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Low carbon SMEs
SMEs in the West Midlands (UK) face many challenges in achieving the ambitious target of being net zero carbon by 2041. In response to this challenge, Low Carbon SMEs (LCSMEs) was set up in 2017 to help 165 businesses until 2023 reduce their carbon footprint substantially (7 ton per company) and make the transition to a net zero industrial future. The programme attracted a £1.7m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), bringing together an expert team of over 20 members from Aston Business School comprising leading academics and industry practitioners.
A blend of world-class applied research and industry-led consulting led to the “greening” of 85 businesses to date, largely from the energy intensive manufacturing sector, yielding average energy cost and CO2e savings per company of £8,879 and 40 tonnes CO2e, respectively. Radically improving overall SME sustainability performance through the adoption of low carbon initiatives led to business growth and improved employee productivity.
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