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Prince of Wales Names FRC Group Accountancy Pioneers



Liverpool social enterprise FRC Group has been named the best SME in the Finance for the Future awards – founded by HRH The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and ICAEW, (Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).

The awards recognise organisations which transform the way traditional business is done, using financial leadership to create successful, sustainable businesses.

There were a record number of entries this year and the judges said: “FRC stood out for the judges, as not only have the finance team helped to develop new approaches to measure social impact, but these are being used in practice to analyse their performance and make decisions at Board level that maximise social capital.”

FRC Group’s social mission is to reduce and ultimately eradicate furniture poverty, they campaign to raise awareness of furniture poverty and create practical solutions to get furniture to people who need it. They also help to create sustainable employment and better futures for people.

The registered charity runs a number of social businesses to achieve this mission, including Bulky Bob’s which collects preloved furniture through local authority contracts to distribute to those in need, Furniture Resource Centre and Buckingham Interiors which sells new contract furniture to social housing providers, and Our House, an ethical weekly payment store selling furniture, white goods and home entertainment products.

FRC Group has a strong reputation for measuring the social impact that it creates – how much of a difference it makes to people’s lives. This has now been developed to use the same principles of reporting on our finances, to report on our social impact and then using this information to make decisions about the way the social enterprise is run.

Tony Rowan, FRC Group’s Head of Finance, explained: “We believe that this social value budgeting is unique and it was developed to make sure that we are making the biggest positive impact we can in the lives of the people we are here to help.

“We are delighted with this award which not only recognises our pioneering work to develop social value budgeting, but will hopefully inspire more social enterprises to use this model to make good decisions about how to allocate their resources based on robust forecasts of their business activity but also of the social value that is created and the difference they making to people’s lives.”

Judges for the award included leading members of the ICAEW team, and the leaders from organisations such as Crossrail and The Crown Estate.

Richard Spencer, ICAEW’s Head of Sustainability, said: “When we set up Finance for the Future our aim was simple, to recognise the work of finance in driving sustainability. The winners of the awards have shown us that there are many new models which can achieve sustainable businesses. They have highlighted that we need to change our thinking, and what we do, to make a difference. All of our finalists, and especially our winners, are examples that business can learn from.”

For more information on the awards, please visit and for more information on FRC Group,


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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