Small businesses look to a smart green future
Top left, Voice-over artist Liz Drury, right, Carol Prendergast, chief executive of Green Futures and bottom left, the Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire team with Helen Norris centre left.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 27 Nov 2018
SMALL businesses have completed the first workshop delivered as part of the £9.2 million Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire project.
Held in Grimsby, the two-day event was designed to help save energy, money and carbon.
It was supported by experts from Germany who are part of the European Regional Development Fund-backed initiative, with knowledge shared on topics including heating, lighting, refrigeration, and staff behaviour towards energy use.
Representatives from the University of Applied Sciences Trier’s Institut are an integral part of the North East Lincolnshire Council-led three year project.
The internationally-focused academic team has worked on green projects around the world and has helped multi-national companies such as Continental – owner of Grimsby’s Dunlop Oil and Marine industrial hose-making business – Procter and Gamble and Evonik Industries to improve their energy use.
Carol Prendergast, chief executive of Bradley-based Green Futures, the ideally named social enterprise where food growing provides opportunities for people who are out of work or experiencing health difficulties, participated.
She said: “We will be implementing a number of small changes in the way we function to help reduce our energy consumption such as changing light bulbs, altering our refrigeration unit and reducing heating costs. "
"We have also realised how much a small change can make a big difference and we will be discussing this with our staff and volunteer team so that these changes become everyday behaviours.”
Voiceover artist Liz Drury was also among the companies who took part in the workshop. She said: “We hear a lot about the move to a low carbon economy so it was great to have this workshop to tell us what we can do practically in our own businesses.”
Businesses completing the workshop can claim up to £500 to spend on improving their energy efficiency.
Larger companies can apply for grants covering up to 38 per cent of the cost of bigger energy upgrades as part of the project, which will run until March 2021.
Programme manager Helen Norris said: “We know that an investment of just £500 in energy efficiency in a small business can pay back many times over.
“A high percentage of our local businesses are small ones, they are the backbone of our local economy and we are delighted to be able to help them to make savings and take steps along the road to a low carbon economy.
“We have another round of workshops planned for January so I’d like invite all similar businesses in North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire to join in.”
The next free energy saving workshop starts on January 29, with the venue to be confirmed. For more information, visit www.smartenergygreaterlincs.com