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Sustainability West Midlands

SWM News January 2019 - New year, new opportunities!

We're kicking 2019 off with a couple of exciting opportunities, with more announcements to follow.

Firstly, we're looking to recruit our next Young Director. Are you passionate about changing the way people think and act so that we can build a better future for our businesses and communities in the West Midlands? Can you demonstrate a desire and track record to learn and inspire others to improve their environment and communities? If so, why not consider applying for our innovative role as Young Director to sit on our Board for a year. Matt Beveridge talks about his experience of being Young Director at SWM in this short video. Full details and the recruitment pack are available on our website and the deadline for applications is 28 February.

Secondly, we're opening our membership competition again. If you've been considering joining us and are seeing the potential benefits that SWM membership could bring your organisation, now is your chance to win free membership for 2019. Full details of membership are available here. The winner of our membership competition last year was Boningale Nurseries:

“Our first year with SWM has been a great success. We have participated in several well organised, engaging events that provided a platform to present our company’s ideas and products to new clients and industry stakeholders. SWM has also introduced us to other relevant networks, and we have forged productive links, particularly with universities and organisations who are influencing the wider industry." Maggie Fennell, Product Development Manager, Boningale Ltd.

The deadline for entries is 28 February 2019 and full details of how to apply are on our website. Good luck!

Anna Bright, Chief Executive, on behalf of the SWM Team

Funding opportunities

  • By 28 February 2019. The ERDF Business Growth Programme has been extended. This is to help SMEs grow in selected areas in the West Midlands.

  • By 28 February 2019. SWM member Veolia is providing a number of grants for community groups to help improve the environment of their local areas.

  • By 1 March 2019. Youth groups can receive up to 80% towards the costs of providing environmental outreach education for groups of disadvantaged young people.

  • By 6 March 2019. Businesses can apply for funding that support the design, build and manufacture of zero and low emission vehicles and technologies.

  • By 13 March 2019. The UK Government has announced up to £2m funding for firms who can develop solutions to the worlds growing ocean plastic crisis.

  • By 25 March 2019. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has announced funding to tackle the inequalities caused by climate change.

  • By 25 April 2019. There are various Horizon 2020 calls open at present focusing on the development of battery technologies.

  • By 1 May 2019. Highways England is investing up to £20 million for solutions that focus on how digital technology can improve air quality on UK roads. 

  • By May 2019. SMEs can benefit from the Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP) to help develop products, processes or services.

  • By June 2019. Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from a £5m funding pot towards expanding business premises or renovating under-utilised areas.

  • By October 2019. SMEs can obtain free energy audits and 40% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures in Greater Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country.

  • By June 2021. The Worcestershire Natural Networks scheme aims to boost biodiversity in an ERDF-funded venture which includes SWM members Worcestershire County Council.

  • 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 £162m is available in industrial research and innovation, including Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS).

  • On-going. £320m is being made available in UK for heat network part of the Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP).

Over the past year we have promoted >£700 million of accessible funding.

Upcoming SWM and member events

  • Our members are invited to SWM's brand new Summer Social, which will take place on 25 June hosted by our members Ricoh. More info to come next month!
  • Meres and Mosses Business Environment Network is hosting an event on 6 February focusing on the importance of good water quality.
  • Cenex is running a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology workshop on 6 February looking at the impact and management of EVs on the National Grid.
  • Aston University is hosting a data management workshop on 7 February for SMEs in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area to help your business maximise efficiency.
  • CREST is introducing Smart Rural on 13 February, exploring opportunities around energy and construction in Shropshire.
  • University of Wolverhampton's EnTRESS team is running a Climate Resilient Infrastructure event on 22 February, focusing on adapting infrastructure to the impacts of climate change.
  • C&W Green Business Programme will be a running a free business support event on 26 February including support in applying for funding.
  • sben will be providing an update on environmental legislation at their Legal Updating Event on 27 February.
  • International Synergies is jointly running a free sustainability breakfast on 7 March focusing on how businesses can collaborate to reduce waste.
  • sben will be raising awareness of the Green Business Fund and their Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme at an event on 14 March 2019.
  • Climate Change Solutions will be running its Hydrogen and Fuel Cell conference on 19 March focusing on the future use of hydrogen in vehicles. 
  • Worcestershire County Council is running a Business Energy and Innovation Conference on 20 March, where you can hear about low carbon innovative technologies and grants available.
  • SWM is a partner in June's Flood & Coast conference, aiming to deliver excellence in flood  management. We will be exhibiting across the three days.

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

Other SWM and member updates

  • SWM welcomes our new Board Member Councillor Tony Miller, who is Cabinet Member for the Environment at Worcestershire County Council.
  • SWM welcomes new member Lodge Cottrell, the world's oldest leading specialist in air pollution control and provider of bespoke air cleaning solutions.
  • SWM welcomes new member Kew Projects Ltd, a business that specialises in the development of a thermal treatment plant for waste into easily-usable energy sources.
  • SWM welcomes new member Cycle-R, a bike recycling charity who re-service old bikes as new, safe and affordable models to reduce waste.
  • SWM welcomes new member CR Plus Ltd, an organisation dedicated to consultancy on energy efficiency and cost reduction for businesses and carbon reduction.
  • University of Wolverhampton's EnTRESS project has published their case study on the SWM website about their work with ASAN Wood Saints to improve their business activities.
  • Aston University has published their case study on the SWM website about their work towards obtaining plastic-free status from Surfers Against Sewage.
  • University of Birmingham is advertising for a new Sustainability Manager to join their estates team and champion sustainability on campus.
  • Ecuity is advertising for a Graduate Engineer in the low carbon economy sector. This will be based in Birmingham and include the delivery of technical analysis.
  • Marches Energy Agency is looking to recruit a new volunteer trustee to sit on their board four times a year and shape the changes of the organisation.
  • Marches Energy Agency is also looking for two volunteers; one to support with their grants and another to support their marketing and promotional aspects.
  • Energy Systems Catapult has a number of open job opportunities within their organisation for those who want to work in the energy sector.
  • Energy Systems Catapult frequently publishes reports using their expertise on a wide variety of topics from carbon capture to localised clean growth.
  • Aston University has collaborated with Harper Adams University to form their AGRI project, to promote collaboration between Universities and businesses in the Agri-tech sector.
  • The Flood & Coast Excellence Awards will be held at the Flood and Coast 2019 Conference, celebrating innovative projects that have tackled flooding issues.
  • Severn Trent has partnered with the Refill initiative, a fantastic new scheme which gives you free and easy access to refreshing tap water when you’re out and about.
  • Severn Trent has published some advice to customers on how to protect the water pipes in their homes to prevent them from freezing when the temperatures drop.
  • Environment Agency has published advice for this winter on what to do in case of a flood, in order to mitigate risks to your own life, home and business.
  • sben is offering a sponsorship opportunity at their YESS’19 event, which brings young people together from across Staffordshire to debate environmental issues.
  • Keele University has been ranked in the global top 20 universities for sustainability, including accolades in areas such as energy, climate change and waste.
  • SWM recently presented at the latest Midlands Sustainable Education Network meeting on the latest progress against our roadmap, our work with the WMCA and our college case study.

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

  • The Clean Air Strategy sets out how the Government intends to tackle sources of air pollution, improve air quality, protect nature and grow the economy.
  • The NHS Long Term Plan includes significant focus on health inequality and air pollution, as well as actions to reduce harmful emissions and waste.
  • Cities Outlook 2019 provides a review of the impact that a decade of austerity has had on our cities, including Birmingham and Coventry.
  • Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust is encouraging businesses to partner with them to have an impact on local biodiversity.

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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