To reach its ambition to become a net zero district by 2030, Eden District Council is trying to engage with residents, communities, businesses and everyone that can make a change to decrease our carbon emissions.
The Greening Eden Business project, launched in February 2021, 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.
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.
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.