January 2006

DEFRA dishes out more monetary support for green business

Over £90 million is to be dished out to fund green business support services, Ben Bradshaw Minister for Local Environmental Quality confirmed in December.

The funding comes from Defra’s Business Resource Efficiency and Waste program which recycles revenue generated through increases in Landfill Tax.

This package, the second year’s worth of funding under the program, will see an additional £95 million invested in organizations that can help businesses cut waste, shift waste from landfill and improve their efficiency.

The money will fund a range of free services and targeted support for businesses of all sizes and sector: from large quoted companies to smaller enterprises.

Ben Bradshaw said, “Waste is about more than recycling - it links into the big issues about how much this country is producing and consuming. Although we all want to continue to enjoy the benefits of a modern society, the impacts of our everyday consumption patterns on the environment remain severe. The inefficient use of resources can also affect business competitiveness - including small businesses. Many businesses simply do not realize that they can expect to save around 5% of their turnover by cutting waste, often with little or no investment.

The money has been split between 11 organizations and programs:

Carbon Trust will receive £25m to help organizations respond to climate change and cut their emissions.

Envirowise will be given £19m to help businesses cut waste, water and energy use and to run waste efficiency clubs.

The Environment Agency will be given over £4m to tackle waste crime and improve the small business environmental legislation portal NetRegs.

The National Industrial Symbiosis Program will receive £6m to help businesses find value in wastes they normally sent to landfill.

The Strategic Supply Chain Group will receive £237,000 to promote sustainable procurement through supply chains.

The Waste and Resources Action Program will be getting over £9m for a range of projects including an SME waste collection pilots, market development for business wastes, capital support for recycling infrastructure and business development in the recycling sector.

The Market Transformation Program will receive £3.3m to fund further work to address product design and relating environmental impacts.

DTI will receive £8m to fund collaborative research and development on commercial and industrial waste issues.

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts will receive £2m to administer a fund for community groups who have special expertise in helping businesses to become more resource efficient.

Regional Development Agencies have been awarded nearly £12m to fund co-coordinating BREW work and funding extra regional initiatives.

A further £2.1m will be invested into improving the quality of data on waste as part of a Defra initiative.

In 2005/6 BREW allocated £43m to business support. This enabled, among other things: the national role out of the National Industrial Symbiosis Program; Envirowise to target several more sectors of business with free environmental advice; WRAP to expand their market creation work to include recycled plasterboard, tires and batteries; and, the funding of 18 new research and development projects looking at waste management and waste minimization.

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