Discover more from Following the Footprints
🌱 17 funding schemes to help decarbonise your business, and Seasalt's 'Seeding Change Together' initiative.
Featuring Wicked Kitchen, The Uncommon, Boucheron and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Ever wondered how to fund your business’s decarbonisation plans? Check out these 17 schemes.
Brand Spotlight: Seasalt x Cornwall Wildlife Trust: Seeding Change Together
In case you missed it: 🌱 Invest in resilience: How Belu are putting purpose in their P&L, and you can follow suit with Creating Nature's Corridors.
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Wicked Kitchen announced that it has raised $20 million from investors. The plant-based company has acquired Good Catch and will see their expansion into vegan seafood products.
🎯 Boucheron launched their new capsule collection, with jewellery made from Cofalit, a material produced from waste asbestos. Boucheron’s first impact report details how the industrial waste is treated to make it safe before being upcycled into a stone-like material.
⭐️ Puris Holdings launched AcreMade, the first plant-based egg made from yellow field peas. The Egg Substitute powder is nutritionally similar to a traditional egg.
⭐️ Tesco links 25% of executive pay bonuses to cutting food waste by 50%, bringing their target forward 5 years to 2025. The targets also include gender & ethnicity representation and carbon reduction.
⭐️ Terry’s Chocolate Orange launched their plant-based bar in 100% recyclable packaging. It also uses rice-syrup to replace dairy.
⭐️ B&Q announced it was partnering with the Woodland Trust, with the aim to recover a treeless landscape in the Yorkshire Dales to a native woodland.
⭐️ Fonterra has partnered with US energy storage company PolyJoule to trial an industrial-scale organic battery in New Zealand. The long-life battery acts like metal, providing low-cost & sustainable energy for energy security.
⭐️ Hellman’s launched the Fridge Night app, aimed at reducing food waste, to mark the #InternationalDayofAwarenessoFoodLossandWaste (29th Sept). The app provides a 4 week programme for consumers with recipes, tips and tools to use leftovers and reduce food waste.
⭐️ Arla Foods announced a new incentive programme, to support farmers deliver their 2030 emission reduction goals. Building on Arla’s Climate Check programme, the aim is to cut Arla’s Scope 3 emissions by 30%, per tonne of standardised raw milk and whey by 2030.
⚡️ The Scope 3 Peer Group announced the launch of the Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark, in partnership with Proxima. The benchmark aims to give group members access to a free analysis of how their progress and plans compare to their peers and how well resourced they are to achieve this.
⚡️ The Better Business Act campaign and B Lab UK released a new report, finding that purpose-led business will be more resilient to the cost-of-living crisis. Mission-led businesses are more likely to support workers, suppliers and are 16% more confident in their ability to continue to grow.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Ever wondered how to fund your business’s decarbonisation plans? Check out these 17 schemes.
We know that oftentimes, it’s not that businesses lack the impetus to decarbonise, rather, they lack financial support which makes presenting the business case many times quite challenging.
50% of SMEs have committed to net zero (or have already reached it), according to a report by Bank of Scotland. Yet - the way forward to actually achieving these decarbonisation targets is not always clear, and the report finds that almost 40% of firms cite the costs and fear of low returns on investment as a significant barrier to action. Indeed, SME Climate Hub found that SMEs do not regard their bank as an entity that can support them during their decarbonisation journey: only 4.6 percent of surveyed SMEs would approach their bank for support with designing or delivering an emissions reduction plan.
You’re not alone. Not knowing where else to turn for funding can be daunting, and in turn, slow the process of decarbonising your business. But what if we told you there were a number of guides available to get finance on your side?
SME Climate Hub have put together an open and accessible guide that lays out existing financial support to reduce emissions and how your business can access this support. Want to access the Financial Support Guide? Make the SME Climate Commitment today. In the meantime, we’ve summarised some options available to your business.
4 ingredients for your business’s decarbonisation: Grants, loans, advice + support
We’ve highlighted a few different options, for different parts of the UK. Want more? Check out Zero Carbon Business’ breakdown.
Let’s dig in…
Clean Growth Fund invests in early stage UK companies seeking investment capital for low carbon activities.
Internationalisation Fund Grants gives up to £9,000 for SMEs for travel costs to the COP27 ‘Innovation Zone’ in Egypt from 7 to 18 November 2022.
SME Loan Scheme offers interest-free loans from £1,000 to £100,000 to pay for energy efficiency and carbon reducing upgrades.
Used Electric Vehicle Loan for Business gives interest-free loans up to £20,000 for businesses of all sizes to buy a used electric car, van or moped.
Business Climate Challenge (BCC) will support a further 250 businesses to decarbonise their buildings.
Better Futures+ provides up to £1,000 in free business support for London-based businesses.
Greater London Fund invests in early stage companies with an average investment of £400,000 to £1M that make a difference to London’s economy and the lives of the people living here, including the environment and reducing emissions.
South West England:
Low Carbon Dorset gives SMEs up to £40,000 in matching funds for renewable energy and efficiency projects (Dorset, Bournemouth or Poole).
West of England Green Business Grant gives SMEs up to £15,000 to improve energy efficiency and install solar panels (BANES, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire).
South East England:
East Sussex Council free energy audits and grants gives SMEs up to £10,000 to invest in carbon reduction (East Sussex).
Energy Efficiency Grants for East Sussex gives SMEs £200 to £1,000 in matching funds to improve energy efficiency (East Sussex, excluding Brighton and Hove).
DE-Carbonise gives SMEs £1,000 to £20,000 in matching funds to develop renewable energy generation and lower carbon products (Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire).
Energy for Business gives up to £8,000 in matching funds for improving energy efficiency (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire or Leicestershire).
Low Carbon Opportunities Programme (LoCOP) – gives SMEs free energy assessments and matching grants up to £100,000 to install renewable energy systems (Worcestershire).
Yorkshire and the North:
Resource Efficient Business (REBiz) gives SMEs free advice and financial support (of up to £40,000 at 40% of project costs) to become more resource efficient and adopt circular business models (West Yorkshire, Craven, Harrogate, Selby or York).
Low Carbon Lake District gives SMEs matching funding up to £20,000 for low carbon energy generation, energy efficiency and sustainable transport (Lake District National Park).
GC Business Growth Hub provides fully funded resource efficiency support to SMEs (Greater Manchester).
There’s so much more out there that we haven’t covered too, and you can also check out this tool by the Government to help you find funding to become greener.
Have a resource, or run a resource, that you’d like to share with us? Comment below, or let us know - firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Brand Spotlight
Seasalt x Cornwall Wildlife Trust: Seeding Change Together
Clothing brand Seasalt has Cornwall woven into its very fabric. Founded in Penzance in 1981, and now with over 70 stores from Falmouth to St. Andrews, this family-led business’ southern roots now reach across the UK. It’s not all been easy - Seasalt has weathered the harshest covid-induced storms, but come out thriving with sales reaching £100 million last year. Now, the launch of a pioneering seagrass restoration project with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust pays homage to the ‘proud history of sustainability’ which has served them well so far. Let’s take a closer look…
If you’ve never heard of seagrass, it’s well worth learning about. This marine powerhouse captures carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests, and is estimated to cover just 1% of the seafloor yet is responsible for ~15% of the ocean’s total carbon capture ability. Shockingly, an estimated 92% of British Seagrass meadows have been lost, with Cornwall a last remaining bastion. Integral to Cornwall’s environment, Seasalt have truly put their money where their heart is. The brand’s three-year funding scheme called ‘Seeding Change Together’ will donate £150,000 to restore seagrass along the British coastline. The money will go to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust to help them carry out planting trials on the site at the Fal Ruan nature reserve. This investment shows not just a dedication to their environment, but a loyalty to their own brand identity too.
This partnership is the latest stride in a long line of positive steps from Seasalt - which all stem from their four pillars of impact: Product, Environment, Partners and Community. Within each of these is a clearly laid out set of commitments and policies, culminating in their sustainability reports. They’re also stakeholders in British Retail Consortium’s Climate Action Roadmap, are aiming to become a Carbon Net Zero business by 2040 and have also set near-term Science Based Targets. Other more immediate goals include sending zero waste to landfill by the end of 2023, having 100% of the cotton used in their collections be fully traceable and certified as organic by the end of 2024 and they’ve also pledged to donate an incredible £1 million to charity by the end of 2025. That’s huge!
Other brands should find a lot of hope in Seasalt’s story. Their strong growth and future-proofing sustainability strategies has inspired confidence, leading to huge investment, and it’s this (alongside their resonance with consumers) that allows exciting projects like the seagrass restoration scheme to happen. They’re also not the only consumer goods brand to recently announce their funding nature restoration projects in the UK. The Seeding Change Together project is indicative of a turning of the tide - there’s a new wave of British brands prioritising funding regeneration schemes. Other examples include wine brand The Uncommon financially supporting Kent Wildlife Trust’s bison rewilding scheme (read more here), B&Q recently announcing their partnership with the Woodland Trust to support nature restoration in North Yorkshire (read more here), and stay tuned for next week’s look at Kib tea! There’s no limit on how far businesses can take this approach, and we can’t wait to see the results.
Want to take next steps on supporting biodiversity via your business? Check out Edie’s biodiversity guide for businesses.
Interested to see more? Watch the Seeding Change Together video here.
Support Seasalt via their shop:
> In case you missed it
🌱 Invest in resilience: How Belu are putting purpose in their P&L, and you can follow suit with Creating Nature's Corridors.
Featuring BELU, Eden Brew, Plant-It and more...
> Follow up with…
Podcast: Decarbonization by the Numbers