How UK businesses could benefit from the government’s £134m green fund

The UK government has unveiled £134 million of funding for eco-friendly business projects aimed at developing new technologies, generating new jobs and boosting productivity. The funding has been earmarked for 1,069 clean growth projects across the UK. 

The eco-conscious and innovative businesses handed slices from the funding pot in early November were each given up to £175,000 – and it is interesting to see ways that many of these businesses could opt to spend this money, given notable examples of the projects in which these companies have been engaged. 

Encouraging words from the UK’s Business Secretary  

The UK’s Business Secretary Alok Sharma recently enthused in comments quoted on the GOV.UK website: “The UK’s response to coronavirus has demonstrated the very best of British ingenuity, and it is this resourcefulness that will help us navigate our way through this pandemic.

He added that the investment from the Sustainable Innovation Fund, as the £134m green fund delivered through the agency Innovate UK is known, “will ensure that our innovators and risk-takers can continue to scale up their ideas, helping the UK to build back better and ensure we meet our clear commitments on tackling climate change.”

What green projects have funding recipients been pursuing? 

One company to have received financial assistance from the Sustainable Innovation Fund is the marine firm Rovco, which is based in the South West England city of Bristol. The company has been honing technology allowing large offshore wind turbines to be autonomously inspected underwater. 

Another recipient of funding, the Scottish company Oceanium, has undertaken work on an advanced bio-refinery set to turn seaweed into food and compostable packaging products. The company’s progress with this initiative has supported the UK in its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The UK has a strong track record in furthering the green economy 

The Sustainable Innovation Fund could prove immeasurably useful in helping UK businesses to build upon an already impressive record in green efficiency. 

According to a report published by TechUK and Deloitte in September and mentioned by ComputerWeekly.com, already-existing digital technologies could result in 15% fewer carbon emissions by 2030 while significantly supporting the UK economy – given suitable policy interventions. 

Meanwhile, research from the end of October indicates that investment in UK tech startups addressing at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals has risen almost tenfold in six years. 

What can British companies do now to help tackle the climate crisis?

Even many UK businesses not set to benefit – at least directly – from the Sustainable Innovation Fund could take inspiration from other UK businesses that, with or without the Fund’s assistance, have already established successful green policies in their workplaces. 

Many UK-based companies could, for example, lessen their reliance on digital marketing were they were to invest in high-tech printing equipment capable of easing their print marketing efforts. One respected provider of such equipment, Duplo International, stocks slitters cutters creasers – versatile machines that can each handle responsibilities that might otherwise have been assigned to separate cutting and creasing machines.