The programme provides organisations with access to a free, specialised resource to audit their environmental footprint, identify inefficiencies, and highlight opportunities for reducing carbon emissions and generating financial savings. This “carbon audit” focusses on key activities such as energy consumption, travel, waste handling and water consumption, promoting the importance of sustainability and an awareness of environmental matters. Participant organisations and their staff are fully involved throughout this audit process and are encouraged to consider their practices and the possible associated environmental impacts. Previous carbon audits conducted by the clinic have identified opportunities for SMEs to save thousands of pounds and reduce annual CO2 emissions by several tonnes by applying simple efficiency measures.

For students, it offers valuable industry experience with exposure to varied industry sectors, and the unique issues that may occur. The exercise further provides the opportunity to apply newly acquired skills and knowledge to gain practical experience in real world business situations. Students can further develop their analytical and observational skills conducting interviews, consultations, data analysis and reporting to identify opportunities for carbon reduction.

The clinic’s aims are to educate and raise awareness by providing a valuable learning experience for both the organisation and the student by offering a truly collaborative and innovative approach that enables SMEs to realise the enormous benefits of engaging in environmental sustainability.

Contact Dr Elsa João, Director MSc in Environmental Entrepreneurship, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, elsa.joao@strath.ac.uk, to ask for a free carbon audit.

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