University of Derby

Highly Commended


A partnership between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, DE-Carbonise matches new-to-the-Low Carbon Economy products and specialist advice to the needs of SMEs. This collaborative project is assisting SMEs through low carbon support and grants to reduce the carbon impacts of their operations.

DE-Carbonise is a comprehensive programme for SMEs that delivers improvements in energy efficiency alongside increasing the deployment of renewable energy technology and low-carbon production. It is increasing economic resilience within the region through lowering the cost-base of SMEs, stimulating demand for low-carbon economy goods and services, and assisting the region in meeting challenging greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy targets.

We enable SMEs to take their carbon reduction activities forward with formal plans and research and development opening up supply-chain and procurement opportunities. Grants of up to £20,000 (to a maximum of 40% cost) enabled the installation of low carbon technologies including LED lighting, localised energy generation (PV), and heat recovery.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

CO2t savings over the life cycle of the project: 32,465t CO2e since Nov 2016 against a target of 2,401 (using ERDF C34 Output).

What the Judges Thought

The judging panel were pleased to see an excellent example of multi-partner operation combining divergent skills sets for a wide variety of community benefits.  It ticked all the boxes in economic, social and environmental objectives.

What it Means to Win

"Strategically, the University is committed to decarbonisation and supporting future low carbon economies. The De-carbonise project enabled knowledge transfer with industry collaborations that successfully reduced carbon emissions in over 200 regional organisations.  Achievement of the ‘Benefitting Society’ Green Gown Award is testament to the positive impact of effective academic-industry collaboration."

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive 

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We have been able to deliver more than expected through the great collaborative working.
  2. Working with companies in the same sector helps with sharing knowledge, experiences, and solutions.
  3. Companies know the problem but need a sounding board or funds for the solutions.
9 - Industry Innovation and Infrastructure 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 13 - Climate Action 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
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