Champion of the Week
Meet our Champion of the Week: Emma Knight-Strong, Sustainability Coach and Adviser trading as Green Arch Consulting
I am Emma Knight-Strong and I am a Sustainability Coach and Adviser, trading as Green Arch Consulting. I am a Chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and have over a decade’s experience in environmental and sustainability consulting, environmental service design, environmental assessment of projects and sustainability training and coaching.
I support businesses to embed environmental and social considerations into their business as usual, making them more resilient to a changing climate and changing public and investor opinions. This helps businesses to make sense of the rapid rise in environmental issues in the media and with investors, customers and clients, and the impact that this rise will have on income.
I provide a broad range of support, from developing a plastics and recycling plan to developing a pitch for attracting different investors. My approach focuses on supporting and upskilling my clients to develop a business-led, tailored approach to sustainability. This includes mapping out risks and opportunities to the business, as well as developing policies, processes and strategies for adapting to an increasingly environmentally conscious business environment.
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What are the main benefits of running a business in Chesterfield?
I relocated to Chesterfield at the beginning of 2019 and have fallen in love with the town. The local business community is a close knit one which provides really positive networking and relationship-building opportunities. I have found that everyone is really friendly which I do not take for granted as the networks in larger cities like London, Manchester and Edinburgh are far less accommodating!
I have clients all over the country and I can reach almost all of them in an easy train journey which is important to me as a sustainability professional. Additionally, the proximity to the Peak District and other amazing areas of green space mean that my health and wellbeing are also well looked after. Chesterfield is incredibly well connected and I’m proud to base my business here.
Which local business would you recommend and why?
Chesterfield Champion: Edge Events – I have attended a number of their events over the past year and enjoyed all of them. Their commitment to local suppliers and passion for the local area is something I really value.
Non-Chesterfield Champion: Coffee St Café – if you’re looking for a good place to have a meeting, work remotely or relax then Coffee St is definitely a place I’d recommend. They even stock tea by Chesterfield Champion Northern Tea Merchants!
How would you describe Chesterfield to a potential visitor?
It’s beautiful, has everything you could possibly need from a town, is well connected to green space in every direction, has a great sense of community and you can travel to it from just about anywhere in the UK with ease.
Which development do you think will most benefit the town?
The Chesterfield Waterside development will be really beneficial for the town because of the benefits to the canal. Also, town centre redevelopment including recent funding to benefit the outdoor market will make a big difference to keeping spending local. As a major train user I’m also really interested in making the train station more pedestrian and public transport friendly, as it’s currently very focused on car travel.
Which events are working well in Chesterfield and what kinds of events would you like to see in the future?
I really like the focus on local food and drink which seems to be working really well. Any of the town centre events have great attendance. I think looking in to scheduled ‘car free’ town centre Sundays as we are now seeing across the world would be a really great way to boost footfall in the town centre as people take advantage of a safer, car free zone.
What excites you most about the future of Chesterfield?
Given how well connected the town is, there is so much opportunity for Chesterfield as we see an increase in people who would previously commute to cities and towns being able to work (and therefore spend money) remotely.
Where in Chesterfield would you recommend for a lunchtime treat?
Sorbo Lounge, Odyssey or the Market Pub.
What can we change or develop further within Chesterfield’s town centre to help it thrive?
There is a lot of spending power in and around Chesterfield. Encouraging local, independent shops selling high quality goods, and making the town centre attractive and easy for people to travel to without having to get in the car, will ensure that the spending power is focused on the town.
How does working in Chesterfield differ from where you’ve worked before?
I have previously worked in Kent, Scotland and the North West. In Chesterfield:
- the community is small and well connected,
- the town itself is better connected to the rest of the UK than anywhere I have previously lived and worked,
- the quality of life is excellent and there is a lot of potential for exciting new developments.
What advice would you give to someone establishing a business or beginning work in Chesterfield?
Get out there and meet as many people as you can – everyone is really friendly and there is a lot of formal and informal support for businesses in Chesterfield.