The green route to growth

As businesses grow and enter new supply chains it is becoming a common requirement for them to demonstrate their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.

It can open new opportunities but also be a daunting task. However, help is at hand for Lancashire’s SMEs. And the benefits of getting it right can include significant cost-savings as well as paths to new markets.

The Making Carbon Work (MaCaW) project is a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and industry collaboration that aims to help small businesses overcome the challenges and barriers they face when looking to move to a low carbon model.

WNJ has referred a number of its clients to MaCaW, which is supported by Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub.

We are delighted to be able to help business reduce their carbon footprint and save costs by signposting them to this scheme.

The project looks to support them as they work to implement low energy practices which will not only reduce their “carbon burden” but will also deliver cost savings to their organisation.

The programme includes carbon baseline analysis, site visits and energy audits, along with the creation and implementation of an integrated low-carbon action plan.

There are 50 per cent match funded grants available – up to £8,000 – for relevant equipment. And the project will help organisations to manage and report their emissions effectively.

The ERDF supported programme is aimed at county-based companies that employ less than 250 people and have an annual turnover of less than £45m or a balance sheet total less that £38m.

Mark Nelson, business engagement officer at MaCAW, says: “We aim to work with SMEs across all sectors to identify and prioritise the opportunities available to them.

“We encourage businesses to look at everything they do in their organisation in terms of the amount of carbon they are generating.

“It is about raising awareness of the benefits of carbon reduction, not just in terms of the environment but also the savings companies can make by going on this journey. From an SME’s point of view it makes real business sense.”

There are plenty of simple ways that businesses can start their low carbon journeys. They include:

• Nominating an ‘Energy Champion’ to promote energy efficiency throughout the business
• Regularly monitoring energy use so it can be compared with weather, production or sector specific standards
• Conducting ‘walkaround’ energy surveys to identify were use is concentrated, understand how it can be controlled an identify opportunities to make savings
• Committing to an achievable reduction target and reviewing regularly to reflect improvements made
• Exploring upgrades to equipment to reduce energy use, increase production capacity and develop new product lines

MaCaW is a further initiative from UCLan that WNJ has been able to introduce to clients. In addition to the Innovation Clinic and its funding for training project.

For information on how Making Carbon Work (MaCaW) can help your business make energy and cost savings contact 01772 893963 or email: