News release from: 20/10/2023
Green Grants for Cambridgeshire businesses
South Cambridgeshire District Council has teamed up with partners to launch an exciting 18-month project to help local businesses go green.
The partnership project aims to support local businesses reduce their carbon footprint, adopt more sustainable practices and reduce energy costs.
Business charity Allia is managing the new programme to help small to medium businesses across Cambridgeshire work towards Net Zero.
The programme has been created by South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge City Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Growth Hub and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and is funded by the UK Government through the Shared Prosperity Fund.
The 18-month programme aims to support 223 small to medium businesses based in Cambridge, Huntingdon and South Cambridgeshire and will also deliver grant funding of up to £5,000 to 75 of these businesses to help them implement energy efficiency-related improvements.
Cllr Peter McDonald, Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We are excited for this opportunity to be able to support local businesses on their journey to becoming Net Zero. This project demonstrates that businesses play a key part in achieving Net Zero objectives and how we can work collaboratively in working towards reducing climate change.”
Allia and PECT will work with the councils and the Growth Hub to deliver the programme.
Allia will be responsible for managing the grant aspect of the programme, overseeing the distribution of capital grants, helping eligible businesses secure funding for carbon-reducing technology, equipment, or sustainable enhancements.
PECT a sustainability charity based in Peterborough, is responsible for the technical elements of the programme, providing expertise and guidance on sustainability practices to help businesses develop their own net zero roadmap.
Experts in sustainability will help organisations understand how to embed sustainability into business operations and integrate climate change into decision making, through working with them to create a bespoke five-year Net Zero Roadmap.
A Net Zero Roadmap (NZR) is a strategic plan that outlines the steps and actions businesses need to take to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions. The roadmap will be tailored specifically to each business, considering individual circumstances, challenges, and goals. It will also provide a clear path to reducing their carbon footprint, improving energy efficiency, and embracing sustainable practices, all while aligning with a business’s objectives. Importantly, developing a NZR delivers real commercial benefits for each company that take part – in addition to reducing energy costs, it helps to meet customer and staff expectations on sustainability standards and meet quality requirements set by stakeholders and investors.
Andrew Brisbin, Director of Ventures at Allia Impact, said: “I am thrilled that we are able to help tackle the big thorny issue of Net Zero for businesses. It is critical that entrepreneurs and businesses are supported in making a meaningful change and can understand how their operational choices and objectives can make a huge difference. Looking forward to collaborating with our amazing partners, PECT and the councils, who are eager to change the world for good.
"PECT are excited to be bringing over 25 years’ experience of working with businesses to improve sustainability to the Green Business Programme,” says Jenny Wilton, Project Manager at PECT. “Going Net Zero has a multitude of benefits for businesses, including saving on energy costs, attracting and retaining staff, improving market competitiveness and generally future proofing the organisation.”
- Applications for the programme are now open. Businesses can find out more and apply online.