July 31 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being offered further support to help make their supply chains “greener”.
The Haven Gateway Partnership’s Low Carbon Freight Dividend project, launched in 2012 with backing from the European Regional Development Fund, already offers financial support for SMEs which make a “modal shift” to move their container transport operations from road to rail or coastal or shortsea shipping.
SMEs can claim up to £75 per container, subject until now to a maximum of 90 containers or £6,750 per firm. However, following a review, qualifying firms in the region can now claim as much as £20,250.
Available funding for the scheme totals £8.4million.
“Originally we were able to offer a maximum of £6,750 per SME, but this change means that SMEs which meet all the criteria could claim up to £20,000 each,” said Low Carbon Freight Dividend project manager Lisa Brazier. “The reaction to this has been very positive.”
She added: “The Low Carbon Freight Dividend was set up to encourage and support long-term behavioural change. This increase means that we can support companies for longer, giving them more ‘breathing space’ in which they can set up the processes, train staff and consider different supply chain solutions that can lead to permanent change and long-term modal shift.”
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) initially provided nearly £3m of funding towards the original £7.5m project.
Last year, the project was extended to include coastal shipping and some shortsea routes as well as rail.
This extension was supported by a further £370,000 of funding from the ERDF which, with match funding, made the Low Carbon Freight Dividend project worth just over £8.4m.
The target of the three-year project is to take about 33,000 containers off the roads and on to rail or water. This would remove more than 13m kgs of carbon dioxide from the logistics supply chain over the three-year life of the project.
As well as the financial dividend, the project offers practical support. Low Carbon Freight Workshops, focusing on freight optimisation and low carbon marketing, are a core part of the project, providing advice, guidance and practical examples of how to reduce carbon emissions in the movement of freight.
The project also incorporates a unique web-based Containerised Cargo Carbon Calculator, enabling companies to compare and contrast cargo movement methods and the carbon emissions for each method, or combination of methods.