Accelerating the Journey to Net Zero

Posted on: 14/12/2021

Innovate UK's Sustainable Innovation Fund and the granted projects that are taking us closer to neutral carbon emissions

The United Nations Climate Change Conference – or COP26 – that took place in Glasgow, Scotland, brought together political parties from across the globe to help generate a strong framework that will edge us closer towards carbon neutrality.

However, this responsibility doesn’t just lie with world leaders, but with all of us. Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund helped a number of organisations to accelerate the development and delivery of their Net Zero solutions, facilitating a reduction in carbon emissions and taking us a step closer to Net Zero.

What has been particularly positive is seeing how young start-ups are utilising funding to address some of the more overlooked yet significant sources of carbon emissions. While the commercial, residential, and industrial sectors are known for their contribution towards climate change, we’re seeing an increasing number of organisations focus on areas such as food and fashion that have devastating environmental effects.

Case Studies

Fashion is responsible for 10% of all global carbon emissions (UN Helps Fashion Industry Shift to Low Carbon, 2018), with clothing manufacturing and transport playing a critical role. Ben Norsworthy and Mandeep Soor secured Sustainable Innovation Fund support to launch a new sustainability mapping platform, Bendi, for the complex fashion supply chain with advice and consultancy from KTN to help them maximise the impact of this vital funding.

Like fashion, the food industry is also an area where it’s clear that there is room for improvement regarding environmental impact, all the way from the farm to the fork. With tailored advice from KTN Agrifood expert Simon Baty, and KTN’s Good Application Guide, CEO Anya Doherty secured Innovate UK funding to take her company, Foodsteps, to the next level and start making positive changes in the sector.

The Foodsteps platform helps businesses in the food industry to understand, communicate, and reduce their environmental impact, and empowers consumers to make more sustainable choices. The Sustainable Innovation Fund allowed Anya and her team to transform their manual processes into a scalable digital platform that enables users to track their environmental impact in real-time, at all stages. The Foodsteps team found KTN’s expertise “incredibly helpful and much appreciated”, and have since reached out for further assistance in applying for other funding applications.

Bendi and Foodsteps are just two examples of the incredible work that’s being done right here in the UK to work alongside global leaders and bring us all together to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Find out more about the businesses creating a better future for the UK in our YouTube playlist here.

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Simon Baty

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