Businesses are set to get free help to go green after Government funding worth £1million was awarded to support companies in Leicester in the race to net zero.
The East Midlands Accelerator programme, led by East Midlands Chamber, will be delivered by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), Loughborough University and the University of Leicester, alongside local authorities and business support organisations in the city.
It will mean companies who have between 10 and 250 employees based in Leicester can get free help to discover their carbon footprint and put together practical steps to reduce emissions. Interested companies have until the end of January to sign up.
The free support package on offer includes:
• Carbon Literacy Training – free one-day training to learn the basics of calculating your company’s carbon footprint and actions you can take
• Audits – Trained teams of students will visit you to complete a sustainability audit for your organisation
• Planning – helping you draw up a step-by-step plan to set and achieve your company’s decarbonisation plans
• Placements – Get a student or recent graduate to work within your company for free, focusing on a sustainability project
• Grants – Get support towards equipment or feasibility studies for larger-scale programmes.
The zero carbon project is just one of five programmes that will be funded through the £1million pot, which comes from the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund (CRF). Others focus on start-ups, mentoring, finance and digital transformation.
Dr Andrew Reeves, Associate Professor in Energy and Sustainable Development at DMU, will be working with companies on the accelerator programme.
He said: “We know from recent work we have done alongside the University of Leicester that while many companies want to do more to cut their carbon emission, they are not sure about what steps they can take to become more sustainable.
“We hope that by combining all of our expertise, we can support them to take practical steps and have a plan in place which is achievable and could help to ‘green’ the whole of the city’s business eco-system.
“It also gives students from the county’s three universities the chance to work with companies to help them reach these goals and play their part in climate change action.”
Dr Sandra Lee, Social Impact Lead at the University of Leicester, explained: “This programme brings students, businesses and academics together to share expertise and resources to tackle the climate crisis. It is an exciting development to our award-winning Innovation for Good Programme as well as building on our hugely successful environmental sustainability collaboration with De Montfort University and other partners.”
The Leicester Accelerator partners are the Food and Drink Forum, Nottingham Business Venture, Start-up Leicester Co-Working and Leicester City Council.
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22 which aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.
• If you are an SME and would like to take part, please get in touch with Leicester Innovation Hub which is co-ordinating all the expressions of interest. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Friday 14th January 2022