Net Zero Hub

Net Zero Hub

Low Carbon Devon project helping businesses take action on climate change

Rosie Mascall, Marketing and Events Officer at the Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon, discusses how the project is supporting Devon businesses to take climate action.

Behind this beautiful green wall is the Low Carbon Devon project which is helping Devon businesses to take action on climate change.

The project, based at the University of Plymouth, offers free practical support including internships, access to University researchers and access to inspiring and practical events.

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need to take climate action, many enterprises are looking for support with how they can do this. At times we can feel overwhelmed with the task at hand, the complexity of the issues and even confused by some of the jargon used.

The Low Carbon Devon project supports enterprises to help navigate these issues. As we move towards a low carbon economy, the project is helping to connect people with some of the inspiring low carbon initiatives and opportunities available.

There is already a diverse range of low carbon work being undertaken by Devon-based businesses. Project Plan B, based in Plymouth, are developing fully recyclable clothes and in Exeter, Two Drifters Distillery are going beyond net zero, making their business carbon negative through a self-imposed carbon capture ‘tax’.

There is some great work happening in Devon and the Low Carbon Devon project is working to increase awareness of this and encourage others to consider what they can do. 

The project is part of the University of Plymouth which has received recognition as an innovative leader in higher education for sustainability. The project team can tap into the talent and expertise within the University, linking Devon enterprises with researchers who can help them with a particular project or provide general advice.

This is a great opportunity for Devon businesses to be able to benefit from the specialised skills, knowledge and resources at the University, helping them to reduce their carbon impact.

As well as linking business with researchers, the Low Carbon Devon’s internship programme has built a reputation for providing high-calibre interns, fully funded by the project. So far students and graduates from the University of Plymouth have been placed in around 20 enterprises across Devon to work on a low carbon project.

The themes and sectors have been diverse, for example:

  • Researching and reporting on the carbon impact within a company’s supply chain.
  • Investigating and writing a report on future energy markets
  • Helping the company to understand the steps it would have to take to achieve B Corp status (a rigorous social and environmental certificate)
  • Gathering environmental intelligence data to help understand pollinator decline.

Chris Woodfield, the project’s Knowledge Exchange Officer tells us, “we’re proud to watch these University of Plymouth students and graduates take their knowledge from their degree programmes and put it into action to support the Devon business community, whilst leading the way in sustainable and civic change”.

Chris explains that the internship programme is about so much more than practical and professional experience.

“The Future Shift internship programme is a curated shared learning experience with access to unique development and change-leadership sessions,” he says.

“These sessions are designed to help them become future-fit change-makers, leaders and role models of a low carbon society.”

The Low Carbon Devon project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and can support your business with:

  • A fully funded three-month internship
  • Practical support from researchers
  • Up to £7,500 funding for specific collaboration projects via the Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund – application and approval dependent.
  • A series of free business-focused events and workshops

To find out more email sustainabilityhub@plymouth.ac.uk, click here or scan the QR code below.

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