SMEs and sustainability do mix

Beth Winkley

Last week I read with interest a feature on the website edie.net, based on a report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts which found that ‘SMEs are lagging behind on the sustainability front.’

This came as a surprise. Here in Wales at least, it is SMEs which are at the forefront of what edie calls the ‘resource revolution’ – the move towards a circular economy using as little raw material as possible, and ensuring that we get the maximum value out of that which is used.(By the way, WRAP is supporting edie’s Resource Revolution campaign, and we’re encouraging people to share their views and to enter the Resource Revolution Awards.)

 WRAP Cymru works closely with SMEs to ensure that they feel the benefits of the circular economy. And we’re not just providing good advice and guidance, but capital grants to help drive real change.

 This month we’ve launched a new package of support for manufacturing SMEs; we’ll shortly reopen applications for the ARID Large Scale Infrastructure Grant for reprocessing SMEs, which is worth up to £500,000.

 We’ve also launched a package of support for the hospitality, food and drink sectors in Wales, which offers SMEs grants of up to £50,000 towards waste-prevention or recycling equipment, plus up to £10,000 worth of consultancy. Find out more.

 Food waste has been in the news a lot recently, and this is just one of the many ways in which we are working to help businesses and individuals reduce their waste and save money. We’re incredibly proud to be partnering with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization on a new global food waste campaign;  we’re equally proud of the funding and practical support which is making a real difference to small and medium businesses here in Wales.