£40K awards on offer for green SMEs

Small businesses are being offered the chance to win awards of up to £40,000 to help fund innovative ideas to tackle climate change.

The Shell Springboard programme, now in its fourth year, is offering up to six awards in each of three UK regions - north, central and south.

Last year, oil and gas giant Shell handed out maximum £40,000 awards to five businesses for their projects, which had to prove they can lead to greenhouse gas reductions and be commercially viable.

"SMEs are a vibrant and creative sector of the economy, so they're ideally placed to be climate change entrepreneurs," James Smith, chairman of Shell UK, said.

"Shell's planning scenario planning suggests that in the future we will be reliant on a mix of a number of different energy sources and energy saving technologies.

"Grassroots innovation from small businesses could be a crucial factor in driving the development of this mix.

"I'd urge SMEs operating in this field to give serious consideration to the Springboard programme."

One of the 2007 winners was Dr Paula Carey of Carbon8, a company which turns everyday rubbish from landfill sites into building materials such as bricks or roofing.

She believes winning the award helped her to secure a partnership with Kent County Council to create a pilot project on a local landfill site.

"Programmes like Shell Springboard encourage small and medium sized businesses to seize the issue of climate change as a commercial opportunity that should be embraced," Dr Carey said.

Up to six awards of between £20,000 and £40,000 are on offer in each of the regions. Entries must be received by November 7.

More information about the scheme and details of how apply can be found here.

Kate Martin



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