are on cloud nine to be attending COP26 as finalists. For us, net zero is one of the biggest challenges facing the planet today. It is an honour to be amongst innovative businesses looking to go green and reduce their impact.”
According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy data, agriculture, forestry and fishing are responsible for 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Small Robot Company won over the judges for their ambitions to create sustainable agriculture and for highlighting how small actions can make big differences when it comes to cutting emissions.
The business has created a new model for regenerative and profitable farming called Per Plant Farming using robotics and AI. The new model provides intelligence for farmers on the condition of every plant in a field.
The Heroes of Net Zero competition is part of the government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The competition was supported by BT, SSE and NatWest Group, who contributed a prize package worth £4,500 for the winners in the small business category, camera rental company VMI.TV, of Acton, in London and St George, in Bristol.
The panel of expert judges included the government’s Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith. He presented Small Robot Company and other Heroes of Net Zero finalists with awards and celebrated their green achievements at COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus.
UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said: “I am delighted to be celebrating The Heroes of Net Zero today at our special COP26 event. Representing a diverse range of industries and locations, the finalists spotlight the actions that UK businesses of any size can take to cut their own emissions and help us build back better.”
Chris Leahy, global corporate affairs leader at Intuit QuickBooks said: “UK small businesses will continue to play a critical role in building a more climate-positive future and we are proud to have sponsored these awards to showcase the winners’ great achievements. We will continue to work closely with SMEs, to support them as they commit to carbon reduction through our partnership with Together for Our Planet.”
Gabrielle Ginér, head of environmental sustainability at BT said: “I am very pleased to see that so many small businesses have signed up to net zero targets. The winners showcased innovative and inspiring ways of reducing their impact on the climate and environment. I hope they will serve as exemplars for many more small businesses to take climate action.”
Nikki Flanders, managing director of Energy Customer Solutions at SSE said: “The Heroes of Net Zero competition has been a great opportunity to celebrate success and inspire businesses across the UK to take action. We’re excited to work with winners Design Abled and VMI.TV, helping them to further accelerate their journeys to net zero with our Energy Manager consultancy.”
James Close, head of climate at NatWest Group said: “It is inspiring to see small and medium-size enterprises doing so much to commit to a net zero future. Not only is it good for their businesses, but it’s also good for their customers and the planet and sets a great example to others.”