Staffordshire organisations focus on climate collaborations to drive green innovation
Innovative partnership invites local businesses to find out more about free support with sustainability journey
NatWest and Keele University are partnering together in an innovative project designed to put the environment at the forefront of regional innovation.
The partnership means that local businesses banking with NatWest can now benefit from access to Keele University’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND)*, an ERDF-funded programme that supports Staffordshire-based SMEs looking to reduce their energy consumption and lower their carbon emissions.
A launch event, on February 9, includes a tour of the Low Carbon Energy Generation Park and SEND control centre at Keele University, followed by a climate and energy crisis roundtable discussion where businesses will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek support.
Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and environmental non-profit The Globe Group CIC are also part of the initiative, with the four organisations united in seeing an opportunity to support local enterprise to benefit from the opportunities unlocked by the transition to net-zero.
The four organisations came together at the Staffordshire Climate Expo, organised by The Globe Group, and are now inviting local businesses to the February launch event at Keele University.
With the ongoing energy crisis, many businesses are concerned about their rising energy costs and the roundtable is an opportunity for SMEs to discuss their business needs and find out more about the fully funded SEND research projects on offer, which aim to find affordable and practical solutions for SMEs.
Dipesh Mistry, chair of NatWest regional board in the Midlands and East, said: “On paper we’re all very different organisations, however we’re all united by a desire to address climate change and have a positive impact on the environment, while supporting the local business environment thrive.
“As a bank, we know that as well as challenges, the journey to net zero holds real opportunities for SMEs who are known for innovation, creativity and tenacity. By partnering together with other like-minded organisation, we hope to offer local businesses a really exciting opportunity to gain valuable independent insight into unlocking the growth opportunities that the move to net zero brings.”
Julian Read, SEND Programme Manager at Keele University, said: “Partnering with the NatWest, Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and the Globe Group presents an amazing opportunity to reach out to organisations as they start to understand their transition into sustainability, smart energy and understanding net zero, providing the knowledge they need to make vital organisational decisions in a challenging economic environment.
“Since we started our sustainability journey, Keele has become sector-leading in environmental education, as well as conducting world-leading research into environmental sustainability. We’re keen to share our experiences with other organisations to help advance their sustainability journey.”
To find out more about the Climate and Energy Crisis Roundtable event taking place on 9 February, and to reserve your free place, please click here to visit the Events page on the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce website.
*The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) project (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Midlands Engine.
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