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The University of Southampton
Clean Carbon

Sustainability and banking

green business
Supporting businesses to incorporate designs that maximises energy saving and minimises dependancy on fossil fuels

Clean Carbon member, Professor Richard Werner, Chair in International Banking at the Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, is also director of one of its research groups: the Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development. He leads a project to establish community banks in the UK, which take a longer-term view on investments, and also aim to lend for environmentally sustainable and green projects. The Southampton project started with £1.2 million in funding, as part of a Regional Growth Fund. In 2012, a spin-out from the Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development, Local First CIC (Community Interest Company), was formed and the process began.

To date, around £950,000 has been lent out to SMEs in Hampshire, with a significant proportion of those loans being for green growth projects.


Case study 1: Investing in low carbon

HPW Architecture, based in Hampshire, received a loan from the Local First CIC to support its work in enabling buildings with a zero or low carbon footprint. The company specialises in incorporating design that maximises energy saving and minimises dependancy on fossil fuels. Their expertise means they can provide solutions that use Dynamic Thermal Modelling, Feed In Tariffs (FIT), Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI), Super-insulation, Biomass Boilers, Anaerobic Digesters, Wind Power, Geothermal Energy and Ground/Air/Water Source Heat Pumps.

Case Study 2: Sustainable development

ENIMS Environmental Excellence is a company which supports a wide range of sustainable development initiatives through consultancy. The range of their projects goes from eco-housing to renewable energy through to

Case Study 3: Anti-pirate technology

Guardian Maritime has one aim - to protect seafarers from piracy. Its invention not only does that; its clients include giant companies like Maersk and BW Tankers; but it does it with a sustainably produced, fully recyclable and completely safe to use product. THus the production of the units protects the environment while the units themselves protect the vessels that fit them.

CICs - the future?

Wikipedia defines a CIC thus: 'A community interest company is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. CICs tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy. By using business solutions to achieve public good, it is believed that CICs have a distinct and valuable role to play in helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive economy'

Much of the world lives in poverty. Income and wealth disparities are increasing. Unemployment and the exploitation of the economically weak are problems even in advanced economies... To be able to take the right policies, we don’t need ideology, but objective, fact-based research and advice. We also need boldness to speak up for the truth... and continue... working towards
sustainable, equitable economic development worldwide...

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