The Co-operative Enterprise Hub has announced plans to earmark £1 million to support community-owned renewable energy projects across the UK
The Enterprise Hub, to which the The Co-operative Group has pledged £6 million between 2012-2014, provides a free service offering enterprise development, mentoring, technical advice and the underwriting of community share issues.
“The investment is designed to support and encourage co-operatively owned renewable energy projects – providing the tools to create the next generation of sustainable community co-operatives that can control, generate and benefit from their own renewable energy,” explains Michael Fairclough, head of community and co-operative investment at The Co-op.
Meanwhile, the mutually-owned business’s latest ethical plan reveals that it has lent £700 million to green energy project over the last 12 months.
In the same report out last month, the Group also reports reductions of its own operational greenhouse gas emissions of 35% over the last year and a 20% cut in water consumption.
Its new plan promises further emission reductions of 50% by 2020, with water use down a further 30% by 2014.
“Despite the economic downturn we have remained true to our pledge to show the way on corporate responsibility,” says Group chief executive Peter Marks. “The savings that result from our environmental efficiency initiatives, nearly £40 million a year, are being ploughed back into the business to reduce costs.”
For further information:
GE and Carbon Trust team up to back low-carbon investment (21-Feb)
Energy Innovation Centre connects up bright ideas to £29 million fund (17-Feb)
UK government puts £30 million into community energy and efficiency schemes (7-Dec 2011)
Co-op to double lending for renewables to £1 billion by 2013 (25-Oct 2011)
06 March 2012