Centre for Energy and the Environment

Businesses who want to become more sustainable could get 40 per cent off the cost of the project by working with the University of Exeter’s Centre for Energy and the Environment (CEE).

The CEE can work with business in a number of ways, including bespoke research and development services, consultancy and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP). Some projects can be supported through an innovation voucher, which can reduce costs by up to 40 per cent.

The centre's core expertise is in the energy performance and comfort of buildings, but their highly skilled staff can also work on broader challenges such as transport and waste.

Devon County Council (DCC) worked with the CEE on delivery of the UK’s first zero carbon school, Montgomery Primary School. The CEE were instrumental at all phases of the project, from securing government funding to detailed design of energy performance, natural light and acoustics. The school was also future proofed against climate change and a post-construction monitoring exercise validated the design and demonstrated the zero carbon operation.

Leo Critchlow, Project Officer for DCC, said: “Without the University it would have been a lot harder. We’ve relied on them not only for normal modelling, but a lot more beyond that. It’s a one off chance and it’s a way of leading the world, which doesn’t come around very often, so it’s really exciting!”.

A report delivered by the CEE demonstrated how the South West Ambulance Trust could meet tough carbon emissions targets. This has helped the Trust devise a carbon reduction strategy and lower fuel costs.

The CEE worked with carpet manufacturer Axminster Carpets to help them towards their goal of carbon neutrality through a KTP project, which placed a highly skilled graduate (associate) at the company. Between 2010 and 2011, the KTP resulted in carbon reductions of 9.5 and 26.7 per cent at Axminster Carpets’ Buckfast and Axminster sites respectively.

Josh Dutfield, Axminster Carpet’s Managing Director, said: “The KTP associate’s progression remains exceptional and establishing herself as ‘one to watch’ - indeed noted by two other main board directors. Her commercial skills of making environmental / carbon issues commercially relevant in a business context are developing well.”

Other CEE clients have included Riverford Organics, May Gurney, British Gypsum, NPS Ltd and Carillion plc. The CEE also provides technical support to local authorities in the south west through the South West Energy and Environment Group.