Carbon Smart’s ambitious Suffolk Carbon Leaders programme kicked off in the New Year and has really hit the ground running. So far the Carbon Smart team have worked with 23 medium-sized businesses in the county, calculating their carbon footprint and developing clear, practical recommendations for action. Ranging from mushroom farms to corporate offices to leisure centres, the challenges faced by these businesses and the opportunities for resource efficiency improvements have been both significant and diverse!
The Suffolk Carbon Leaders programme is first and foremost about motivating and supporting action, so we have been working closely with our clients to really understand what their business is hoping to achieve in terms of driving environmental improvements, and also what their specific limitations might be. Whether their focus is on cost savings, developing their public profile, or engaging with their staff and service users, this attention to detail has enabled us to develop targeted action plans with environmental objectives, capital costs, financing, and payback times that are not only feasible for the business but also fit with their specific culture and ambitions.
Since the start of the programme the Carbon Smart Team has identified potential savings of 3 million kWh worth of energy savings, 1,500 tonnes worth of carbon savings and over £500,000 worth of cost savings for the participating businesses. We are now looking to turn these potential savings into actual savings – as part of the implementation phase of the project the Carbon Smart team is working to support these businesses in putting their action plan into practice and taking their environmental performance to the next level.
As part of the programme the Carbon Smart team have also been submitting businesses for the Suffolk Carbon Charter which is a Suffolk-based accreditation scheme. We are delighted to announce that our first two businesses have been certified, one achieving the Gold award and the other achieving the Bronze award. Both companies were awarded their certificates by the Councillor at the Suffolk Carbon Leaders launch event on the 13th of March. As the programme progresses we look forward to seeing many more of our participating businesses follow in their footsteps and join Suffolk’s growing green business network.