STEAMhouse – the innovation centre at the heart of Birmingham’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) community – is powering the conversation towards a sustainable future and championing change within the region, starting with SMEs.

With growing pressure on businesses to achieve circular economy goals from customers, shareholders and society,responsibility no longer sits exclusively on larger corporations, change within smaller businesses is just as fundamental.

Following a forward-thinking event hosted by STEAMhouse last week – discussing what needs to be done in the region to reach a circular economy in the next century – Vita Woods, Innovation Manager and Sustainability Lead at STEAMhouse shares her thoughts:

“Whilst everyone has a part to play in the bigger picture of sustainability, the power of SMEs is often overlooked. In the West Midlands alone, SMEs account for 99.5% of businesses and we believe they can deliver real change towards a more sustainable future.

“Smaller organisational structures can provide more opportunities for flexibility and autonomy, making it is easier for buisnesses and individuals to quickly adapt to changing demands or experiment with innovative solutions. Despite a gradual shift in dialogue from “why do we need sustainability?” to “how do we do sustainability?” over the last few years, bigger organisations can be slower to implement ‘needle-moving’ actions.

“A genuine commitment towards sustainability requires a fundamental shift in how individuals think and make decisions, as well as the support systems that are in place to enable change. To integrate sustainability into the fabric of a business, it needs to be viewed as much more than an obligation or a simple tick box. It needs to be embedded into the core strategies, operations, and culture, with initiatives and everyday actions that go beyond targets and instead make a real difference.

“At STEAMhouse, we drive growth and change through collaborative innovation. We understand that implementing sustainability practices into businesses is a process that often comes with complex questions, uncertainty, and risk, but support is available. We’re lucky to have so many amazing organisations in the region – including Business Growth West Midlands and Sustainability West Midlands – who can signpost relevant programmes to help accelerate sustainability goals.”

For more information about STEAMhouse and the support they can offer to help achieve a more sustainable and prosperous future, visit the STEAMhouse website.