Six winners of a one-off funding competition in Stockport are set to save nearly £100,000 in total over the next four years after receiving a share of £41,000 to install green technologies.
The Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge saw winners receive grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of the costs of purchasing and installing technology that would reduce their impact on the environment whilst delivering economic benefits. The competition was funded by Stockport Council and supported by Stockport Economic Alliance and the Business Growth Hub.
Together the six winning projects have invested over £80,000 in low carbon technologies, which over the next four years will deliver nearly £100,000 in savings and cut carbon emissions by 250 tonnes – equivalent to driving from Manchester to the moon and back in a Hummer.
The winners include Creative Apparel Ltd, a manufacturer of branded workwear and promotional clothing, which received £10,000 for new automated cleaning equipment that improves both energy and water efficiency and is projected to save £6,800 a year.
“The new machine is a great addition to our production facility”, said Phil Millar, managing director at Creative Apparel (pictured). “By introducing an automated system we have cut manual labour needed for cleaning and de-coating by 95 per cent, reduced health and safety risks and improved our resource efficiency.”
Castrads Ltd, a producer of bespoke cast iron radiators, secured a £9,100 grant to replace 91 inefficient light fixings with high efficiency LEDs, which will save over £4,400 and 17 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) a year.
Nick Baylis, Director of Castrads Ltd, said: “The Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge funding was a great opportunity for us to make immediate and lasting cuts to both our energy costs and environmental impact, and the expert support we’ve received from the Business Growth Hub will ensure that we continue to move forward and make more advances in future.”
Other local winners included Cheshire Specialist Engineering, County Car and Van Rental, Red Rose Packaging and Disability Stockport.
The one-off competition reflected a growing understanding amongst the business community that improving resource efficiency not only reduces environmental impacts but also increases resilience and delivers a lasting cost benefit to the bottom line.
Wayne Jones, chair of Stockport Economic Alliance, said: “The competition shows how a relatively small investment in green technology can make a big difference for companies. I would encourage other businesses to explore changes they could make to positively affect the environment and ultimately reduce their operating costs.”
Cllr Patrick McAuley, executive member for thriving economy at Stockport Council, added: “I am pleased that we have had the opportunity to support local businesses through the Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge. The ideas they identified have the potential to deliver significant environmental benefits, which will help improve the local environment for all residents, as well as reduce costs for each of the winners which will help as they plan for future growth.”
To find out more about the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth support for Greater Manchester SMEs, visit the website.