Businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk can ‘BEE’ greener and save money for free, thanks to Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) Anglia project. European funding was approved just in the nick of time to help Norfolk and Suffolk businesses become greener and cut their energy costs.
The project BEE Anglia is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered across the region through a partnership of Groundwork, Norfolk County Council, NWES and Suffolk County Council.
The project has three core offers that have been designed to help businesses reduce carbon and save money using independent advice (FREE Energy reviews), grant funding (up to £20,000) and recognition for their efforts (Carbon Charter accreditation).
So far Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) Anglia have awarded £145,000 in grant funding for various energy efficiency projects (totalling £536,000) including radiant heating, vehicle tracking, wood burner and lighting. The scope for grant funding has been widened to enable ANY energy efficiency measure to be considered. Approval will be based on being able to demonstrate sufficient associated energy savings.
To date the project has reviewed 463 organisations and identified cost savings of £2,751,597 (£5,943 per business), and carbon savings of 25,042t (54t per business). The savings identified are the equivalent of 7,442 flights from London to Sydney.
“Without the funding from BEE Anglia we wouldn’t have been able to afford the extra cost of installing energy saving equipment and LED lighting. Our aim is to grow the company without having any increased impact on the environment. Implementing these energy saving techniques has helped us achieve this goal”
Alasdair Gordon, Operations Director, Kiezebrink
If your organisation is interested in the service, register your interest online (www.beeanglia.org) or call Groundwork on 01473 350370. Dedicated advisors will be able to answer any queries about eligibility for the programme or potential grant projects.
It took us five years persuading, trialling and proving that we could turn waste into cash but it paid off. Within one year of the initial commissioning trials, the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Plant was achieving its target electricity output. The £5.4m investment in the AD plant enabled Muntons to produce over 10% of its total electricity usage on site and saved many thousands of miles in vehicle movements by diverting waste into methane generation, rather than being spread onto land that is simply registered for waste disposal, not for growing high quality cereals.
During our project design phase we considered, and dismissed as unsuitable, a number of plants that were either ‘unavailable’ for us to visit or had never been used to treat malt extract. Of two remaining possible plants both were run as pilot scale trials. One failed miserably but the other succeeding to a greater extent than even the manufacturer would have hoped for, and of course we chose the latter. To have hit the electricity generating goal within a year of starting up the plant was outstanding. Our AD plant is not really a waste treatment plant because the only materials we feed it with are the end products left after processing locally grown cereals into malt or other malted ingredients. As such we are ideally placed to claim this is highly environmentally beneficial and a true ‘cradle to cradle’ project.
The output of the AD process is water, which can be treated by our aerobic plant prior to discharge to river, methane gas sufficient to power a 499kWh electricity generator and a nutrient rich material suitable as an alternate fertiliser. This is highly rich in nitrogen, phosphate and potassium and will be much in demand from our malting barley growers having been de-watered by a large centrifuge rendering it easy to spread onto the land. Our board supported the investment decision, as through this project we were able to save the £750,000 every year we were paying for 3,000 truck-loads of residue from our processes to be removed from site.
We are continuously looking for investments that remove risk from our business, contribute positively to the bottom line and improve our environmental impact. It is heartening to read in applications for employment that our approach resonates with people’s aspirations to work for an environmentally sensitive and financially prosperous company. Our strapline ‘P.S. Practical Sustainability - It’s no afterthought’ continues to drive us to address the so called triple bottom line: People, Profit, Planet. There is absolutely no shame in heralding that our sustainability agenda is driven by a desire to generate greater profit. The real knack we have developed is that we can address our impact on the planet at the same time as making our business more profitable and sustainable in terms of cost, leading edge environmental performance and our ability to attract talent for a secure and prosperous future.