The Carbon Trust is a UK-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping businesses cut their carbon emissions and move towards a low carbon economy.
What They Do
Carbon Trust programs work to cut carbon emissions in the present by providing specialist advice and financial assistance for businesses wanting to go green, and to promote a low carbon economy for the future by investing in low carbon companies and working to open markets for low carbon technologies. Since the organization was founded in 2001, it has helped business clients save about 25 million tons of carbon and more than $2 billion in energy costs.
Carbon Trust can help your business reduce carbon emissions in many different ways. A few of their services include:
- Telephone support. Businesses of any size can call for free advice on both general and specific issues relating to reducing carbon emissions and energy costs.
- Free carbon surveys. A carbon survey of your office or other location will identify areas where you can improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions through practical, low cost steps.
- Carbon footprinting. Carbon footprinting calculates the overall carbon footprint of your business operations, both direct and indirect, and suggests practical steps to reduce the carbon footprint of your product or service. Carbon Trust offers both organizational and product carbon footprinting.
- Workshops. Carbon Trust runs a number of business workshops annually covering issues such as carbon management and footprinting.
- Carbon management. Carbon Trust offers carbon management consulting for both the public and private sectors, including an initial review, assistance with setting targets and monitoring success, and even help developing greener products and business opportunities!
- Green building design. Carbon Trust can help design and plan green building or remodelling projects.
In addition to these consulting programs, Carbon Trust also offers several financial assistance programs to companies trying to go green. These include interest-free loans of up to £100,000 (more than US$150,000).
Another Carbon Trust program that can benefit green businesses is its certification program. The Carbon Trust Standard is awarded to companies that have successfully implemented carbon reduction programs resulting in genuine reductions, and committed to continued reduction. It offers trusted, independent endorsement of your company’s carbon reduction efforts that will appeal to green consumers and investors alike.
In order to apply for the certification, your company must:
- measure its carbon footprint over a 2-3 year period
- provide evidence of a demonstrable reduction in carbon emissions
- provide evidence of good carbon management
More than 350 companies and organizations have been certified so far.
Finally, the Carbon Trust offers many special programs designed to help innovative low carbon technologies, and even whole industries, develop. This includes the Entrepreneurs Fast Track, which incubates promising low carbon start-ups, Research Challenges, which focuses on supporting R&D in low carbon industries, and Carbon Trust Investments, a venture capital fund focusing on clean technology.
Though the Carbon Trust works primarily in the UK, some of its programs are available internationally, and they offer a great opportunity for businesses trying to go green (or greener) to gain the benefits of professional expertise at little or no cost.