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Birmingham SMEs get cash for green energy

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In order for businesses to grow and reduce overheads, they need to invest in their energy efficiency measures.

For many firms, however, this area may seem like an unnecessary expense that is rarely factored into the yearly budget. That’s why a pioneering project in Birmingham has been set up to provide funding to small businesses in the region and help them make the move to a greener way of working.

The Innovation Engine project has secured a cash injection worth £786,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), some of which will be used to allow small firms to make changes to their carbon footprint and introduce environmentally friendly technology into their firms.

Commenting on the impact of the project, David Rowe, a member of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, said: “Within the local area, and particularly universities, there is a wealth of skills and knowledge in the field of innovation that has the potential to help businesses move forward with new ideas and ways of working to improve their performance and profits.”

The scheme will go some way to financially helping some 80 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over two years, as well as showcasing innovative ways companies can enjoy successful growth.

There are many things SMEs can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Offering flexible working, for example, can reduce the need for employees to travel into the office. As well as being a green solution, it also helps to generate savings for business owners, as they do not need to worry about office rental or energy-related costs.

For those who do work in a shared office space, cutting down on printing costs and ensuring all electrical devices are not left on standby also helps to reduce energy output, as well as lead to greater savings.

Instead of printing documents out, if companies invested in cloud computing, they could access resources directly from their computer. On top of this, firms could consider investing in mobile devices. This may seem like a large outlay to begin with, but will help to ensure work can be completed in a more flexible, cheaper manner.