Eden District Council's story
The Greening Eden Business project, launched in February 2021 for 39 months, is a way to engage with local businesses, bring opportunities to them to receive guidance and support, or for businesses to rethink and redevelop their activities in relation with our climate emergency context.
Greening Eden lets participating companies across the area calculate their carbon footprint, the commonly accepted metric for assessing the environmental impact of a business. For most organisations, the largest emissions will be from use of mains gas, LPG & transport fuel (Scope 1 emissions) and grid electricity (Scope 2 emissions). Larger organisations will be encouraged to look at emissions from their supply chain (Scope 3 emissions).
The CBEN Partnership will complete the calculations using data provided by each company and site visits to provide practical and cost-effective advice on how to reduce emissions. These could range from no-cost changes in behaviour, low-cost actions, or capital investment projects. A £400,000 grant fund has been established to help to capital investment projects that deliver substantial emission reductions. Grants will range from £1000 to £50,000 per business, depending on the chosen solutions. This will help fund capital investments that deliver significant carbon reductions. The grant rate will be around 50% of the total cost of investment. We welcome businesses to apply for grant funding following their assessment with CBEN.
We are hoping that businesses will become more aware of their impact on the environment and will implement change that will benefit their own business, their customers but also the entire district.
Useful learnings from Eden District Council
The ambition of Eden District Council is to reach net zero by 2030. To reach this objective the sustainability team and the economic development department decided to launch a scheme that will help businesses in Eden to reduce their carbon footprint but also to raise awareness on the impact of their activities on the environment. Eden District Council contacted CBEN, a local environmental consultancy, to further develop the idea and to create a partnership with them.
The first steps were mainly to set up procedure, paperworks, and budget. Once all the administration and financial aspect had been properly set up, Eden District Counil and CBEN have started to communicate the Greening Eden Businesses project.
In the meantime, Eden District Council set up a Grant Panel for awarding the grants. Different people from different organisations have joined the Grant Panel.
Local businesses in Eden got in touch with us and CBEN started to visit the different sites to undertake audits, estimate their carbon footprint and to find solutions to decrease their carbon emissions. By the end of the visit, CBEN send Eden District Council a report and an application form if the business wants to proceed forward.
Subsequently, the business can apply for a grant (max £10,000 on a 50% contribution ratio) to retrofit or change their operational systems to reduce their carbon footprint. More than 30 businesses have applied to the scheme so far and continues to grow in popularity.
The project is progressing well with no major complications. It took longer a period than expected and was more complex to establish a grant panel. Our lessons from this are beginning the work to establish a grant panel earlier in the overall project timeline, taking external guidance and being clearer on expectations of panel members.