March 12 2014 Latest news:
Duncan Brodie, business editor
Thursday, January 2, 2014
A new programme is being launched to help medium-sized businesses in Suffolk become more efficient in their use of energy and other scarce resources.
From this month, a Suffolk Carbon Leaders team will offer free-of-charge support to firms in the county employing 50 to 250 people, to help them reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions − and achieve substantial cost savings in the process.
The consultants have been tasked with ensuring that their expert advice and action plans are practical, of long-term benefit and suitable for being put into practice on a “business as usual” basis so that the day-to-day operations of the businesses involved are not interrupted.
Suffolk Carbon Leaders forms an additional strand to the Suffolk County Council-led Greenest County partnership project which involves a wide range of environmental support, advice and promotion, including the Suffolk Carbon Charter which provides recognition for organisations which reduce their carbon footprint.
The new programme will run for two years, with the support of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership under its Mid-Sized Business Pathfinder and Green Economy Pathfinder initiatives, with a target to support a total of 170 businesses,
Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment, economic development and planning, said: “I’m delighted to announce this valuable addition to our existing support for businesses.
“With energy costs increasingly a major concern, this is a practical measure that will have a real benefit for some of Suffolk’s key businesses.
“By taking advantage of this independent and expert assistance, businesses will be able to cut their costs, become more efficient and help our ongoing aim of Creating the Greenest County.”
Julie Emmings from the Suffolk Carbon Leaders team added: “Mid-sized businesses are the engine of growth in Suffolk. They contribute 20% of turnover, and employ 20% of the workforce, from just 2% of organisations.
“We know that the right solution could require investment, so the programme also brings businesses access to local finance and grant schemes, many of which are under-utilised at the moment.
“We are targeting these organisations as a key contributor to the county’s emissions, and real leaders in the business community. We want to help these crucial businesses get in shape for the challenges ahead.”
Businesses accepted for participation will be eligible for four days of support from the Suffolk Carbon Leaders team. The support is flexible to the needs of the business, but will typically include:
• Quantification of energy and resource use;
• Design of solutions to reduce energy and resource usage;
• On-site support to implement energy and resource reduction;
• Access to grants and financial assistance; and
• Access to events and assessment against the Suffolk Carbon Charter.
Businesses not eligible for the new programme will continue to benefit from a range of other support, details of which can be found on the Green Suffolk webpage at www.greensuffolk.org/gsbs.
This includes freely available support to smaller businesses, as well as specialist programmes and funding.