ISHE rolls out carbon support package for green SMEs

Issue date: 09 October 2012

ISHE's Rose Bailey has been working with South West SMEs on a range of carbon related business support activities through the Environmental Technologies iNet. The Environmental Technologies iNet provides support to the most promising environmental goods and services businesses in the South West of England, to help develop, protect and commercialise ideas, products and services, exploit new markets and grow sales.

Rose has been working one-on-one with selected companies to estimate the carbon emissions embedded in their products through lifecycle analysis and embedded carbon footprinting methods. This will help those companies with environmentally friendly products to capitalise on their green credentials, by being able to show commitment to environmental reporting and sustainability in their manufacturing and operations, as well as identify opportunities to further reduce their environmental impact and develop a carbon management strategy. This will also help emerging companies in meeting ever more stringent obligations placed on suppliers by major purchasers, themselves under increasing pressure to report environmental impacts.

For example, the results from one carbon assessment of an innovative new version of a product found that it:

• is responsible for 82% less carbon than the traditional product

• lasts four times as long as the traditional product, escalating the carbon saving to 95%

• has a transportation carbon impact of 97% less than the traditional product

• avoids 9.8 kg/CO2e through the use of recycled materials

In addition to one-on-one support, Rose and the Environmental iNet team also ran a two-day workshop on the carbon assessment of products, including lifecycle analysis, business incentives for reporting emissions, and ensuring legitimate 'green claims'. Businesses that attended varied from construction, biocrops, high-tech engineering to a zoo, but all went away with a bespoke lifecycle analysis carbon assessment inventory and toolkit and a framework for calculating the emissions from their products. The workshop was very popular and fully subscribed so will be running again soon – watch this space.

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