Offer for SMEs | Partially-funded places available

This page summarises everything you need to know about Business in the Community’s Climate Action Programme, its objectives, timeline, and key contacts.

The Climate Action Programme

Following the successful pilot schemes developed through support from both Danske Bank and the UK Community Renewal Fund, Business in the Community (BITC) Northern Ireland will continue to deliver a Climate Action Programme to support SMEs to take climate action.

Aim of the Climate Action Programme

The British Business Bank has co-funded a Climate Action Programme for up to 18 SMEs (less than 250 employees) in Northern Ireland. We are looking for SMEs from across Northern Ireland who are just beginning their climate-action journey. The British Business Bank is partially funding this Climate Action Programme for SMEs and costs are outlined below.

Through the Programme, we will support SMEs to reduce their CO2 emissions. The programme will address the objectives of BITC’s Business Action on Climate campaign and will enable BITC to reach and support businesses who will, via the programme: make a commitment to address the climate emergency; reduce their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions; and sign the Climate Action Pledge. Furthermore, the programme will help participating businesses to build capacity, assist with net-zero planning, and increase levels of reporting and capacity building to enable delivery of immediate and long-term climate action.

The climate action journey

With thanks to support from British Business Bank, you and your organisation have the opportunity to embark on a four-week programme to kick-start your climate-transition journey. On completion, you will have a clear understanding of the business case for climate action and of your starting point (or ‘baseline’), a vision of where you can take your company, and your organisation will make a public and ambitious commitment to reduce its impact.

Climate Action Programme Overview

The Climate Action Programme is ideal for SMEs embarking on their climate journey

Participants

We are seeking SMEs from across the region that are in the early stages of their climate journey. By completing this survey, you will provide BITCNI with essential baseline data to assess your organisation’s suitability for the Climate Action Programme. In the event of oversubscription, priority will be given to businesses that demonstrate the greatest need for support, ensuring a balanced representation from across the Northern Ireland.

The British Business Bank is partially funding this Climate Action Programme. To participate, each business must pay £500 + VAT.  Ideally two people from each organisation should commit to attending the following sessions:

  • Carbon Literacy Training – part 1 – Wednesday 18 September 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Carbon Literacy Training – part 2 – Tuesday 24 September 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Measuring your Organisation’s Carbon Footprint – Wednesday 2 October 10 am – 12 pm
  • Target Setting and Defining your Organisation’s Environmental Strategy Advisory Workshop – Wednesday 9 October 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Participants must pay their full contribution and complete the baseline form before the training begins. Additionally, participants are required to complete an evaluation survey at the end of the programme.

Please note that the programme fee is non-refundable if a participating company withdraws or fails to attend the workshops.

Expected outcomes

We have identified the project would deliver on the following outcomes:

  • Reduction in levels of CO₂ equivalent emissions among participating SMEs
  • Creation of decarbonisation plans: each participating SME will produce a Climate Action Plan based on achieving 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and commitment to reducing scope 3, on a baseline year of no earlier than 2015
  • Organisations will be engaged in knowledge transfer activity, to encourage participants to share processes, practices, and results with other SMEs in their cohort
  • Businesses have the potential to introduce new products/services to their organisations as result of the programme. We have identified that a number of the businesses will introduce new services or products as a consequence of their participation in the Climate Action Programme.
  • Businesses have the potential to innovate and introduce new products/services to the market as a result of participation in the programme

About the Business Action on Climate campaign

The Climate Action Programme is based on a pilot programme developed in partnership with Danske Bank that helps businesses transition towards more sustainable business strategies.

The Programme is part of the Business Action on Climate campaign which challenges and supports businesses to address the climate emergency.

With support from DAERA, DfE, and our Climate Champion organisations (ABP Food Group, Danske Bank, Encirc, Lidl, NI Water, SONI and Translink) and campaign partner EY, we form a steering group that raises awareness and drives campaign action.

As part of the campaign, BITC ask businesses to sign the Climate Action Pledge, a public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community is a unique movement in the UK and Ireland of more than 600 member companies – more than 270 of these are in Northern Ireland. Our purpose is to mobilise business as a force for good in society.

Our members commit to acting responsibly within their marketplace and to have a positive impact on their people, our planet, and the places where they operate. Find out more at www.bitcni.org.uk.

About British Business Bank

British Business Bank is the UK’s economic development bank. Their mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses

Business in the Community

Contact Keelin McCone, Head of Environment Business in the Community Northern Ireland, environment@bitcni.org.uk

Click here to register.