Published on 10/11/2022
low carbon smes, Wolverhampton
  • Low Carbon SMEs project is a six-year project set up in 2017
  • It is helping local businesses reduce their carbon footprint
  • The event showcased some of the energy measures implemented.

Aston University hosted an event to showcase the low carbon diagnostic and grant support provided to Black Country businesses to help them cut their emissions at Grand Station in Wolverhampton on Tuesday 1 November.

Low Carbon SMEs is a six-year project set up in 2017 funded by a £1.7m grant from the European Regional Development Fund to help 165 local businesses reduce their carbon footprint by 1,270 tonnes – up to 7 tonnes per company - and make the transition to a net zero industrial future.

The project, which runs until 2023, is headed by Professor Prasanta Dey from Aston Business School's Operations and Information Management department.

The event, which showcased the energy efficiency measures implemented and the energy cost savings, enabled attendees to hear from businesses how they have reduced their carbon footprint and included case studies from 4 SMEs Alucast, Brockhouse, JCM Fine Joinery and Servo Solutions. They received Grant support from the Low Carbon SMEs programme to implement energy efficiency measures and reduced their Carbon footprint and energy costs.

The roundtable discussion provided excellent opportunity for businesses to discuss the key issues and challenges faced by SMEs due to the current energy crisis and possible solutions. They clearly emphasized on policy intervention to bring changes (e.g. R&D investment, infrastructure development for solar PV installation, making spaces for manufacturing facilities, supply chain creation and enhancing performance). Also, mentioned on the role of SMEs and their supply chain to practice energy efficiency measures through green strategies, adopt newer technology, leadership commitment for green skill development within company.   

Eligible SMEs could sign up to a free energy efficiency survey and the last chance to apply for capital grants of up to £12,250 (match funded), as well as time to network with business owners, industry and academic experts.

Professor Dey said:

“Low carbon SMEs project facilitated more than 120 SMEs in GBSLEP and BC LEP areas to transform their business processes, which resulted substantial reduction of carbon footprint in an average of 40 ton and reduction of production cost by £18,000 per company.

“Also, act as a driver for disseminating knowledge to other emerging economies, for example India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, Trinidad and Barbados.

“Aston Business School is also exploring setting up transnational education programs on sustainability and circular economy with the academia in emerging economies based on the findings from these projects.”

Dr Mark Smith, business engagement manager of the Low Carbon SMEs project, said:

“The aim has been to evolve a holistic approach to energy efficiency that will lead SMEs to higher productivity and increased net profit.

“The programme provides independent analysis of a business’s existing practices via an in-depth energy efficiency audit and bespoke carbon action plan which identifies practical and cost-effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521
    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065
    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159
    r.hume@aston.ac.uk

Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
  •  07825 342091
    n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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