Business sustainability support programme specification

Programme overview

The programme will address funding and knowledge gaps preventing businesses taking effective action on net zero, and aid development and delivery of net zero interventions for businesses.

Who can apply

Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (those with up to 250 staff) including:

  • sole traders and limited companies from all sectors, including business-to-consumer and business-to-business models
  • landlords of commercial units and business parks
  • community interest companies and community enterprises

Application exclusions

  • start up businesses

What support will be provided

Trusted specialist advice

Advice will be provided on a range of topics, including reducing environmental impact, adapting to a changing climate, reducing energy bills, and making resources go further, all of which can save a business money. The advice will be provided through in-house advisors and specialist consultancy support. Advice could include:

  • how net zero relates to your business
  • identifying new opportunities and discussing barriers to action
  • creating business adaptation/action plans
  • explanations of new business models and advice on implementation
  • advice on new legislation, business responsibilities, and creating timelines for action
  • eligibility for other programme streams and project design

Sustainability audits

Sustainability audits will provide businesses with a free in-depth assessment of business operations, giving businesses a full picture of their current environmental impact and carbon footprint and will include:

  • scope 1: direct carbon emissions usually from energy use (not electric) and fleet transport (not electric vehicle)
  • scope 2: indirect carbon emissions calculations largely from electricity used, including electric vehicles and offset with any current renewable energy generation
  • scope 3: emissions from waste, business commuting and logistics, production, and packaging and water use
  • an assessment describing general trends and opportunities for greenhouse gas reduction
  • circular economy - making best use of resources and saving money including waste generation by type and volume, water use, making items repairable
  • a list of action areas, or hotspots, with suggestions for reducing impact and delivering cost savings
  • a review of climate adaptation impacts and options to increase climate resilience
  • a review of ‘supporting nature’, where this could help to reduce greenhouse gas and adaptation

A sustainability audit may enable a further application to the Business Sustainability Grants programme. 

Businesses can apply for both advice and audits.

Programme specific outputs and outcomes that projects need to aim for

  • increased uptake of energy efficiency measures
  • greenhouse gas emissions reductions

Programme monitoring and evaluation requirements

Evaluation will be expected to be complete towards the end of a 12 month period when the support has had time to impact on practice or progress. A reminder will be sent at this time. The evaluation requirements will be stated/provided in the service level agreement at the point of agreeing to work with the team.

When do projects need to be completed by

Support will be available until the end of February 2025.

Information on application appraisal methods and award timescales

Please apply using the pre-application form. This will be screen for eligibility and sent to the most appropriate adviser who will contact you in the first instance to start determining the level/type of support needed.

Opening date for applications

  • 25 September 2023

Closing date for applications

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is deemed full to its current capacity. Please note we have a maximum limit of 50 on the sustainability audit element of this programme.

How to apply

Please complete a pre-application form. This is available on the UK shared prosperity fund page

Further information

Data protection

Please note that by submitting a pre-application or full application form, you are consenting to any personal data collected being processed by North Yorkshire Council and shared with partners involved in the delivery of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This includes the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and its contractors. The personal data will be held for the purposes of contacting applicants and assessing applications. You can find out about your data protection and subject access rights on our website.