Who are you?
Līga Bieziņa is the Environmental Communication Specialist at the Branding and Public Relations Department of Valmiera City Council. Līga’s role is to raise awareness and drive sustainable actions against climate change for a wide range of stakeholders in Valmiera.
Līga became involved with the Pioneers into Practice programme when she learnt that it involved people from many different skills and backgrounds coming together to tackle climate change. She felt that a group project with Pioneers could help develop a strong message about living and working more sustainably.
What did you do?
Valmiera City Council has an environmental declaration but Līga realised that the Council had not previously tackled sustainability through entrepreneurship. She also realised that small and medium-sized businesses did not know how to easily access environmental advice. Līga set the Pioneers a group challenge of how these businesses could access advice to create environmental actions.
The group researched what companies understood about the environment, including environmental investment and quickly realised that companies were confused on what advice applied to their work and how they could implement improvements. The group developed six potential solutions and after evaluating these options with Līga, the group then focussed on creating a toolbox for businesses to understand environmental sustainability, with criteria for different sectors to evaluate performance and help create tailored sustainable advice.
This was my first time working with PiP and I could see how they were driven to create change. I was very impressed by how detailed the group analysed the problems faced by companies.
What did you learn?
Līga was very impressed with the group project’s work which went beyond her original expectations. She felt the group went deeper into the research and analysis, and even included financial implications for each option. She felt the group clearly understood the needs of the Council and produced actions that would benefit it. She enjoyed working with the team as it brought diverse skills and experience, but were all working towards tackling climate change.
What happens next?
The City Council, together with the Valmiera Development Agency runs an annual award for entrepreneurs showing high levels of innovation and business performance. In 2019, the award will launch a sustainability category which will showcase the most environmental entrepreneurs. The toolbox will be used to evaluate the entrepreneurs for the award and select the highest performing.
Valmiera City Council and the Valmiera Development Agency are planning to start a range of workshops and information sharing on environmental actions based on the group’s work. Līga is hoping that the co-operation with the Pioneers into Practice programme, Climate-KIC and Valmiera continues into the future and can build on its impact to tackle climate change.