The Carbon Column – Reflecting on The Big Zero Show

In this post I reflect on The Big Zero Show and discuss three key points I took away from the event.

Big Zero Report 2023

The Big Zero Show was a huge success.

The rail strikes did not deter people from attending. More than 700 industry and business leaders joined us at CBS Arena to discuss net zero.

We had 30+ speakers sharing what they are doing to help themselves and their supply chain reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There were pathway to net zero talks, big zero lectures and net zero hero sessions. A wide range of sessions for everyone to get involved in. We also had a whole host of exhibitors engaging in more meaningful one to one conversations with delegates.

It was amazing to be part of such a great event with clear commitment and dedication.


I was part of the net zero hero sessions and I wanted to share a few points I took away from The Big Zero Show.

  1. Businesses are more committed than ever. Everyone I spoke to was determined to make net zero a reality for their business. Not only that, but they were also committed to making net zero possible for their supply chain. It was interesting talking to large suppliers upstream talking about how they want to bring their customers and suppliers along with them.

This leads nicely onto my next point.

  1. Businesses want to do this together. We know businesses typically want to be ‘better’ or ‘cheaper’ or ‘smarter’ or whatever adjective a business wants to use to compare themselves to their competitors.

However, the conversations I was having showed a more vulnerable side to businesses. People were open and honest about their positions. They were happy to share what they are doing and they were happy to show their imperfections too.

I saw that businesses are happy to ask for help. They want to learn more, they are curious. They know they can’t do this by themselves.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

We need to go far with this, we need to work together to achieve net zero.

  1. Businesses are getting into the detail of their supply chains. Most of the conversations I had were around scope 3 reporting. Discussing how businesses can measure the use of sold products or wanting to understand the emissions of their management services or wanting to know how to improve engagement across their upstream and downstream supply chain.

I even had conversations about differences with supplier specific approaches and environmentally extended input-output analysis, what data and databases are required and the specific calculations. These are the types of conversations that show commitment beyond lip service.

I can’t take these few conversations as a view of the rest of the UK. But it does shows promise. It shows businesses will do what it takes and take the responsibility to deliver. We need everyone to play their role.

This was the inaugural Big Zero Show. It won’t be the last. We are already excited to be working on next year’s show, which will be even bigger, so there will be more to see in 23!

If you have any thoughts on the show or want to discuss any net zero topic, please get in touch.

Make sure you check out the latest Net Hero Podcast episode: