It’s the end of another year and we’re reflecting on the amazing time we’ve had with our Innovative Low Carbon partners and the great things we’ve seen and heard throughout 2019. We enjoyed it so much we want to share our top takeaways with you too:

1. Midlands Energy Hub – Midlands Energy Hub gave us insight into their Local Capacity Support Program. This aims to support the capacity of LEPs and Local Authorities to identify and deliver local energy strategies and projects. Examples of their projects include: mine water heat extraction; coastal anaerobic digestion (food waste); large scale PV and battery storage, and many more.

2. Innovation Gateway – Innovation Gateway transforms the performance of buildings with high-impact innovation. It is an alliance of organisations working in partnership to reduce the costs and environmental impacts of their buildings; through innovations in energy, waste, water, productivity and wellbeing. The partners benefit from a unique combination of innovation, data and best practice, enabling them to achieve challenging cost reduction and environmental targets for their buildings.

3. Energy Capital – Energy Capital is the smart energy innovation partnership for the West Midlands. They respond to the needs of the vibrant manufacturing economy and diverse local markets in order to make the West Midlands one of the most attractive locations to build innovative clean energy technology companies in the world!

4. Ricoh UK Production Ltd – We were thrilled to be able to visit and have a fascinating tour of Ricoh in Telford and hear about how they use innovation to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Their existing activities include a commitment to the Circular Economy; carbon saving; natural capital development; health and wellbeing (evening walk & litter pick); and innovation (new products and process development). The innovative methods used were inspiring – including how they reuse hot air, and Intelligent / LED lighting systems that have been individually programmed to monitor the frequency of when they go on and off, which uses 50% less power. To date, their total energy cost reduction is £7.5million. Read more from their presentation here.

5. West Midlands Air – WM-Air – the West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme – a new initiative to support the improvement of air quality, and associated health, environmental and economic benefits, in the West Midlands. Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK; WM-Air will thus address and answer questions that are crucial to local and regional policy-making with regard to improving air quality. Check out their presentation here.

6. National Grid – We were honoured to be hosted by National Grid and have a fantastic tour, before gaining an insight into their sustainability goals and achievements in their workplace. Examples include proactively reducing their environmental impact and reducing local congestion by promoting and supporting Liftshare; provide a platform to generate ideas, create discussion, share experiences and thoughts for alternative travel with their online ‘Green commuter’ Yammer page; eliminating single-use plastic from sale in their offices by 2020, plus many more. Check out their presentation here

7. Willmott Dixon – Alasdair Donn talked us through sustainability and innovation in the construction sector. Examples included improving energy efficiency (passivhaus); eliminating the performance gap; and giving up on gas. You can view their presentation here.

8. SYSTRA Ltd – SYSTRA is an international company, present in more than 80 countries. Innovation lies at the heart of SYSTRA project, consistently innovating to meet their clients’ needs – prepare mass transit for tomorrow, and propose ever more resilient solutions.