University of Portsmouth launches project to provide funding help small businesses improve carbon footprint

THE University of Portsmouth has just launched a new project which will see businesses in the area receive hundreds of thousands of pounds towards improving their carbon footprint.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 4:11 pm
The guests at the University of Portsmouth's U2B event, which launched the new EMphasis3 CO2 Reductions Project which will give £600,000 to SMEs in the area to help them improve their carbon footprint.

The £600,000 European Regional Development Fund will be dished out to SMEs which want to improve their carbon footprint and will be put towards energy efficiency audits and grants and innovation grants.

The funding is part of the EMphasis3 CO2 Reductions project, which aims to secure a 2,000-tonne reduction in carbon emissions.

The three-year project, led by the university in partnership with the University of Winchester, was launched at the university’s University to Business event on Friday Nov 8.

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It will be delivered by the cleantech cluster Greentech South, based at the University of Portsmouth.

Richard Hall, business development and programme manager at Greentech South said: ‘Many small businesses are reluctant to install energy saving kit due to the cost, the unknown benefits and the confusing array of different solutions. [This] takes away much of that pain.’

Business owners and colleagues from the university attended talks and workshops throughout the day to educate them on how to improve their impact on the environment.

Vice-chancellor Graham Galbraith gave a talk at the event.

He said: ‘What we want to do is act as a vehicle through which we can support businesses in the region to think of these new ideas that are going to be important for the future.

‘It’s an exciting opportunity for us. So let’s not focus on the negatives but let’s focus on the planet we want in the future and the improvements of the wellbeing of our residents.

‘We want to have a serious healthy environment in which we can live.’

One of the first beneficiaries will be plastic-free packaging business KCC Packaging, which aims to replace CPET plastics normally used in microwaveable and ovenable food packaging.

Managing director Kevin Clarke has worked closely with the university to adapt and perfect the products, which will be launching in early 2020.

Professor Hom Dhakal has collaborated with Kevin, seeking materials that are sustainable and light-weight to use within the trays to make them as environmentally friendly as possible.

Currently, the trays are made from coated sugar cane and are 100 per cent compostable.