From:                                             Sustainability West Midlands <>

Sent:                                               27 June 2019 11:55

To:                                                  Support1

Subject:                                         SWM News June 2019 - Have we reached a tipping point?


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Sustainability West Midlands

SWM News June 2019 - Have we reached a tipping point?

So far, 2019 has shown signs that climate change is increasingly recognised as a critical issue. The UK Government has announced its intention to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and last week proposed to host the COP26 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2020, with Birmingham being one of the host cities under consideration.

To date, 94 local authorities have declared a climate emergency and the West Midlands Combined Authority has been working with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on science-based targets and will support local authorities in their patch to develop their own. This will be discussed at the WMCA Board Meeting on Friday and the Mayor has invited representatives from the Youth Strike for Climate movement to attend.

This high level political commitment is a great start but it is essential that appropriate climate action is designed and effectively delivered. Arup has produced an excellent guide: 'You've declared a Climate Emergency...What next?‘ which walks local authorities through the steps to effective action.

The one area which jumped out most to us was collaboration and the need to engage and partner with a wide range of organisations. This is what SWM is about and the very reason we exist.

On Tuesday we held our first members only event: our Summer Social. Our membership is growing at an increasing rate with a 30% increase in 2018-19. Our communications and networks also go from strength to strength and allow us to reach thousands of individuals each month. We believe that this puts us in a strong position to work together across sectors and geographical boundaries, to achieve the best results for sustainability.

Our case studies demonstrate the way that we are working with all types of organisations to develop their response to climate change. Contact us to find out how we can help you and how you can get involved.

Read 'Our Comment' for a more detailed review.

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

Funding opportunities

  • By July 2019. Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.
  • By July 2019. £25 million of match-funding is available for UK-developed late stage R&D, to support growth in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector.
  • By 31 July 2019. The WMCA's Better Streets Community Fund is your opportunity to secure funding to improve your streets by making them a better place to live and move about in.
  • By 2 August 2019. DEFRA is providing £18 million to support resource efficiency projects, with the goal of diverting, reducing and better managing waste.
  • By August 2019. UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop clean, cheap local energy systems that create prosperous, resilient UK communities.
  • By September 2019. Organisations can apply for a share of up to £22 million as part of Energy Catalyst Round 7 to help provide clean and affordable energy in Africa, South Asia or both.
  • By June 2021. The Worcestershire Natural Networks scheme aims to boost biodiversity in an ERDF-funded venture which includes SWM members Worcestershire County Council.
  • By December 2021. Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can benefit from free energy audits and 60% grant funding towards energy efficiency measures.
  • 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 in industrial research and innovation, including Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS).
  • On-going. The Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is running a Start Up Competition, awarding businesses demonstrating sustainable entrepreneurship with up to €500,000.
  • 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 European Regional Development Fund’s (ERDF) GBSLEP Habitats Grants Programme is open for applications that improve the environment for people/wildlife.

Over the past year we have promoted >£850 million of accessible funding.

Upcoming SWM and member events

  • WMCA is launching a new adult education and training offer and associated events across July in partnership with local colleges and providers, to help you get the right skills for employment.
  • SWM is running a workshop on sustainable business at this year's Venturefest West Midlands, co-organised by our partners Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, taking place on 4 July.
  • The University of Birmingham ARLI team is running an Offsite Construction and 'Smart Buildings' workshop/competition on 4 July on campus.
  • Cenex is running a free web seminar to help prepare for the transport aspects of ESOS. It is on 4 July from 11:00-11:45, book here
  • CREST is running a workshop about understanding your waste streams. It will be on 9 July at Stafford Park in Telford. 
  • EnTRESS is hosting Wearing Out Waste at the University of Wolverhampton on 12 July, with talks on the sustainable textile industry.
  • Fit for the Future Network are running a workshop focusing on developing policies and strategies for sustainability on 18 July in Swindon. SWM will be speaking at this event.
  • Coventry University Enterprises is running a two day course giving a practical introduction to the basic elements of 3D BIM development software. 30-31 July at Coventry University. 
  • Cenex is running a Low Carbon Vehicles and Connected Automated Mobility Event on 4 and 5 September in Bedfordshire.
  • SWM will be exhibiting at Recycling and Waste Management 2019 from 11-12 September, taking place in Birmingham and bringing together industry experts to tackle business waste.
  • SWM will be exhibiting at Solar & Storage Live 2019, taking place on 17-19 September in Birmingham, gathering people from across all sectors interested in energy technology.
  • Climate Change Solutions is co-running a conference on understanding and disseminating the practical consequences of climate change on our daily lives on 7 November in Birmingham. 

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

Other SWM and member updates

  • SWM welcomes new member Winning Moves "Sustainability is at the heart of Winning Moves ethos and values, we aim to help drive this critical area within the region and beyond."
  • SWM welcomes new member Thermal Recycling "We hope to become a global business which transforms the way in which asbestos is disposed of."
  • SWM ran its first ever Members Only event earlier this week! It was a unique opportunity for our members to come together and connect. It was a great turnout despite the deluge...
  • SWM ran a partnership event with CIWEM West Midlands on air quality on 5 June, hosted by our members University of Birmingham.
  • SWM in partnership with the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands convened the latest Innovative Low Carbon Working Group meeting on 6 June.
  • SWM runs a case study service for our members; check out the most recent publications from Cycle-R and Systra.
  • Social Enterprise UK has opened to the 2019 UK Social Enterprise Awards. The Awards recognise the best in the sector for their business excellence and contribution to society.
  • Groundwork has opened a tender to appoint an appropriately qualified adviser to provide strategic support to their Sustainable Business Services group.
  • Boningale Nurseries is looking for a new sales representative. They are one of the leading suppliers of ornamental plants to the domestic and commercial landscaping market. 
  • Bryt Energy has collaborated with Eos Energy Storage and Connected Energy to develop and roll out a pioneering and financially competitive zinc hybrid battery.
  • SHAP has published its research summary report on understanding how investment outcomes in housing can be managed to create and maintain a high quality UK housing stock.
  • Energy Systems Catapult has developed its new Home Energy Dynamics tool, able to assist in the designing of low carbon heating and retrofit solutions.
  • The Environment Agency's consultation on the draft national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy for England is open until 4 July.
  • Ecuity welcomes the UK’s move toward a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.
  • Cenex is looking for participants for their online survey on alternate fuels for freights and logistics to develop strategies and policies for the Midlands.
  • Cenex is also looking for a new Social Media and PR officer. This is due tomorrow (28 June) so don't wait! 
  • Marches Energy Agency is looking for a new home energy adviser. They are an independent charity in the Midlands that helps to reduce fuel poverty and promote energy reduction.

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

  • Birmingham City Council has issued a statement regarding a delay to the implementation of the Clean Air Zone.
  • Public Health England has published their heatwave plan for England to promote the reduction of heat-related illnesses and death.
  • The Black Country Technical Assistance Team is running a series of ERDF capacity building workshops throughout June and July. 
  • The Wildlife Trusts for Birmingham and the Black Country are recruiting for their CEO. Applications close on 4 July and more information is here
  • The Wildlife Trusts for Birmingham and the Black Country are also looking for a Volunteer Coordinator to support people through their volunteer journey.
  • KTN-iX has posted a challenge: could you solve the problem of controlling vegetation at solar farms? Applications close on 19 July.

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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