NEPes and Nottingham Trent University's Future Factory to help SMEs show green credentials

The green credentials of small and medium-sized businesses are getting an official seal of approval thanks to collaboration between NEP Energy Services and Nottingham Trent University's Future Factory.

The green credentials of small and medium-sized businesses are getting an official seal of approval thanks to collaboration between NEP Energy Services and Nottingham Trent University's Future Factory.

Nottingham-based environmental support organisation NEPes was able to expand its services to SMEs, thanks to support from Future Factory, which exists to encourage and support sustainable innovation among SMEs.

NEPes' services now include tariff switching, energy audits and renewable technology feasibility studies. As well as helping companies to cut costs by implementing audit recommendations, NEPes has also used Future Factory support to offer SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire the Investors in the Environment (iiE) mark – an accredited standard recognised by major companies and public sector bodies.

Jerome Baddley, NEPes sustainability services manager, said: "Our relationship with Future Factory has grown from attending networking events to part-funding to help us take on graduates.

"This extra capacity allowed us to focus on new markets including the ability to expand our energy audits and implement the iiE environmental management system.

"Investors in the Environment is a fully recognised and accredited standard that is achievable for SMEs where other standards, such as ISO14001 and BS8555, might not be.

"Some form of environmental accreditation is often a prerequisite for businesses as they compete for many public sector contracts so iiE can help level the playing field for smaller organisations."

NEPes runs the scheme as a social enterprise. Money made from fees for independent accreditation is used to subsidise environmental support for local third sector organisations.

The iiE membership scheme also provides ongoing support and networking, helping members develop and promote lower carbon products and services, improving resource efficiency and guiding members to other funding and collaborative opportunities.

Future Factory project co-ordinator Angela Scott said, "NEPes is a growing organisation with a great vision. Our project, its staff and students were able to respond to NEPes' changing business needs, offering them access to funding and expert support where and when it was most needed.

"We are delighted to be part of NEPes' ongoing success."

NEPes is a growing organisation with a great vision. Our project, its staff and students were able to respond to NEPes' changing business needs.

Future Factory project co-ordinator Angela Scott

Future Factory is a six-year support project, aiming to deliver more than 270 projects, 200 business collaborations, 250 graduate placements, 39 new jobs and 30 business start-ups by June 2015.

It encourages small and medium sized businesses in the East Midlands to embrace sustainable innovation through new products and practices.

Project management teams use Future Factory's network of academic and research staff, students, graduates, specialist product design and prototyping technologies as well as business advisers, from within Nottingham Trent University and also from its broader network of national and international experts.

It also runs workshops to help businesses transform the way they operate.

Future Factory, formed in 2009, is funded by Nottingham Trent University and the European Regional Development Fund and helps eligible SMEs in the East Midlands design sustainable products and develop sustainable practice and processes.

Services can be offered without charge or at heavily subsidised rates.

Visit the website to find out more about Future Factory; telephone +44 (0)115 848 8675 or email.

  • Notes for editors

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NEPes and Nottingham Trent University's Future Factory to help SMEs show green credentials

Published on 3 February 2014
  • Category: Business; Nottingham Business School

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