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Sustainability in Enterprise - LeftLion

NTU helps Nottingham publication LeftLion go Carbon Neutral for its 20th Birthday.

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LeftLion planters

With help from the Sustainability in Enterprise Programme and Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), LeftLion are reducing and balancing their direct emissions.

LeftLion is an independent publication set up in 2003. As well as distributing between 12-15,000 copies of their free magazine every month, they run a popular website and weekly newsletter. From their base in Sneinton Market they shine a light on positive news, events, and little-known stories, whilst celebrating local community champions.

They initially got involved with support from NTU through the Sustainability in Enterprise project, which is part-funded by the European Development Fund (ERDF) and supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Nottingham on their journey to Net Zero. LeftLion staff undertook the Carbon Management Programme – which helps build in-house capacity to measure and reduce a business’s carbon footprint. This gave them a foundation in how to notice and track their emissions, and enabled them to appreciate how far they had come with things like switching to renewable energy.

Following the success of these programs, LeftLion were approached by NBS to take part in a consultancy project, which tasks final-year students with calculating the carbon footprint for three aspects of business operations and putting forward a set of recommendations to save costs and reduce carbon.

They are now a carbon neutral company, reducing their direct emissions by 99% (98.9% to be precise) since 2018, and offsetting the 1% that remains.

They achieved this through support in calculating their emissions. Analysis was used to understand where the energy LeftLion was using came from and how they were using It – from this they found that a large proportion of the direct emission were coming from electricity being used in their office.

There biggest saving came from switching to a renewable energy tariff in 2021, meaning their electricity is all produced through wind, solar and hydro – reducing the office electricity footprint to zero. They have also replaced inefficient and expensive oil-based electric radiators with an air condition, which saves money but also had a large effect on lowering emissions.

Adam Pickering

Adam Pickering, Partnerships Manager & Environment Editor at LeftLion

Adam Pickering, Partnerships Manager & Environment Editor at LeftLion, said ‘We've received a huge amount of NTU support in getting to carbon neutral, and throughout that process both students and staff have been a pleasure to work with and really professional. As a small business, our time and knowledge always feels valued by NTU colleagues, and both staff and students always listened well to our needs, whilst delivering on agreed briefs. It was a real collaboration. To have had all this for free has been a huge boost, and moved our knowledge and sustainability credentials forward massively’

NTU has also helped LeftLion set a target of going fully net zero by 2025, meaning they will be reducing and balancing both direct and indirect emissions.

How to access the support available

Find out more about the broad range of support that NTU is providing to local businesses: