How Will New Funding Help Small Businesses Be More Sustainable?
Cool Shropshire & Telford, a new £20,000 initiative to aid small businesses in making a move towards improving sustainability, is being launched in partnership with Shropshire Council. Housing Industry Leaders looks at how the funding will benefit businesses.

In The Zero Carbon Shropshire Plan, the carbon footprint of Shropshire 2018 is outlined. It reveals that 30 per cent of carbon emissions in that year were from home and workplace emissions and agriculture. Therefore, this shows that changes must be made, and workplaces must become more sustainable.

Partnering with Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire-based environmental consultants E4environment Ltd, the council’s climate team hopes to steer Shropshire’s SMEs and micro-businesses towards understanding and reducing their environmental impact. Also influential in the scheme’s development is the local climate charity Zero Carbon Shropshire.

Up to 1,000 firms will have access to expertise through the initiative, which will support them to future-proof their businesses by measuring their carbon footprint and setting achievable goals and strategies to help improve sustainability.

The Scheme Will Help Businesses Set Realistic Targets

Cool Shropshire & Telford will benefit its members in a variety of ways; these are the following: Giving businesses the potential to save money by becoming more energy and resource-efficient, increasing their resilience against supply chain shocks and the effects of climate change, providing a sense of community through working collectively to make a significant difference and to enhance brand reputation by showing concern for the environment.

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy, Ian Nellins, said: “Climate change is having a real effect on how we all choose to live and work.

“It is increasingly important for businesses to take this into account when they are developing their corporate plans, but for SMEs and micro-businesses, it can seem daunting and sometimes unaffordable.

Cool Shropshire & Telford will give members the opportunity to address long-term challenges of climate change by developing a green strategy, which will allow them to set achievable realistic sustainability targets and satisfy legislative requirements and adding value for stakeholders.

It Is Targeted Specifically At Shropshire

The scheme is powered by E4environment Ltd’s supply chain sustainability software Kanopi. Director of E4environment, Deb Cairns, said: “The support provided by Cool Shropshire & Telford is tailored to micro-businesses and SMEs based in the county.

We have aligned Cool Shropshire & Telford with the overarching carbon targets and environmental goals of the council and within the Kanopi platform there will be guidance, tools, and grant information linked specifically to Shropshire Council’s and Telford & Wrekin Council’s sustainability initiatives.

“Also, while we’re encouraging all the members to calculate their carbon, the guidance on how to do this is tailored to meet the needs of the scheme’s qualifying firms. For example, there is advice on completing a carbon footprint if you’re an SME, if your staff mostly work at home, if you’re a service versus a manufacturing business etc.”

Working towards steering the county’s small businesses towards being more sustainable, the scheme will support the businesses and will help to address the long-term challenges of climate change.