High street bank NatWest has teamed up with Warwick Manufacturing Group to spearhead a new initiative aimed at helping businesses reduce their energy usage.
WMG runs a programme called ‘Business Energy Aid Toolkit’ which was first launched earlier this year and identifies the energy use involved in business processes and production.
The toolkit then recommends actions to reduce emissions, alongside estimates of the impact these would have on overall emissions.
According to the bank, businesses which have completed the programme to date have seen minimum energy savings of 12 per cent with an average saving of 21 per cent.
This new tie up between the two organisations will now give NatWest’s own customers the chance to join and benefit from the programme.
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The partnership was announced as part of a growth conference held in Wolverhampton by the bank, the first of a series due to take place across the country throughout this year, which brought together 250 business leaders, policymakers and experts.
It follows on from a business support programme launched by the two organisations last year called the ‘Clean Transport Accelerator’ whose aim was to help 15 small businesses fast-track their innovations via mentoring and other support.
David Greenwood, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult at WMG, said: “The UK has committed to reduce total energy demand by 15 per cent, from 2021 levels, by 2030.
“UK manufacturers are continuing to experience prohibitively high energy costs which significantly affects their ability to be competitive in global markets.
“In partnership with NatWest, WMG is helping UK manufacturing to deliver both economic benefits as well as environmental benefits as we move forward with this critical objective.”
The new partnership comes as the bank announces the launch of £1 billion in additional lending to UK manufacturers by 2030, with the aim of stimulating growth in the sector and helping them invest in cleaner, more efficient forms of energy generation and use.
The capital will be deployed through loans, asset finance and overdrafts and recipients must be operating in line with NatWest’s own sustainable funding and financing criteria.
The bank said UK manufacturing was responsible for nearly ten per cent of total economic output and around eight per cent of all employment but it was a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, with over 12 per cent of the UK total attributed to the sector.
NatWest chief executive Alison Rose said: “Manufacturing is a significant contributor to both the economy and UK carbon emissions and so it’s important that businesses in this sector are supported to transition to cleaner, more sustainable operations in a positive way, where the benefits outweigh the costs.
“That’s why we aim to provide an additional £1 billion of lending to the manufacturing sector, to help businesses in transitioning to a net-zero economy. It has become clear that the best way of delivering change at scale is through public and private sectors working together.”
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