Making Carbon Work (MaCaW)

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The MaCaW project based in Preston was funded by the European Regional Development Fund alongside the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and was set up to help Lancashire-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) move to a low carbon model.

The academic/industry collaboration was designed to assist Lancashire SMEs in overcoming the challenges and barriers and worked with businesses to implement low carbon practices and processes to reduce their carbon burden as well as making cost savings.

The programme which ran from November 2017 through to June 2023 assisted 193 SMEs and provided carbon assessments, carbon management plans along with distribution of capital grants for the purchase of low carbon technology to local businesses based in Lancashire.

The project helped raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change across Lancashire through social media campaigns, articles in business press, presentations at business events, active networking, and case studies.

Tom Reardon from Bloom in Box, a market leader in eco-friendly floristry packaging saw first-hand the benefits through working with the project. During Covid restrictions, MaCaW worked with Tom remotely to put together a carbon report. Tom sent billing data, photographs and background information to the MaCaW team and they spoke regularly over Microsoft Teams.

"The carbon report showed us that solar could save us 12.75 tonnes of CO2e per annum - a 38.6% reduction - and save us almost £5,500 per year in bills."

Tom Reardon, Bloom in Box

J Wareing & Sons, was another business which benefitted from the project’s audit. The business conducted several improvements after recommendations were made, including an additional solar array, minimising compressed air leaks and switching to electric vehicles. One of the key recommendations was the completion of the switch to LED lights, for which they were able to apply for (and receive) £15,000 of matched funding.

Matthew Hastwell, Steel Detailer at J Wareing & Sons said: “We had already changed the office lights to LED but the MaCaW audit found that switching the entire site to LED would save us about £20,000 a year. And we got a grant.”

Noting the value the project brought to the local area, MaCaW Business Engagement Manager Mark Nelson said: “We have managed to help Lancashire SMEs reduce their carbon impact by 3,500 tonnes CO2e as well as identifying a further 4,500 tonnes of CO2e savings which these SMEs can work towards in the future.”

As the government funding for this project ended on 30 June 2023, please visit the Centre for Waste Management page for more information on other low carbon support available through the university. For any other support for your business please contact our Business Enquiries Team or call us on +44 (0) 1772 895500. This support could be related to your research, development, training and consultancy needs.

Related case studies

  • Panaz

    Panaz are set to make cost savings of £18,000 a year by installing solar panels, thanks to energy audit by our MaCaW project.

    Thursday 15 December 2022
  • Inside view of the Wareing Building's factory space

    Wareing Buildings have identified £20,000 cost savings annually thanks to an energy audit by the MaCaw Project, which will help reduce their carbon footprint too.

    Tuesday 6 September 2022
  • Person looking at machinery

    Bloom in Box’s Tom Reardon has long been committed to cutting his business’ carbon footprint. The only problem? From solar panel providers to energy generation, “I really didn’t know how to tell the good from the bad.”

    Monday 20 June 2022
  • solar panels

    With the help of the MaCaW project, composite steel reinforced pipe-maker AquaSpira has put the finishing touches to a solar panel installation.

    Thursday 31 March 2022
  • Two people in front of sign

    Canopy Products stepped up its sustainable operations, with support from the Making Carbon Work (MaCaW) project.

    Monday 29 November 2021
  • Inside an industrial fridge

    Thanks to a carbon audit by the MaCaW project and a grant part-funded by the ERDF, catering supplier Whitewells is exiting the pandemic a more efficient, effective and low carbon business than it entered it.

    Tuesday 27 July 2021