Going circular – exploring how sustainability can boost business growth in a post-COVID19 world

Going circular – exploring how sustainability can boost business growth in a post-COVID19 world

IKEA, the Nation­al Insti­tute for Agri­cul­tur­al Bot­any (NIAB), and innov­at­ive start-up Agri-Grub, will be shar­ing how sus­tain­ab­il­ity could help SMEs save money, boost pro­ductiv­ity and become more resi­li­ent after COVID19 at a free webin­ar organ­ised by Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough in Octo­ber.

The event will help SMEs get more value from their resources, and even find new uses for waste streams through the con­cept of cir­cu­lar eco­nomy. The cir­cu­lar eco­nomy aims to move soci­ety away from the ‘take-make-dis­pose’ mod­el — where raw mater­i­als are col­lec­ted, trans­formed into products, and dis­carded as waste — into one where resources are used for as long as pos­sible and pro­duct­ive uses are found for waste streams.

This event is being run by the Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough team at Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough which runs the city’s cir­cu­lar eco­nomy pro­gram­me in part­ner­ship with Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil. The team works with busi­nesses of all sizes, but in respon­se to COVID-19 recov­ery, the work­shop will be for SMEs.

Del­eg­ates will hear from busi­nesses in the area who have bene­fit­ted from adopt­ing cir­cu­lar prin­ciples, and some of the com­mer­cial oppor­tun­it­ies for waste streams:

  • Start-up, Agri-Grub, which is turn­ing AM FRESH’s waste fruit into pro­tein and pest con­trol
  • IKEA is reusing, repur­pos­ing, and recov­er­ing mater­i­als.
  • the Nation­al Insti­tute of Agri­cul­tur­al Bot­any will also dis­cuss how plant resources could provide renew­able mater­i­als to busi­nesses across all sec­tors to reduce the use of plastic and non-bio­de­grad­able mater­i­als.

There will also be time for del­eg­ates to dis­cuss how their busi­nesses could use cir­cu­lar eco­nomy prin­ciples, and the oppor­tun­it­ies and bar­ri­ers they may face. The Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough team will use the feed­back to adapt city level strategies and to tail­or long term one-to-one busi­ness sup­port for del­eg­ates.

Tom Hen­nessy, chief exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough said, COVID-19 cre­ated huge dis­rup­tion across sup­ply chains, and has really tested busi­ness’ resi­li­ence. We want to rebuild the eco­nomy quickly, but we also want to keep this growth sus­tain­able. With the cir­cu­lar eco­nomy, we can help busi­nesses improve their oper­a­tions while also pro­tect­ing our envir­on­ment.

Any SME is wel­come to attend, wheth­er they’re new to the cir­cu­lar eco­nomy con­cept, already plan­ning to make changes, or are look­ing for extra inspir­a­tion on their cir­cu­lar jour­ney.”

The webin­ar will run 10.30am-12.00pm online on 14 Octo­ber 2020. Del­eg­ates will receive a link dir­ectly. For event and regis­tra­tion details vis­it: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/going-circular-how-sustainability-can-boost-business-growth-after-covid19-tickets-121711017931

Largest UK smart city-wide, low carbon energy system plans unveiled

Largest UK smart city-wide, low carbon energy system plans unveiled

  • Low car­bon, smart energy scheme in Peter­bor­ough aims to deliv­er a sig­ni­fic­ant drop in CO2 emis­sions by 2030, while cut­ting energy bills by up to a quarter.
  • Scheme could be rolled out to oth­er UK towns and cit­ies to help UK achieve its Net Zero ambi­tions
  • Pro­ject is being led by Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, whose part­ners include SSE Enter­prise, Ele­ment Energy, Cran­field Uni­ver­sity, Smarter Grid Solu­tions and Swe­co UK.

Today (23rd July 2020), sees the launch of plans for the largest smart city-wide, low car­bon energy sys­tem in the UK.

Launched at an online event, Peter­bor­ough Integ­rated Renew­ables Infra­struc­ture pro­ject (PIRI) aims to deliv­er a sig­ni­fic­ant drop in CO2 emis­sions by 2030, while cut­ting energy bills by up to a quarter. Peter­bor­ough is one of the fast­est grow­ing cit­ies in the UK and is facing a sig­ni­fic­ant increase in energy demand as the city con­tin­ues to grow.

The two-year pro­ject has been gran­ted fund­ing from UK Research and Innov­a­tion, along­side cor­por­ate invest­ment, to design a low car­bon, smart energy sys­tem for the city. The part­ner­ship includes Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, SSE Enter­prise, Ele­ment Energy, Cran­field Uni­ver­sity, Smarter Grid Solu­tions and Swe­co UK.

PIRI com­bines a next gen­er­a­tion heat net­work, elec­tri­city net­work and elec­tric vehicle infra­struc­ture under one smart hol­ist­ic scheme. If suc­cess­ful, the scheme could be rolled out to oth­er cit­ies and towns, to help the UK real­ise its ambi­tions of Net Zero by 2050.

The pro­ject over the next two years will deliv­er clean­er, cheap­er energy and the bene­fits of the scheme include:

  • Loc­ally pro­duced, clean­er energy and heat from waste and with ser­vices being low car­bon driv­en
  • Mul­ti-util­ity infra­struc­ture deliv­ery, mean­ing lower costs and lower bills for con­sumers
  • Integ­rated billing and ser­vice for heat, elec­tri­city and mobil­ity (such as elec­tric vehicle char­ging) so cus­tom­ers can bene­fit
  • Low car­bon tech­no­logy made avail­able at cost-effect­ive con­nec­tion cost
  • Trans­par­ent tar­iff set­ting will gen­er­ate long-term sav­ings for loc­al author­it­ies

The PIRI pro­ject brings togeth­er energy gen­er­a­tion, demand and stor­age, thereby unlock­ing effi­cien­cies not deliv­er­able under exist­ing, tra­di­tion­al energy sys­tems. It is envis­aged to be espe­cially effect­ive in areas where the elec­tri­city net­work is con­strained; as well serving as a blue­print for oth­er urb­an loc­a­tions across the UK.

Elli­ot Smith, PIRI Pro­gram­me Lead at Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, explains; “This is a highly innov­at­ive pro­ject — one of the most ambi­tious nation­ally and one which could become the most sig­ni­fic­ant in the UK’s trans­ition to low car­bon infra­struc­ture. For Peter­bor­ough, it has sub­stan­tial bene­fits and sup­ports the sus­tain­able growth of the city.”

Pro­fess­or Philip Longhurst, Head of the Centre for Cli­mate and Envir­on­ment Pro­tec­tion at Cran­field Uni­ver­sity, said: “For the UK to achieve its ambi­tions of Net Zero, we are going to have to do things dif­fer­ently. These plans announced today for the PIRI pro­ject show how loc­al low car­bon, smart energy sys­tems could be used across the UK for the bene­fit of both the envir­on­ment and con­sumers. At Cran­field, we pride ourselves on the prac­tic­al

applic­a­tion of our low car­bon tech­no­logy research and our close links with industry, PIRI is a fant­ast­ic example of that in action.”

Neil Kirkby, Man­aging Dir­ect­or of SSE Enter­prise, said: “SSE Enter­prise sees PIRI as a pro­gress­ive pro­ject that will show­case the poten­tial of smart urb­an energy sys­tems and help drive loc­al decar­bon­isa­tion in a com­mer­cially viable man­ner. It builds on the ‘whole sys­tem approach’ that our dis­trib­uted energy busi­ness offers; where we look to integ­rate dif­fer­ent energy ele­ments into one investable solu­tion and thereby make sav­ings for cus­tom­ers. As PIRI devel­ops we’ll be able to show how city liv­ing and regen­er­a­tion can be enhanced and we expect this pro­ject to serve as a blue­print for oth­er urb­an loc­a­tions across the UK.”

Dr Tan­ja Groth, Dir­ect­or of Urb­an Energy at Swe­co UK, said “To max­im­ise bene­fits to con­sumers and busi­nesses while address­ing the cli­mate emer­gency we need to move away from incre­ment­al improve­ments to isol­ated energy seg­ments and instead move towards trans­form­a­tion­al change to the whole energy sys­tem. PIRI is apply­ing best-prac­tice innov­a­tion in a city-scale energy regen­er­a­tion pro­ject, demon­strat­ing that this approach not only deliv­ers aggress­ive reduc­tions in car­bon but provides resi­li­ence, lowers con­sumer energy costs and provides wider soci­etal bene­fits such as improved loc­al air qual­ity, more effi­cient use of loc­al resources and stim­u­lates the loc­al eco­nomy.”

Shane Slater, Ele­ment Energy’s found­ing dir­ect­or and Smart Energy Sys­tems team lead­er, said: “Our future energy sup­ply can be clean and cost-effect­ive, but this comes with the key chal­lenge of great­er vari­ab­il­ity in renew­able energy gen­er­a­tion. Ele­ment is delighted to be part of PIRI, which will demon­strate how bal­an­cing energy sup­ply with demand from a diverse range of users of heat, trans­port, and elec­tri­city in Peter­bor­ough, across day-to-day and sea­son­al vari­ations, can deliv­er an effi­cient energy infra­struc­ture that will be clean, secure and afford­able for dec­ades to come.”

Dr Gra­ham Ault, Dir­ect­or at Smarter Grid Solu­tions, said, “Loc­ally led solu­tions to the cli­mate chal­lenge are essen­tial and the lead­er­ship and ambi­tion being shown in Peter­bor­ough is exem­plary. The design of smart, flex­ible, clean and decent­ral­ised energy sys­tems is both chal­len­ging and a great oppor­tun­ity. Our work across the UK, Europe and US is show­ing us the core role and high value of our soft­ware products for flex­ible, intel­li­gent con­trol of energy assets required in smart loc­al energy sys­tems. We wel­come the oppor­tun­ity to har­ness what we have learned about the man­age­ment, grid integ­ra­tion and mar­ket inter­con­nec­tion of dis­trib­uted energy resources and bring this to the design of the Peter­bor­ough sys­tem along­side all the pro­ject part­ners.”

Rob Saun­ders, UKRI — Chal­lenge Dir­ect­or, lead­ing the £100m ‘Prosper­ing from the Energy Revolu­tion pro­gram­me’, said, “PIRI brings togeth­er a highly ambi­tious, for­ward –ook­ing city like Peter­bor­ough, with the best innov­a­tions in Smart Energy by one of the UK’s lead­ing SMEs in this sec­tor — Smart Grid Solu­tions, with the deep net­work exper­i­ence of SSE, a com­bined know­ledge of Cran­field Uni­ver­sity and Ele­ment Energy, and the deliv­ery track record of a large organ­isa­tion like Swe­co. This pro­ject is set up really effect­ively, to be able to deliv­er this com­plex, sys­tem pro­ject.”

Discover Peterborough’s Smart City credentials at the 2019 Smart City Summit & Expo in Taipei

Discover Peterborough’s Smart City credentials at the 2019 Smart City Summit & Expo in Taipei

As one of the UK’s top Smart Cit­ies, we’re delighted to be part of the UK government’s stand at the 2019 Smart City Sum­mit and Expo in Taipei this week (26 – 29 March 2019).

Peter­bor­ough is among the UK’s top 5 fast­est grow­ing cit­ies and we’re a hot­bed of innov­a­tion with one of the highest busi­ness start-up rates in the coun­try.

Our Future Peter­bor­ough team is ded­ic­ated to mak­ing sure our city works as effi­ciently as pos­sible for busi­nesses and res­id­ents. The Smart City Lead­er­ship Pro­gram­me and Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy ini­ti­at­ives are inter­na­tion­ally respec­ted for how they’ve improved Peterborough’s eco­nom­ic resi­li­ence and sus­tain­ab­il­ity. We want to share what we’ve learnt with oth­er cit­ies and regions around the world to develop more best prac­tice examples and sup­port more cit­ies on their smart city and cir­cu­lar eco­nomy jour­neys.

Peterborough’s impact:

  • Deliv­ers a DFID-fun­ded Smart City Lead­er­ship Pro­gram­me for the Indi­an city of Amara­vati and for the state of Mad­hya Pra­desh
  • Played a lead role in the devel­op­ment of Brit­ish Stand­ards Institute’s (BSI) suite of Smart City Stand­ards
  • Chair of the BSI’s Smart and Sus­tain­able Cit­ies Com­mit­tee (SDS/2)
  • A founder mem­ber of the Cit­ies Stand­ards Insti­tute
  • Attends the All Party Par­lia­ment­ary Group on Smart Cit­ies
  • A mem­ber of the Ellen MacAr­thur Foundation’s Cir­cu­lar Cit­ies Net­work
  • The team has presen­ted at over 50 inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences and con­tin­ues to acquire loc­al, nation­al and inter­na­tion­al media cov­er­age peak­ing with the ‘World Smart City Award’ in 2015


A few of our achieve­ments:


We’d love to tell you more about doing business in Peterborough and our Smart City and circular economy programmes.
Come and find us on stand i114.


Down­loads (with Man­dar­in trans­la­tion):

Peter­bor­ough, UK – home to a thriv­ing Digit­al & Cre­at­ive Sec­tor

About the Future Peter­bor­ough pro­gram­me

Sup­port­ing Smart Cit­ies in Taiwan

For more inform­a­tion about Peter­bor­ough, please vis­it investinpeterborough.co.uk

National award final for city’s sharing platform

National award final for city’s sharing platform

A nation­al award could be on the cards for a resource shar­ing plat­form that is help­ing organ­isa­tions across Peter­bor­ough make bet­ter use of resources and reduce waste.

Share Peter­bor­ough, which was launched last Novem­ber by the Future Peter­bor­ough pro­gram­me, is in the run­ning to win the Envir­on­ment­al Ser­vices cat­egory at the Loc­al Gov­ern­ment Chron­icle (LGC) Awards 2018.

The Future Peter­bor­ough pro­gram­me is run jointly by eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment agency Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil. Share Peter­bor­ough is part of the programme’s work to cre­ate a Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy in the city; redu­cing reli­ance on raw mater­i­als by keep­ing resources in the eco­nomy for as long as pos­sible. Examples include list­ing old office fur­niture free of charge, reusing or repur­pos­ing old equip­ment, like mak­ing bags from old cof­fee sacks, right through to mak­ing stale bread avail­able for brew­ing beer!

The LGC Awards are the biggest cel­eb­ra­tion of excel­lence in loc­al gov­ern­ment across the sec­tor, from health and hous­ing through to busi­ness trans­form­a­tion.

Fol­low­ing a present­a­tion to a judging pan­el in Janu­ary, the team will find out if they have won on the awards night of 21 March 2018.

Steve Bow­yer, chief exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough said, “Share Peter­bor­ough was set up with a very clear pur­pose – to help busi­nesses use their resources more effi­ciently. There’s been fant­ast­ic engage­ment from loc­al organ­isa­tions who are now using the plat­form to make sure they make the most of their skills, products and resources.”

Peterborough named one of the UK’s top Smart Cities

Peterborough named one of the UK’s top Smart Cities

Peter­bor­ough has been named as one of the UK’s top 10 lead­ing Smart Cit­ies in a report pub­lished last week (com­men­cing 23 Octo­ber).

The Future Peter­bor­ough pro­ject, run by Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough in part­ner­ship with Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, was given spe­cial recog­ni­tion for its unique approach to sus­tain­ab­il­ity and its approach to cre­at­ing cir­cu­lar eco­nomy which aims to reduce waste and reli­ance on raw mater­i­als.

With cit­ies look­ing to become more resi­li­ent and sus­tain­able, Smart City pro­jects like Future Peter­bor­ough have been her­al­ded for play­ing a key role in over­com­ing some of the biggest chal­lenges facing the coun­try and its com­munit­ies.

Smart Cit­ies aim to integ­rate digit­al, social, eco­nom­ic and envir­on­ment­al sys­tems to improve ser­vices, effi­ciency and sus­tain­ab­il­ity. The research and rank­ing pub­lished by glob­al inform­a­tion and com­mu­nic­a­tions com­pany, Hua­wei, assessed the UK’s top 20 Smart Cit­ies’ achieve­ments in each of these areas as well as for their over­all vis­ion.

Peter­bor­ough scored highest for its Smart City strategy and also received the index’s Star Award 2017 for innov­a­tion in sus­tain­ab­il­ity. The final rank­ing for Peter­bor­ough placed it higher than Cam­bridge, which came in at tenth, and the likes of Oxford, Edin­burgh, Shef­field and Liv­er­pool.

One high­light drawn from Peterborough’s Smart City achieve­ments included the Cir­cu­lar City ini­ti­at­ive which was com­men­ded as an import­ant and unique per­spect­ive on innov­a­tion. The Cir­cu­lar City work aims to reduce waste and reli­ance on raw mater­i­als by keep­ing resources cir­cu­lat­ing with­in the eco­nomy for as long as pos­sible.

Spe­cial praise was also given to Share Peter­bor­ough, the resource shar­ing plat­form which was launched in Novem­ber 2016. Scaled-up from ori­gin­ally focus­ing on the Fengate area, Share Peter­bor­ough now has over 200 com­pan­ies registered as mem­bers so they can make bet­ter use of under­used resources across the city. Examples include leftover bread that could be used for brew­ing to provid­ing desk fans for hos­pices free of charge.

Peterborough’s Inter­net of Things (IoT) based sus­tain­able drain­age pro­gram­me was also high­lighted as one of the city’s top achieve­ments. By integ­rat­ing data from rising river levels with intern­al sys­tems at the City Coun­cil, there is a more intel­li­gent under­stand­ing of rising river levels, allow­ing for more rap­id and effect­ive inter­ven­tions to be put in place.

Steve Bow­yer, chief exec­ut­ive at Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough said, “It’s great to see Peter­bor­ough recog­nised for its efforts to cre­ate a bet­ter city for its cit­izens and busi­nesses. Our pos­i­tion in the index reflects that whil­st we look for solu­tions that might be empowered we don’t look just at digit­ally led answers: we want to cre­ate a ‘future Peter­bor­ough’ rather than a ‘futur­ist­ic’ city which is resi­li­ent and sus­tain­able, and a great place to live, work and invest.”

Cllr Peter Hiller, Cab­in­et Mem­ber for Growth, Plan­ning, Hous­ing and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment at Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil said, “See­ing Peter­bor­ough retain a prom­in­ent pos­i­tion with­in the UK’s top Smart Cit­ies, fin­ish­ing higher than the likes of Cam­bridge and Oxford, is a real test­a­ment to just how much the Future Peter­bor­ough team has achieved. As the report points out, it’s vital for Smart City pro­jects to have act­ive sup­port from loc­al author­it­ies in order to achieve the best out­comes for every­one. Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil will con­tin­ue to sup­port the work of the Future Peter­bor­ough team to ensure we can enhance as many ser­vices as pos­sible.”

To read the full report, vis­it: http://e.huawei.com/uk/marketing-material/onLineView?MaterialID={A81CFA81-C7A8-4E8F-A088-963C7E73F3CC}

To find out more about the Future Peter­bor­ough pro­ject, vis­it: www.futurepeterborough.com