Carbon Trust

Free Guide Helps Small Businesses Tap Green Market

Small businesses considering launching green goods and services can access free advice following the publication of a Carbon Trust guide. Recent research by the Carbon Trust found that more than half of small firms believe that reaping the benefits of green growth requires access to capital, and less than a third expect it to lead to increased profits. The survey also highlighted that the green UK market is currently valued at £112 billion. The new guide Green Your Business for Growth aims to help small businesses assess how sustainable their current practices are and includes templates for developing an environmental policy. In addition, it offers tips on developing a green growth strategy. “We want to help Britain’s small firms to seize the opportunities presented by green growth t... »

Tech Start-Ups Offered £70k Support to get off the Ground

Tech Start-Ups Offered 70k Support to get off the Ground

Early-stage clean-technology firms in need of investment are being called on to apply to the Carbon Trust’s Incubator scheme, where they can get the initial support they need to help attract funding. The idea behind the Incubator scheme, which started in 2004, is to give innovative start-ups a good basis for attracting private sector investment. Businesses that go through The Carbon Trust’s incubator programme typically attract £16 of private investor funding for every £1 spent on their support by the Trust. Successful applicants to the scheme will receive up to £70,000 of tailored support from one or more of the Carbon Trust’s six incubator partners, which offer services such as business development, market research and guidance on intellectual property... »

Carbon Trust Initiative Help Cut Energy Bills

Carbon Trust Initiative Help Cut Energy Bills

Small firms are being urged to cut their energy costs by scrapping their old equipment and replacing it with more energy efficient kit, in a new campaign launched by the Carbon Trust. Under the Big Business Refit initiative, expert advice and financial support is available to small and medium-sized businesses to help them make the switch to new, more efficient technology. According to the Trust, businesses can save up to £14,000 a year on average.   “Business owners are realising that for every month they ‘make do and mend’ with old inefficient equipment, they are wasting more cash on unnecessarily high energy bills,” said Carbon Trust chief executive, Tom Delay. “With credit all but dried up elsewhere, the Big Business Refit breaks the deadloc... »

Carbon Trust offers Small Firms up to £400k interest free

Carbon Trust offers Small Firms up to £400k interest free

Small firms investing in energy-efficient equipment can now borrow up to £400,000 interest-free, after the Carbon Trust doubled the maximum size of its Energy-Efficiency Loans. The Carbon Trust has also lowered the minimum size of its loans, from £4,000 to £3,000, to make the funding more accessible to micro-businesses. Businesses can take out a Carbon Trust loan to buy new or replacement equipment that is more energy-efficient. To be eligible, businesses must have fewer than 250 employees, at least 12 months’ trading history and a turnover of under £42 million. Loans are interest-free and are repayable over four years.  Over the next two years, the Carbon Trust said it expects to deliver more than £100 million in loan funding to UK small businesses... »

Carbon Trust

Firms prioritise business travel cutbacks

Reducing business travel costs is the top priority for small firms making cutbacks to survive the recession, according to electricity supplier Opus Energy. An Opus Energy survey of 500 small businesses found that 19% said cutting their travel costs was a priority, while only 18% listed cutbacks in advertising spend and 17% planned to reduce staff bonuses. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants SME policy adviser Emmanouil Schizas said: “Businesses should review their travel costs and consider how much of their work could be done online and at home — which could save money on premises as well as on transport costs,” “They should also look at their advertising and calculate how much turnover they will need to make for their advertising spend to be worthwhi... »

Energy

Free guide offers energy saving tips

Small firms can get advice on how to cut their energy costs, following the launch of a free guide from Business Link. The ‘Save money by using energy more efficiently’ guide helps businesses identify areas where they can improve their energy efficiency so they can cut their bills and reduce their carbon emissions. Business Link sustainability adviser Erica Russell said: “Businesses should take the time to have a look at the guide to see the really simple and easy ways to cut your energy bills, such as ensuring that all your staff switch off their equipment when the building is empty,”. Russell highlighted a case where a small manufacturing firm in Hampshire reduced its annual energy bill by £6,000 simply by turning off all their equipment at the end of the day... »

Dragon’s Den — Theo Paphitis

Firms apply for Green Loans

Dragons’ Den investor Theo Paphitis has urged small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint with the help of an interest–free ‘green’ loan from the Carbon Trust. A £31 million funding pot is available under the Carbon Trust’s Energy Efficiency Loan scheme. Eligible firms can borrow between £5,000 and £200,000 for new or replacement equipment that is more energy–efficient. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 250 employees, 12 months’ trading history and a good credit rating. The size of the loan available will depend on the energy–related cost savings from the investment. Loans do not require security and must be paid back over four years. Theo, who is appearing in the Carbon Trust’s nationwide advertising ca... »

Carbon Trust

Small firms offered £200K for energy efficiency

Small businesses investing in energy–efficient equipment can now borrow up to £200,000 interest–free after the Carbon Trust doubled the maximum size of its Energy–Efficiency Loans. The increase in the potential value of the loans follows concerns that market conditions have made ambitious projects unaffordable for some businesses. The Trust has also beefed up its total loan pot by 45% to £31 million. Under the Energy Efficiency Loan scheme, eligible firms will now be able to borrow between £5,000 and £200,000 for new or replacement equipment that is more energy–efficient. Qualifying businesses must have fewer than 250 employees, 12 months’ trading history and a good credit rating. The size of the loan available will depend on the energy... »

End of paper payslips

Ditching Paper Payslips cuts Emissions

UK businesses could save 994 tonnes of CO2 every year by getting rid of paper payslips, according to a human–resources software provider. Midland HR claimed that each paper payslip contributes 2.8 grammes (g) of CO2 to the UK’s total emissions, and switching to electronic payslips would save the CO2 equivalent of someone circumnavigating the globe 84 times. Businesses would also save money, with each paper payslip costing between 50p and £1 to produce, according to the software firm’s calculation — although this would be offset by the cost of investing in electronic payslip software. Richard Thomas, director of product strategy at Midland HR said: “If 10,000 10–man businesses made the move the impact would be huge. With small businesses environment... »

Small Businesses Staff Greenest

Employees in small businesses are more likely to be taking steps to reduce their energy use than staff in larger organisations, according to energy company E.ON. Research from E.ON found that the smaller the business, the more energy efficient the staff. It revealed that more than a third of workers in small firms have altered their behaviour to help tackle global warming, compared to less than a fifth of employees in big businesses. Hugh Jones, solutions director at the Carbon Trust, said that straightforward steps such as switching off lights, not turning up heating unnecessarily and maintaining equipment properly should all be priorities for small businesses in the current climate. “With oil prices hitting new highs, businesses have even more to gain by securing the support of the... »

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