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Sustainability West Midlands

SWM News December 2019 - A cracker of a year

It's the time of the year where we look forward to relaxing with family and friends with plenty of food, drink and festive cheer. What better reading material than the final SWM Newsletter of 2019?

This year has been an exciting one for SWM. We've grown our membership by over 30% and welcomed many new members, as well as four new Board directors including our third Young Director. We ran a series of events including workshops on food waste and air quality, as well as our debut members only Summer Social.

Earlier this month we held our Annual Conference where we launched the new regional 2030 Sustainability Roadmap. This was a fantastic event where our 100 members and stakeholders shared thoughts on how the Roadmap's ambitions can be achieved. SWM was a finalist in the Sustainability category of the Birmingham Business Excellence Awards; we're proud to be recognised for our work and the support of all our stakeholders.

So what's in store for 2020? We'll publish our first Impact Report showcasing the way that SWM and our stakeholders have influenced sustainability in the region. We'll deliver a series of exciting events throughout 2020 that will focus on key themes including net zero, and our natural environment. And we'll continue to work with organisations such as the Climate Change Committee, the West Midlands Combined Authority, our local authorities, LEPs and businesses to help shape their response to the climate emergency. There's a lot to do!

Following last week's election result, we recognise the concern for the future of the green economy and know that our role in pushing for change, supporting the low carbon sector and sharing good practice will be ever more important.

Thank you all for your continued support. Have a great holiday and a very happy New Year!

Anna, Alan, Tom, Julie and Jordan, Sustainability West Midlands

Funding Opportunities

  • By 2 January 2020. Apply for a share of up to £480,000 for modernising energy data access. To achieve net zero emission, we must further decarbonise our energy supply and demand. 
  • By 5 January 2020. UK businesses are invited to apply for an innovation project aimed at improving air quality and boosting electric vehicle uptake in India. 
  • By 6 January 2020. Energy Systems Catapult is offering access to one of a £30-£45k package of services for up to three SMEs to run a trial in their Living Lab this winter. 
  • By 8 January 2020. UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million to work on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.
  • By 15 January 2020. Up to £100,000 is available to companies developing carbon reducing technology, products and services which are relevant to the automotive industry.
  • By 22 January 2020. Businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million to support ambitious projects developing new and more efficient ways to produce the UK’s food.
  • By 11 February 2020. Ecosurety are investing £1million in projects to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research in the UK. 
  • By 19 February 2020. UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £12 million for practical demonstrator projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging.
  • By 26 February 2020. Up to £15 million of grant funding is available through the Transforming Food Production Science and Technology into Practice programme.
  • By 30 June 2021. The Worcestershire Natural Networks scheme aims to boost biodiversity in an ERDF-funded venture which includes SWM members Worcestershire County Council.
  • By 31 December 2021. Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from free energy audits and 60% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures.
  • By 31 December 2021. Marches Renewable Energy is a grant scheme allowing eligible applicants to apply for a 50% grant for the installation of renewable technologies. 
  • By 31 December 2022. GBSLEP Habitats Grants Programme is still open. The Programme is focused on reducing dereliction and the improvement and development of natural habitats. 
  • On-going. The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects.
  • On-going. Monthly themed funding is available for Birmingham based projects that aim to deliver positive change.  
  • On-going. The Community and Environment Fund is to provide benefits to communities along the route disrupted by the construction of HS2.
  • On-going. BEIS funding of around £162 million is available for industrial research and innovation, including Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS).
  • On-going. The UK Government has announced how to apply for the Urban Tree Challenge fund, which has £10m available for the planting of trees in urban areas in England.
  • On-going. The next round of the Energy Catalyst Programme is due to launch in 2020. Up to £20m will be available to support businesses to develop sustainable energy technologies. 

Over the past year we have promoted >£900 million of accessible funding.

Upcoming SWM and Member Events

  • SHAP events on the 8 January include a site visit to WM Living site in the morning and then a discussion on the Future Homes consultation, hosted in Wolverhampton. 
  • Climate Change Solutions is running an event on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at Loughborough University on the 14 January. 
  • The Energy Research Accelerator is running a 'Thermal Systems of the Future' event on 23 January in Birmingham with industry experts to share their insights in this area of activity.
  • Meres & Mosses Business Environment Network will provide a relaxed networking opportunity, and a buffet lunch. Running on the 29 Janurary in Bridgnorth. 
  • Marches Energy Agency will help your organisation to become Carbon Literate and to bring about a rapid reduction in carbon emissions at an event on 30 Janurary in Nottingham. 
  • West Midlands Combined Authority Thrive at Work/This Is Me Showcase takes place 4 February in Birmingham, where techniques can help improve employee wellbeing will be highlighted. 
  • SHAP is running a conference on 4 February in Birmingham, focusing on two key themes; The West Midlands Fuel Poverty Programme and the SHAP new-build healthy standard fit for 2050. 
  • University of Wolverhampton is running its second Construction Futures Forum taking place 11 February in Wolverhampton.
  • University of Warwick's WMG Battery School for Industry is running 17-19 February at the university, where delegates will learn about batteries through lectures and practical sessions.
  • Climate Change Solutions is running its 16th 'Hydrogen Fuel Cell Convention' on the 17 March at the NEC. Further details are coming soon.
  • Aston University's student society WEST is running a 'Green and Sustainable Careers Fair' on 25 March in the Student Union, and exhibitor spaces are available. 
  • EBRI's Value from Waste - Master Class Courses on 25-26 March will provide exclusive content for leaders covering the technical and commercial fundamentals of bioenergy.

A full list of upcoming events is available here as well as our full member list here.

Other SWM and Member Updates 

SWM members can send their events, research or other contributions to to be included in the next newsletter. Not a member? There are many advantages to SWM membership; find out more here.

Other News and Events

For a full list of all our upcoming events, visit our events page here. For news items, visit our news page here.

We hope you enjoyed reading our newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, are interested in becoming a member or have news stories, events, case studies and reports, please visit our website or contact us. In order to avoid this email going into spam, please add us to your contacts list.

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