Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland are being urged to put resource efficiency at the top of their agendas with a supporting loan of up to £100,000. The Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan scheme –funded by the Scottish Government – offers loans of between £1,000 and £100,000 to eligible businesses, to help them to save businesses money while reducing their carbon emissions.
Business and Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “We are committed to supporting businesses across Scotland improve their energy and resource efficiency, to help cut costs and increase their competitiveness. Our SME loan scheme provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to make vital saving through the installation of resource efficient measures, as well as bringing economic opportunities to businesses participating in the supply chain for the installation of measures.
“Businesses can apply for loans of up to £100,000 to cover the capital costs of eligible measures. The loans are interest free for most measures and have a repayment period of up to 8 years.
“Hundreds of businesses have already benefited from the loan scheme and with funding of £5.1 million available this year for new loans I would encourage all Scottish SMEs to contact Resource Efficient Scotland to access this financial support.”
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The scheme provides loans – interest-free, for all projects with the exception of renewables – to help fund a range of carbon reducing measures such as upgraded lighting, improved insulation, biomass boiler installation, the purchase of more energy-efficient equipment and projects to reduce the use of water and other raw materials.
Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Resource Efficient Scotland, part of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Making resource efficiency a priority doesn’t just benefit the environment; it also leads to significant financial savings, giving businesses a real competitive advantage.
“We know that a lack of time, money and expertise can often be perceived as a barrier by businesses when considering the viability of a resource efficiency programme – particularly in the case of small businesses. A Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan can help to address any doubts around affordability; the specialist support from our team of advisors can solve any issues around the availability of time and expertise. I hope to see more businesses in Scotland taking up this opportunity and making progress towards helping the whole country to become more environmentally sustainable.”
Resource Efficient Scotland estimates that by taking simple steps to improve resource efficiency, businesses in Scotland could collectively save up to £2.9 billion. The programme provides free assistance to businesses and public organisations to reduce energy, water and waste.
Steve Macfarlane is the director of Glenuig Inn Ltd, a pub and hotel in Lochialort, near Fort William – an example of a business which has benefited significantly from the loan fund. He said: “With support from a Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan, the Glenuig Inn is now running on 100% renewable energy. We have also completely eliminated food waste.
“Having progressively upgraded our operation over the last six years, we’ve really surprised ourselves at Glenuig Inn as to what we can achieve by becoming a more sustainable business. We’ve been able to reduce our energy costs to 2005 levels and double our turnover – against the backdrop of an economy that has seen energy prices increase by 300%.
“Our competitiveness has been substantially improved as a result of the investments, creating a wholly sustainable business – both financially and environmentally – allowing us to market the business as Scotland’s Exemplar Green Inn.”
Click here for more information or to apply for a SME Loan – or to find examples of how other businesses have put the money to use,