Tuesday, 19 June 2012
A low carbon business programme, of which Thurrock Council is a partner, has been named Britain's top New Energy Champion of the Year.
The New Energy Awards, which are in their fifth year, celebrate the achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs and investors in the clean energy sector.
The programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, involves nine partners across Thames Gateway and the award recognises an organisation that has shown the greatest commitment to reducing its own carbon emissions, or persuading others to do so.
The innovative Low Carbon Business Programme helps small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce their carbon footprint thereby making them more competitive.
The scheme has so far assisted 231 such businesses in Thurrock, given funds to hire a total of 35 apprentices and awarded grants to the value of £248,973.
Individual firms have had support and expert advice on 'greening' their businesses, therefore reducing their overheads, including using products and services more efficiently, and identifying tailored carbon reduction solutions.
They have also received small grants towards investment in carbon reduction processes and equipment.
Low Carbon Business Programme Manager Peter Wognum and Green Business Forum coordinators Keith Smith and Colin Stroud were proud to receive the award with Cllr Andrew Smith, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Highways and Transportation, at the Green Business Market place event held on Monday 18 June, at The Ockendon Academy.
Cllr Smith said, "The judges recognised the wide impact made by the Low Carbon Business Programme both directly and indirectly, on a significant percentage of SMEs in the region, prompting lower emissions through a wide and varied series of actions, with measurable results.
"The contribution of all the partners was critical in making it possible for the Programme to win this prestigious award. Congratulations to all involved."
In addition to Thurrock Council, the other partners in the scheme are: Essex County Council, Groundwork South Essex, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Basildon District Council, Rochford District Council, Castle Point District Council, Thurrock Local Enterprise Agency and the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme