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About the Suffolk Sustainability Institute

Sustainable Business Enterprise in a Green Growth Economy

The Green Economy Manifesto was published in 2012 with Low Carbon, Social Capital and natural Capital as its’ key elements. The current UK evolving Industrial Strategy white paper contains specific considerations of some of these elements, acknowledging a green growth economy as being central to the Nation’s future success.

Innovation and trade play an essential role in the diffusion of green goods, services, technologies and production among domestic and foreign markets; enhancing overall economic growth and contributing to environmental and social developmental national and regional objectives. Our in-house capabilities are able to provide research and support with:

  • Business growth packages;
  • Circular Economy;
  • Continued professional training and short courses;
  • Corporate and Social Responsibility;
  • Environmental Management Systems;
  • Facilities hire;
  • Financial and management-led advice;
  • Funding opportunities –ERDF Funded projects including  Innovation Bridge; KEEP+ etc
  • Internships, work placements and associates recruited from our student population
  • Innovation support; linked to the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) and the recognition of Ipswich as an emerging tech cluster
  • Knowledge transfer partnerships and other Innovate UK funding opportunities
  • Microeconomics  (externalities, taxes, emissions trading, subsidies and so forth);
  • Sustainable Prosperity;
  • Technology expertise,
  • Waste and Water Management.
  • Networking events engaging high profile speakers
  • Development and Promotion of sustainable entrepreneurship through the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) and the engagement of SMEs within the New Anglia Local Economic Partnership (NALEP)

Energy

The UK’s energy supply faces an unprecedented challenge.Government analysts suggest that around a fifth of existing generation will need to close over the next decade, with over almost a £100 billion investment needed by 2020 in order to secure low-carbon energy supplies.

In order to support low carbon, climate resilient development; it is vital to create partnerships that share knowledge and data, whilst leveraging private and public investment. The Energy sector in particular, has significant potential to deliver substantial environmental adaptation, including the development of a stronger financial environment, competitiveness and regional job creation.

Within this sectorial space the Institute is able to establish collaborations and research with:

  • Energy efficiency research and demonstration
  • Low carbon energy technology – bioenergy, CHP, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind etc.
  • Smart grids and storage development
  • Smart cities and communities
  • Mechanism for delivering affordable energy and clean growth

The Built Environment

The Sustainable Built Environment theme seeks to develop and promote research and industry practice in problem solving and decision making through whole development cycles and project processes. Developing plans for sustainable housing and meeting the challenges faced by Suffolk as well as elsewhere in UK, use of advances in technology as an enabler for smart future living will form one of the key areas of research and knowledge transfer activity.

The core aspects of the built environment will range from project conceptualisation, to building, infrastructure and urban design, construction development, facility operation and management, deconstruction, recycling and reuse; for cost efficient and sustainable outcomes.  The institute will seek to develop research and provide expertise in the following areas: 

  • Smart and Sustainable Cities (incl. transport, power generation, water and waste water treatment);
  • Building Information Modelling;
  • Sustainable Construction;
  • Energy management;
  • Resources;
  • Sustainable Supply Chains;
  • Materials development;
  • Low Carbon infrastructure – Tackling Climate Change;
  • Policy, legislation and planning.

The Natural Environment and Communities

The Suffolk Sustainability & Innovation Summit and Centre Launch took place on the 2 February 2018.

Population growth, economic development, changing consumption patterns, urbanisation and climate change add pressure on the natural environment and community well-being. The Suffolk Sustainability Institute will undertake evidence based research that seeks to support policy and regulatory bodies, third sector and business communities in finding solutions to these challenges. 

Working within and beyond the framework of DEFRA’s 25yr Environment Plan; academic and staff expertise will assist in the creation of a move towards a truly sustainable regional community.  

Social and natural environment risks are also business risks. Businesses succeed in successful societies and it is difficult to separate community well‐being from companies. The Institute will seek to stimulate economic diversification, and employment for the poorest - or marginalised, through Social Enterprise support. 

  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity
  • Charities and Community Interest Groups
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystem services
  • Land use
  • Marine
  • Natural resource management
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Social Enterprise
  • Waste
  • Water 

Green Information Technology

We are living in the era of "Big Data" and the computing power required to deal with "Big Data" both in terms of its energy consumption and technical complexity is one of the key areas of research and development.

Some of the most interesting areas of research as far as Green Information Technology is concerned is around “energy harvesting” or “energy scavenging”, and the concept of the concept of “the Internet of Things”.

Energy Harvesting is exploring the technology of how we can take advantage of various ambient power sources scattered around us.

The concept of the Internet of Things, is looking into series of technologies that enable machine to machine communication and machine to human interaction via internet protocols.

Suffolk is viewed as key Technology hub development in UK and the Institute can benefit from working closely with BT and other key stakeholders developing innovative research solutions to deal with growing technology demand not only in Suffolk but across the UK.

Key strategic areas of research and consultancy include:

  • “Big Infrastructure” and “Big Data” computing
  • Challenges with large number of existing “legacy” systems
  • ICT performance and sustainability
  • The legal framework within which system developers and providers need to work
  • “Cloud Computing” benefits and challenges
  • “Energy harvesting” or “Energy scavenging”, and the “Internet of Things”