A MAJOR business event dealing with sustainability and climate change is set to go ahead despite the coronavirus.

The fifth Big Sustainability Expo is set for Tuesday, October 6, after organisers put in place a Covid-19 safety programme which they say is a model for the events industry.

Organised by the Poole-based Southern Sustainability Partnership, the event will take place at the Hilton Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Co-organiser Lynda Daniels said: “We’re two women of a certain age and if you think a measly pandemic is going to stand in our way, you’ve got another thing coming.

“It’s hard work to put on something like this and to walk away from it, we just felt for us it wasn’t an option.”

The event will include up to 100 exhibition stands, workshops, and many suppliers not found at any other exhibition, the organisers say.

It will deal in such subjects as sustainability, energy, facilities management, waste management, recycling and technology.

New additions include a “case study forum”, which offers a chance to listen experts sharing details of successful projects.

And this year will see the Hampshire Business Leaders Climate Summit take place simultaneously with the expo.

Sponsored by Southampton City Council, it will address some of the challenges facing private and public sector organisations. It will consider issues such as how safe supply chains are from climate change, the challenges faced by local authorities, and how large organisations can convince small and medium sized enterprises of the benefits of considering climate change.

“With all the work we do, we understand climate change is having an effect already and will continue to have an effect on business – maybe not as much in the UK as in other countries yet, however that can have an effect on the supply chain for UK businesses,” said Lynda Daniels.

“We want to encourage SMEs to be in that audience. There are a lot of SMEs that don’t feel this is something they need to concern themselves with. There are so many reasons they need to get on board with this. There are huge savings to be made for SMEs.”

Measures being taken to keep this year’s expo Covid-secure include a thermal imaging temperature check on visitors, the collection of data for track and trace purposes and an isolation space for anyone with symptoms.

In case circumstances change, there is a reserve date of March 26 next year.

Details are at southernsustainability.co.uk/projects/big-sustainability-expo/