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Sustainability West Midlands April Newsletter
News | Funding | Events
My name is Nathaniel Weaver and I have recently joined SWM as a Project Officer. I’ll be supporting the team to achieve the 2030 Sustainability Roadmap targets and working with all our stakeholders in doing so. I have a BSc in Geography and Natural Hazards with a placement year at the world leading research institute the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology. My responsibilities at the Centre included monitoring and forecasting water resources in West Africa and Northeast India. This experience opened my eyes to the importance of sustainably managing natural resources in the community, but also gave me the skills to effectively manage large data sets to produce practical solutions and drive sustainable change. More recently I graduated with a Distinction in Sustainability and Environmental Management MSc from the University of Coventry.
 
I am particularly excited to join SWM because of the recent global push in Net Zero and what this means for businesses in the UK. The UK government recently stated that it will ‘set in law the world’s most ambitious climate change target, cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, bringing the UK more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050’. Government is setting the goal to establish the UK as a home for green innovation, pioneering business and new technology.
 
I’m excited to be leading on delivery of the Net Zero Business Pledge being run by the West Midlands Combined Authority and managed by SWM. I’ll also be helping to deliver webinars for businesses in Leicestershire on Net Zero, transport, housing and business energy efficiency, behaviour change and renewables throughout May and June.
 
Read ‘My Comment’ for further information about me, my passion for sustainability, and my role at SWM. Feel free to contact me as I’d be delighted to discuss your sustainability and environmental progress.
 
Nat Weaver, Project Officer, Sustainability West Midlands 

Our Latest Updates, News and Events
Latest Updates
Hortons Estate join us as our latest members. They're an independent property company who recognise the need to adapt and innovate to meet their sustainability targets.

Inteb also join SWM as members. They're a team of energy managers, surveyors, utility and environmental specialists supporting UK businesses to improve their sustainability.
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News and Events
SWM, in collaboration with Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, is running the next quarterly Innovative Low Carbon Working Group meeting on 10 June.

SWM welcomes our new Project Officer, Nathaniel Weaver. Nat will be
helping to deliver SWM's mission by supporting business development activities. Welcome to the team!

Funding Opportunities 
By 2021
  
  • By 5 May. Businesses can apply for a share of up to £25 million for UK-developed late-stage R&D from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to support growth in the automotive sector and its’ associated supply chain.
      
  • By 7 May. BEIS has £200k of funding available per project for the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme for those seeking to improve productivity, through breeding, planting, cultivating and harvesting.

  • By 7 May. KTN is offering technology providers the chance to showcase their industrial Energy Efficiency and Decarbonisation technologies to the eligible industrial site owners.
      
  • By 30 June. UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £22 million for innovation projects focused on supply chain development for power electronics, electric machines and drives.
      
  • By 30 June. The Worcestershire Natural Networks project aims to boost biodiversity in an ERDF-funded venture which includes our members Worcestershire County Council.
      
  • By 14 July. Organisations can apply for a share of up to £40 million for grants to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes, reducing energy bills and cutting carbon emissions.

  • By 19 July. The MCS Charitable Foundation is open to funding a range of projects to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and low carbon technologies.
      
  • By 31 October. Organisations can apply for a £500 grant as part of the Magic Little Grants Programme as long as their project focuses on one of their themes such as promoting sustainability.
      
  • By 31 December. Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from free energy audits and 60% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures.
      
  • By 31 December. The Marches Renewable Energy Grant Scheme allows eligible applicants to apply for a 50% grant for the installation of renewable technologies. 
By 2025
Ongoing

  • Aston University is running the Innovation Vouchers Programme to provide up to £2,500 in vouchers for SMEs driving innovation and growth.
     
  • A recycling Fund for Communities is now available from Veolia. It is worth up £50,000 in total and is offering grants of £2,000.
     
  • The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities to develop renewable energy projects.
     
  • The Community and Environment Fund is there to provide benefits to communities along the route disrupted by the construction of HS2.
Upcoming SWM & Member Events
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The Midcounties Co-operative are hosting their Environmental Forum on 6 May for members to discuss their key environmental focuses over the next 5 years.
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sben are hosting a their 'Introduction to Sustainability in Staffs' webinar on 6 May aiming to give businesses a good understanding of the SDG goals.
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EnTRESS are hosting the next 'Deconstruction of Modern Building Materials & the Circular Economy' webinar on 11 May to discuss the recycling & reuse of building materials.
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Low Carbon SMEs at Aston University are hosting their Mental Wellbeing webinar on 11 May aiming to help your business build a better working environment.
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Oxfordshire Greentech, Cambridge Cleantech and SWM members are invited to attend a Sustainable Results Lab workshop on 11 May.
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sben are hosting their online event on 'Smart Meters for Small Businesses' on 19 May which will hear from those that have utilised the benefits smart meters.
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The Climate Change Committee are launching the latest UK Climate Risk Independent Assessment on 16 June which provides a detailed overview of UK climate change.
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Flood & Coast 2021 will be held as a 4 day virtual event on 28 June – 1 July. Sessions will be interactive with live exhibition booths & networking opportunities.
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Climate Change Solutions have revised the date for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells ‘The Time is NOW’ co​​nference to 7 September with details released closer to the time.

'The David Middleton Sustainability Conference', also hosted by CCS, is taking place on 18 September at Tally Ho, Birmingham.
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Cenex-LCV is taking place on 22-23 September at Bedford, the UK’s first centre of excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies.
Member Updates
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Accelar are demonstrating how carbon can be tracked and reduced through 3 innovative projects to decarbonise infrastructure and construction.
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Following on from lasts months budget announcement, Bryt Energy have released a guide on how this impacts SMEs and the opportunities for smaller businesses.
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1 in 3 of the UK’s largest businesses have committed to net zero including Severn Trent who have committed to delivering a net zero water supply for customers by 2030.
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Thermal Recycling and University of Wolverhampton have partnered to launch a research programme into asbestos conversion within the circular economy.
Other Events
Other News
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The Made Smarter | Innovation Network webinars, delivered as part of the ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter programme, is running from 4 May - 29 June.

WMG are hosting their next Sustainable Production Innovation Network event on 6 May which will look at manufacturing efficiency improvements.

The Women in Sustainability Network are hosting their Peer Mentoring session on 11 May, an informal virtual social focusing on career insights. 

Smart Home Connected & Assisted Living 2021 is planning to take place at the NEC on 15-16 September including panel debates, seminars and more.

RWM, the UK’s largest trade show for recycling and waste management, is taking place at the NEC on 22-23 September. 
Several of our members have been nominated for the Innovation Awards 2021 which recognise and reward the leading businesses for their work in Innovation.

Defra have launched a consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme for England. Have your say and comment on their approach to waste prevention.

The Big Bang Competition is accepting applications for a range of projects from climate change to improving transport until 3 May for students aged 11-19.

The Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland 2021, which focus on awarding sustainability excellence, are now open for applications until 3 June.

Government have announced a new target in law to decrease emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.
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