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A ground-breaking event bringing together business decision makers and product innovators from across the Isle of Wight and beyond was held at CECAMM in Whippingham on Thursday.

Smart Island Live proved very popular with those attending and it is hoped that the event will become an annual occurrence.

Based on the ideas of ‘Running a business is tough, being green is tougher’, there were some bold visions for the future with speakers tackling the problems of forward thinking with a green and sustainable approach to running a business.

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Ideas included topics such as sustainability that doesn’t cost the earth but reduces overheads and allows a business to grow in a smart way.

Visitors and stand holders were encouraged to promote green credentials thus attracting new customers plus reminding existing client bases that most Island businesses are working together to show how we can make the Isle of Wight a great and smart environment to live and work in.

Food waste is a hot topic at the moment with not only the costs of uneaten food being a problem, but the fact that this could produce, in a lot of cases, a great use of landfill sites. A digester is now available which can reduce the transportation of food and other organic waste. In the example given, transportation of food waste from a large market was reduced from 27 lorry loads to 1 with a digester in use at the market site.

Smart Island Live enabled visitors to take away practical ideas to help the efficiency and growth of their business. Delegates discovered day to day cost saving opportunities, learnt about the use of technology and were able to get advice from leading agencies or organisations delivering support for business.

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There was the opportunity to network with like-minded businesses and for those with stands or promotion displays to get their products in front of a like-minded targeted audience.

Green technology and sustainability has to be cost effective to be successful. Those attending could learn strategies to cut down the reliance on old technology and save money in the process.

Learning how cutting-edge technology will shape the Isle of Wight’s future economy was also available as a topic, making sure that individual businesses and workforces are ready to embrace a sustainable, high-tech future.

There was something for all visitors with displays from both local and mainland companies, informative guest speakers and Masterclasses on a number of related subjects.

Outside the building there were eco-friendly cars on show and water/cost saving ideas from Southern Water.

Report and photos by Alan and Suzanne Whitewood

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