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News - 9 September 2006

Awards for SMEs to save the planet

Saving the planet is not just a job for government and big businesses. There is a role for everyone to play and Shell is reaching out to small businesses to tap into innovative new ideas.

Small businesses with big ideas to combat climate change are being urged to compete for awards of up to £40,000, as the Shell Springboard programme opens for a second year.

Shell Springboard provides a financial boost to a small number of UK businesses that submit the most compelling plan for a product or service which:

  • Will lead to greenhouse gas reductions
  • Is commercially viable
  • Is innovative

Last year awards of £40,000 were made to nine businesses drawn from across the UK.

Judging will be carried out by three regional panels of independent experts. They are looking for ideas that not only have the potential to break new ground but have sound financial planning and market insight.

Up to two businesses from each region will then meet a national panel of judges, as they compete to be named as the UK winner.

Shell hopes the Springboard programme will encourage businesses to see that climate change is not only about compliance and cost. For those with vision, society's need to reduce emissions is an exciting and positive business opportunity.

"Tackling climate change is not just a job for governments and big business", said Lord Oxburgh, chair of the national judging panel and former chair of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. "It is also an important opportunity for the four million or more small businesses in the UK. We hope that Shell Springboard helps to inspire an entrepreneurial approach to the urgent challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Springboard's first UK champion, Barry Johnston from Scotrenewables, an Orkney-based tidal power company, said: "Winning Shell Springboard was a huge boost for our company and has played a significant role in helping us to grow the business. It is a fantastic scheme and I pay tribute to Shell for setting it up."

The deadline for applications is the 10th November, 2006. Full details, and an online application form, can be found at <≥ . Last year's applications were truly inspiring. The website has details of all the shortlisted and winning businesses.

Read related items on:
Climate Change

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