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Sustainable Business Support

Local Support for Businesses:gbn

Bedfordshire Green Business Network

Bedfordshire Green Business Network is a Registered Charity which helps businesses in Bedfordshire and neighbouring counties to reduce their impact on the environment by offering advice, seminars, workshops, training, on-line and on-site support, and, most importantly, the opportunity to share best practice with like-minded companies.

Green Office GuiGreen Office Guidede for Business

Bedford Borough Council has produced a Green Office Guide to help it reduce its own emissions. It has now made a version of it available to local businesses and householders to help them be more sustainable and reduce energy consumption.  Businesses can use the guide as a template or can follow the tips to help them reduce their emissions and costs. 


Bedford Borough Council's Sustainable Transport Team - Business/Workplace Travel Planning

Bedford Borough Council can provide guidance in relation to many areas of business/workplace travel planning. Travel planning represents the best practice in transport demand management and focus on changing travel behaviour, moving away from single occupancy car use and moving more towards sustainable travel alternatives: car sharing, walking, cycling, public transport, smarter working practices.

As workplaces are one of the main contributors to peak hour commuting congestion, business/workplace travel plans can aid congestion reduction and more sustainable developments. These travel plans can involve low-cost transport interventions that have proven effectiveness, at local and area level. Organisations benefits can include savings through reduced parking demand, reductions in emissions from single occupancy car use, improved site access, healthier workplaces and improved corporate social responsibility credentials.

The Council aims to help businesses to reduce their transport impacts on the environment through the development of business/ workplace travel plans, both for individual sites and/or an area wide basis. The Council can offer advice, seminars, workshops and the opportunity to share best practice with small, medium and large organisations throughout the Borough and at no cost to the businesses.

Bedford Borough Council's Recycling Team

Business Waste: Business Rates do not cover the removal of waste from business premises. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, all businesses are required by law to ‘dispose of their waste properly'. The Council can help you to meet your obligations and provides a full range of commercial waste collection services via our contractor.

National Support for Businesses:

British Gas - Energy Efficiency Fund

The British Gas Energy Efficiency Fund is designed to help micro-businesses manage their energy costs in the long-term, by providing free expert advice and energy efficiency measures. Eligible businesses will receive a free on-site energy survey, as well as fully-funded installations of energy saving measures valued up to £6,000 per business, helping you save money on your energy bill. 

SME Energy Efficiency Guide

A guide which sets out low-cost measures and steps that small and medium sized business (SMEs) can take to start saving energy and money on their bills.

Green taxes, reliefs and schemes for businesses 

Green taxes encourage businesses to operate in a more environmentally friendly way. There are different taxes and schemes designed for different kinds and size of business. You may be able to get reliefs or be exempt from some taxes - for example:

  • if you need to use a lot of energy because of the nature of your business
  • if you’re a small business that doesn’t use much energy
  • if you buy energy-efficient technology for your business

Carbon Trust Smart SMEs

Online support and resources for small and medium-sized organisations, together with practical advice and solutions to help SMEs identify and implement actions to reduce their energy overheads and improve their bottom line.

The Carbon Trust's SME Carbon Network

The network is a free, nationwide, online community for SMEs designed to help share knowledge and best practice relating to reducing carbon emissions and energy costs.

Lower Carbon, Lower Costs - Resource Directory for SMEs

This provides businesses with the headline facts about climate change and its impact on the economy, before identifying practical resources that are already available to help businesses review how they operate, with a view to reducing their environmental impact whilst saving money on energy, waste and transport.

WRAP Rippleffect programme

The Rippleffect can provide your business with a straightforward and structured approach to help you to:

  • understand how much water your business uses;
  • identify simple ways to start saving water and money;
  • measure the water and cost savings that you have made; and
  • learn about 'quick win' water saving devices

The Rippleffect support package provides a wealth of free advice and support to help your business to save money by using water more efficiently. By registering for the Rippleffect you will have access to:

  • online training modules;
  • freephone advice line;
  • online videos;
  • guides and case studies; and
  • online tools.

Environment Agency

For help on how to read your water bill and how to develop a water management plan for your business download their publication: Waterwise - Good for business, great for the environment.

ERDF Low Carbon Business Advice - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

ERDF is a low carbon focused programme designed to offer low carbon themed business support to start up or existing businesses. This fully funded programme enables WENTA advisors to offer new start up businesses free, one to one low carbon themed business advice sessions. Also on offer is signposting to specialists within the industry and access to a grant scheme that will enable both new and existing businesses to make better low carbon purchasing decisions (grant of £1000 to £7500).

Grants4Growth - Grants available for technology and processing investment

Grants4Growth is a new £8.5m project, funded by the European Union in the East of England. SMEs (businesses with fewer than 250 employees) in Bedford Borough can apply for a grant towards capital investment in equipment or processes that reduce fuel or energy costs.

Guide for SMEs in the East of England - Weathering the Storm

Weathering the Storm is a guide to support SMEs in the East of England to consider the business risks and opportunities that extreme weather and climate change present. The guide helps businesses understand how they can examine their process, their operations and their assets so as to uncover the nature and size of the risks they may face.