Author Archive Clare Scurr

LUNCH & LEARN: “Fit for Purpose” The Principles of LEAN Production

Reduce your waste and get LEAN!

These workshops being held in both Blackpool and Accrington will give attendees a broad understanding of LEAN fundamentals through an experiential and entertaining learning event.
LEAN principles are:-
1. Understand what is important and valued by the customer
2. Understand the current process
3. Identify and remove unnecessary wastes from the process
4. Ensure the process is driven by customer demand
5. Continuously identify opportunities for further improvement

A Lean process should deliver the product or service to the customer (however defined) as quickly as possible where waste, errors and re-work have been removed, as far as practicable.

This event will focus on one of the many potential wastes, movement.

The workshop will be presented by Graham Leather, a highly experienced business professional with operational experience across manufacturing line management, sales, and business development and with almost 20 years’ experience of implementing business improvement/ change management programmes across a broad range of industries, from food and health to metal forging and the service sector.
Graham has worked within many cultures and countries including India, UAE, Europe, USA, and the Far East.
Graham has a first degree in minerals engineering from the University of Birmingham and an MBA from the Open University.

The event will start at 12:00 with lunch and networking, with the session starting from 12:30. Following the session there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and for further networking over refreshments.

The Chamber Low Carbon team will be on hand to discuss the support and funding available through the Low Carbon programme.

This workshop is part of a regular Lunch & Learn series giving Lancashire businesses the knowledge and tools to go green. To keep up-to-date with further workshops subscribe to the Chamber Low Carbon newsletter.

Book your place:

4th March – Blackpool

8th March – Accrington

LUNCH & LEARN: “Acronym Bingo” Understand your Business Energy Bill

Ever wondered what all of the acronyms and abbreviations at the bottom of your energy bill mean?

Could understanding your bill help you save some money?

These fun and interactive free workshops in Blackpool and Accrington will give you the answers you need.

The session will be led by Andrew Warner of Green Technologies and Solutions who was a commercial energy adviser for one of the country’s biggest renewable energy installers. Andrew has advised hundreds of SME businesses, from agricultural owner managed businesses, to engineering companies with their own in house maintenance and energy departments. His experience across so many different sectors and technologies has given him a much more balanced insight into how different consumption habits call for a technology or several technologies which suit that habit, not just the energy they require.

The event will start at 12:00 with lunch and networking, with the session starting from 12:30. Following the session there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and for further networking over refreshments.

The Chamber Low Carbon team will be on hand to discuss the support and funding available through the Low Carbon programme.

This workshop is part of a regular Lunch & Learn series giving Lancashire businesses the knowledge and tools to go green. To keep up-to-date with further workshops subscribe to the Chamber Low Carbon newsletter.

Book your place here:

18th Feb 2019 – Blackpool

21st Feb 2019 – Accrington


LUNCH & LEARN: ‘Rubber Duck & the Green Convoy’ Fleet Fuel Efficiency

Want to reduce fuel costs for your fleet through a range of efficiency savings?

Want to find out how you can save money while reducing your vehicle carbon emissions during a relaxed, interactive lunchtime worksop?

Well that’s a big 10-4 from us..


We’re hosting free a Lunch & Learn session in Blackpool for all businesses on vehicle fuel efficiencies and how they can put themselves in a better position – so everything from cars to HGV’s and PSV’s.

Within this we will include information on alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport, information on green cities and the potential for additional charges, types of vehicles from traditional Petrol / Diesel to Hybrid and Electric as well as other measures such as technologies and training.

The workshop will be delivered by Paul Jorgensen, Senior Partner at the Strategic Analytics Team.

With over 20 Years Logistics Operations and HSE experience gained within Europe and the Middle East often in challenging and remote locations, Paul has a clear and deep understanding of complex business issues. He combines this with an understanding of working in a multi-cultural teams to get the very best from them to deliver to the high standards he sets.

With a focus on lean practitioner methodology enabling organizations to focus on continual improvement, combined with a strong ability to help design, deliver, implement and embed new technical and process solutions for clients allowing Paul to help his clients in multiple areas of their logistics operations and HSSE.

Paul is an identified subject matter expert in safe journey management systems for land transport operations and works closely with clients on the design and implementation of innovative logistics management systems, Paul’s clients include International Oil Companies, Government Organizations and innovative technology companies.

Paul was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year for Greater Manchester in February 2018 and is a key note speaker at Multi Modal UK 2018 in May.


The event will start at 12:00 with lunch and networking, with the session starting from 12:30. Following the session there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and for further networking over refreshments.

The Chamber Low Carbon team will be on hand to discuss the support and funding available through the Low Carbon programme.

This workshop is part of a regular Lunch & Learn series giving Lancashire businesses the knowledge and tools to go green. To keep up-to-date with further workshops subscribe to the Chamber Low Carbon newsletter.

Book your place here:

4th Feb 2019 – Blackpool

Chamber Low Carbon eBrochure

Click to view or download a copy of our  Chamber eBrochure

Keeping 2019’s ‘Green Rose’ resolutions

Making New Year resolutions is one thing. Keeping them is another! There are at least three good business and environmental reasons for making low carbon and waste reduction promises as the new free ‘Green Rose’ scheme is launched at the start of the UK’s 2019 Year of Green Action.

While pedalling furiously in the gym!

Battling to lose those extra Christmas pounds or kilograms is important. Good luck! However, cutting climate changing carbon emissions, and learning how to minimise unsustainable and expensive landfill waste from January to December 2019, is, sorry to say, at least equally and arguably even more important. However, help is at hand. All that is needed is commitment, plus the free input that hundreds of local companies are entitled to from the Chamber Low Carbon Programme.

2019 priorities

Why are we starting so early in January? As recent fast-changing news events show, there is a great deal to do and 12 months go by very quickly on the business calendar. The average level of CO2 in the atmosphere at circa 405.0 parts per million (ppm) is now the highest for at least 800,000 years ( The Met Office adds that record-breaking UK summer heat in 2018 was made some 30 times more likely by emissions from human activity (

In parallel, events did not go according to plan at the UN’s COP24 climate change summit in Poland from December 3th to 14th. As strong fossil-fuel advocates, the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait refused to “welcome” a high-level report ( warning that the world is way off course in meeting a critical maximum warming level of 1.50C this century. Nations now need to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a dramatic 45% by 2030. Failing to tackle climate change would be “not only immoral but suicidal” for the planet, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned as he tried to push COP24 to a successful conclusion.

But there is good news too. As will be mentioned later, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) reports that UK and Chinese researchers are working closely on projects to cut worldwide CO2 production, ensure energy affordability and security for each country and build lasting best-with-best academic relationships between China and the UK in an area vital to both countries (


Three resolutions

Most companies have the potential to make major savings by cutting back their energy use, turning to commercially-viable near-zero-carbon renewable energy sources (solar and wind), taking a fresh look at waste, rationalising production and/or manufacturing and service systems, optimising transport needs and working closely with employees to track down and systematically eliminate process inefficiencies.

The Chamber Low Carbon programme has condensed these goals down into three easy-to-implement schemes for 2019: –

Green Roseone day a month for six months

The Green Rose programme is being launched early in the New Year. It is designed to help businesses working towards accreditation to the international environmental management standard, ISO 14001, or British Standard BS 8555 : 2016.

The aim is to create a documented journey of continuous environmental and energy management improvement that can be audited by external adjudicators to very high standards. However, we know that many companies often need to be able to show their clients and supply chain leaders that they are making significant advances before actually being ready to achieve certification.

This is where Green Rose can help. Not only does it take companies through all stages of preparation over a six-month period, it will also be a Lancashire recognised marque of progress towards certification.

– How will the Green Rose journey work?

The aim is to teach company environmental champions and managers and their support teams how to look for and quantify risks that can range from wasting greenhouse gas emitting energy to polluting local watercourses, contributing to poor air quality, operating inefficient lighting and many more so-called “aspects” that “impact” on the environment. These are then listed in a company Significant Aspects Register.

The next step is to identify and take mitigating measure whereby businesses are allowed and expected to prioritise which aspects they want to tackle first and how they plan to do this. It is also important to be aware of and able to comply with relevant regulations and legislation. The key aim is to show continuous improvement year-by-year.

A crucial phase in the journey is periodic high-level review by senior company executives who must be committed to the process. That leads to a further reiteration of the whole cycle and the next round of continuous improvement that certification assessors will look for each year.

– What will Green Rose give you?

Crucial to whole process is competent documentation and Green Rose provides a comprehensive set of example system and operational procedures that environmental champions and managers can customise to their own organisations.

You will be entitled to a FREE Energy and Environmental Audit and Action Plan. A grant aid system is also being put into place to facilitate energy and resource efficiency measures identified within the action plan.

As an important joined-up footnote, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has now aligned its product and management standards with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is another area of activity that the Chamber will be progressing through its Energy & Environment Forum to be launched later in the year.


Welcome to the circular economy

The UK has dragged its feet in meeting the binding European commitment for local authorities to raise their current 40% to 45% recycling rates for residential municipal waste to a much more ambitious 65% by 2035. Greenpeace suggests that this would save almost £10 billion over a decade in waste sector, greenhouse gas and social costs. Understanding and joining the circular economy will be a key step that is also important in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The indications are that the Government will introduce higher targets early in 2019. In addition, it could for the first time impose a minimum 65% recycling requirement on business municipal waste which would come into effect in the next few years.

The National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) wants to go further with separate food waste collection for households and businesses by 2025 to help provide a low-carbon future. However, all this means businesses starting to plan now.

Join the Lancashire Circular Economy Club

The Low Carbon Programme is organising a Lancashire Circular Economy Club as part of the wider international movement (

Currently, the average UK household produces more than a tonne of waste every year. This totals some 31 million tonnes annually, which is more or less equivalent to the weight of three and a half million double-decker buses that together would go around the world two and a half times if parked end-to-end. That’s a humungous figure that can be tackled nationally on a local level.

– What is the Circular Economy and why is it important to reducing emissions?

The Circular Economy provides an alternative to the traditional linear economy of extract, process, use and dump. Instead, it aims to extract the maximum value of all resources – including waste streams. In effect, one household or companies waste (poison) is another’s feedstock (meat).

The Low Carbon Programme holds regular seminar meetings that examine the waste problem, compare the linear versus the circular economy, explain why waste is really a valuable resource, and, most importantly show how you can make a practical transition to a more circular economy.

Crucially, a different business model is needed and this is a cornerstone focus of the programme.

More events will be held in 2019 and everyone is welcome. The Chamber Low Carbon team will be on hand to discuss the support and funding available through the Low Carbon programme. To keep up-to-date with further Lunch & Learn workshops, please subscribe to the Chamber Low Carbon newsletter (

– In technical terms

The circular economy concept is a regenerative system. The idea is to methodically close down all leakages of material resources, waste, emissions and energy, and instead of losing them employ them again through repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling. Usually, materials are downgraded each time they go through one of these phases. However, the idea of upcycling, or beneficiation, achieves the reverse and produces a higher value product.

The major advantages in a sustainable world are minimum economic or environmental losses that do not unduly affect quality of life. In fact, profitability can be as high as for linear models but with important carbon gains.

– 2019 Year of Green Action

This national initiative, as part of Defra’s 25-Year Environment Plan, was unveiled in January 2018 ( to improve the UK’s air and water quality and protect threatened plants, trees and wildlife species. It is also the key driver behind Green Rose and a major avenue for the Chamber Low Carbon Programme to engage with businesses, obtain baseline carbon footprints and trigger climate and resource action.

As 2019 unfolds, many new local events and participation opportunities will be announced.


China and UK R&D

Four UK/China low-carbon research projects will start in January 2019 with £3.2 million EPSRC funding and ¥12 million from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

University of Manchester academics will work with Huazhong University of Science and Technology colleagues on a new low-carbon laser-based manufacturing process. The University of Manchester will also cooperate with Shenzhen University on a project concentrating on carbon fibre composite recycling. The University of Bradford will similarly partner with Sichuan University to explore polymer recycling, while Queen Mary University of London will work with the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. to create materials for solar cells and batteries from waste.

Happy New Year!

Lancashire Low Carbon Showcase, 6th December 2018

Chamber Low Carbon Presentation – Lancs Low Carbon Showcase

Innovate UK /KTN Presentation

Motoring in the low-carbon fast-lane

Driving in hot sticky weather is not pleasant. But the longer we rely on “dirty” fossil-fuel travel, the hotter our weather is likely to become. The “green” answer lies in learning how to motor, fly, use trains and deliver goods sustainably. And there are a growing number of low-carbon options.

The questionable joys of the open road

Travel in ever-increasing congestion is not enjoyable or environmentally-friendly. Transport creates some 26% of UK greenhouse gases – only 25% come from the energy sector. And the figure is rising. However, a lot can be done to save both money and carbon.

At a policy level, the Government is actively backing a low-carbon transport revolution based mainly on electric vehicles (EVs) with a new national support infrastructure to provide “green” renewable energy. Its flagship Road to Zero strategy is outlined below.

Introducing the worrying UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) report recently (, Environment Secretary Michael Gove also detailed the government’s active responses.

At a personal level, most business people are keen to minimise time wasted in stationery traffic on hot polluted roads. This can work at three key levels – the first and second involve designing low-carbon transport strategies, plus buying or leasing and maintaining the most appropriate vehicles.

However, the third addresses the potentially touchy subject of personal driving styles! Egos aside, most of us could probably benefit from fuel-efficient driving tips with clear bottom-line benefits.

As also explained later, sustainable transport is also a key part of the Low Carbon Programme and our experienced team can help you to optimise both existing and future “green” transport systems.

Not such good carbon news

Before that, it might be useful to review the recent series of quite negative carbon news reports released ahead of an early-December UN meeting in Katowice, Poland where nations will discuss how the spirit and letter of the ground-breaking global climate agreement signed in Paris exactly two years ago can be made to work much more effectively.

On an upbeat note, the EU announced on 28th November that it wants to become the world’s first “climate neutral” major economy by 2050. Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry, also announced on the 28th that the UK’s first commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project should be operational by the mid-2020s. Phase one of the Acorn project is due to store some 200,000 tonnes of CO2 from the St Fergus Gas Terminal in Aberdeenshire under the North Sea.

The other news is less positive. For nine years, UN Environment has tracked the world’s emissions cut gap. Its latest report (27/11/2018 – shows that global efforts to tackle climate change are well off track and getting worse. In 2017, a 1.2% increase in CO2 emissions was the first for four years. Equally importantly, international efforts to cut carbon are running out of stream, it says.

To keep temperature rises down to a relatively safe 1.50C, emissions by 2030 must be 55% lower than today, according to the UN. It adds that the world is currently heading for a 3.20C rise.

Unfortunately, the UK, Argentina, Australia, Canada, the EU, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the US are on the naughty step for missing their so-called Nationally Determined Contributions for 2030 made under the Paris agreement. In fairness, the UK’s targets are extremely ambitious.

Regional and local success stories

However, importantly for us the UN has great faith in “non-state actors” – local, regional and city authorities and businesses. It estimates that more than 7,000 cities in 133 countries, plus some 6,000 companies, are already committed to climate action. A much wider buy-in by this “sector” could cut emissions by 19 gigatonnes (or the CO2 equivalent) by 2030 – enough to keep global warming increases down to 20C.

Clearly, every little helps! Which is why the Low Carbon Programme is important.

Highest carbon levels for millions of years

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported in November ( that CO2 levels have reached 405 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 3 million to 5 million years – when surface temperatures were 20C to 30C hotter and sea level 10m to 20m higher.

The Met Office’s has also released its first major climate change update for ten years (UKCP18 – with a warning that in the worst case, UK summer temperatures by 2070 could be 5.40C higher than in 1981-2000 unless there are drastic carbon emission cuts. The figures are scenarios at the edge of scientific understanding and not firm forecasts. However, they suggest that a 5% chance in the 1990s of hot summers similar to 2018 could rise to 50% by 2070 with 70% less rain; 4.20C warmer winters may see 35% more rain. Sea levels around London might rise by up to 1.5m by 2100.

In his recent lengthy speech on climate change projects (, Michael Gove noted the importance of UKCP18 as a decision-making tool, outlined in great detail the size of the global threat and focussed in on Defra’s specific responses to the crisis.

Managing company transport emissions sustainably

Transport aspects are a key part of robust environmental management systems and important in both preparing for compliance with the international environmental management standard, ISO 14001, and making practically every day running cost cuts.

The Low Carbon team can help in a number of ways where businesses have both freight and personal transport needs. Optimising vehicles routing to minimise mileage and duplication is one priority. Replacing personal travel with Skype and Facetime digital conversations, conference calls and online meetings is another.

Buying, using and maintaining vehicles – new or second-hand – is also an important area as pressures grow to phase out petrol and diesel as soon as reasonably possible.

The third critical area is how well cars, vans and lorries are driven. On-board monitoring equipment to record acceleration, braking and fuel-consumption patterns quickly pinpoints bad habits. Coupled with driver training, this can improve not only carbon performance but also road-safety.

Road to Zero

Rail and even motorway electrification for HGVs is on the agenda, as well as both hydrogen-powered trucks and trains. However, the Government’s £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy is designed to promote electric vehicle uptake. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says its new policies will collectively “put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles”. He adds that it is “one of the most comprehensive packages of support in the world” that will help the UK to “win a substantial slice” of a global EV market worth up to £7.6 trillion by 2050!

The strategy’s 46 zero-emission road transport measures will be implemented across “pillars” that include: – reducing emissions from existing vehicles; pushing up EV sales; greening heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleets; investing in green vehicle design and manufacturing; improving the essential EV infrastructure and supporting local action.

Greening existing vehicles

There will also be measures to improve fuel efficiency and make existing petrol and diesel vehicles greener, plus a 15-year legal commitment for sustainable fuels to account for 7% of all road fuels by 2032.

The existing Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme, which currently only applies to buses, HGVs and coaches, will be expanded to include black cabs and vans. Retrofits to large vehicle fleets can be a cheaper and quicker way of reducing emissions that buying new vehicles.

Heavy goods with no heavy emissions

The electric vehicle revolution has also reached the heavy goods vehicle sector; ultra-low emission standards are being developed for HGVs. How zero-emission technologies work best for HGVs is being studied with Highways England. A voluntary commitment will be introduced to reduce HGV greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2025 based on a 2015 baseline.

The Government also wants EV R&D to rise substantially by 2027, with a 12% tax break for qualifying projects, plus initiatives to source UK parts and raw materials. A new supply chain competitiveness and productivity improvement programme will help the UK’s EV R&D industry to compete with European rivals.

Infrastructure and charging improvements

A lack of charging infrastructure has been identified as one of the greatest biggest barriers to EV take up, in parallel with the “range” distance travelled per charge and vehicle costs. The Committee on Climate Change found earlier this year that 29,000 charge points will be needed across the UK by 2030, of which 85% will be rapid chargers.

There will also be measures to help local and transport authorities opt for green vehicles, including a £48 million ultra-low emission bus scheme fund. In addition, local authorities will be eligible for funding to provide a dedicated taxi charging infrastructure.

Check list

Environmental performance and fuel-economy can be improved through the following tips: –

– Maintenance: –

  • Cleaning agents added to the fuel tank remove harmful deposits from older engines
  • “Premium”, “super” and “ultimate” fuels already contain cleaning agents
  • Engine oil changed at regular intervals keeps vehicles running at optimum efficiency
  • Regular servicing at intervals recommended in the vehicle handbook improves performance
  • Clogged air filters reduce airflow and should be cleaned regularly
  • Low tyre pressures raise fuel-use – 20% under-inflation can cut fuel-economy by some 20%
  • Low-rolling resistance tyres with an EU tyre label can save up to 0.5 litres of fuel per 100km
  • Roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes create resistance and drag

– Driving habits: –

  • Switch off engines in queues – idling for 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting
  • Changing gear earlier, braking sooner and driving more slowly reduces wear and fuel use
  • Maintaining a greater distance from the vehicle ahead gives room for more efficient braking
  • Driving at around 2,000 RPM reduces fuel consumption
  • Air conditioning systems use more fuel – turn them before the end of a journey
  • Air conditioning systems are more efficient than travelling with open windows causing drag

– Further thoughts: –

  • The best low carbon journeys are made by cycling or walking – car sharing is second option
  • Use public transport where the carbon footprint is shared between more people
  • Lightening your vehicle load whenever possible reduces fuel consumption
  • Company cars are taxed on both value and emissions – HMRC provides information
  • Avoid flying or fly less frequently and for shorter distances – don’t use private jets
  • Take “staycation” holidays closer to home

Avoid space travel – it is probably the most carbon-inefficient mode of transport known to man!

Lancashire Business Engagement Workshop – 13/11/2018

Presentation slides for the Local Business Engagement Workshop by Chamber Low Carbon and Electricity North West

Lancashire Business Engagement Workshop with Chamber Low Carbon & Electricity North West

Local Business Engagement Workshop with Electricity North West – 13th November

Help Shape Lancashire’s Low Carbon Electricity Distribution Network

An interactive stakeholder workshop designed to engage group discussions on the energy topics that matter

This event will provide an opportunity to hear more about the electricity distribution network in Lancashire and provide feedback on how it is changing to respond to the needs of a low carbon future and help shape future investment across the region.

Martin Deehan, Operations Director (North) at Electricity North West will host this event and will be joined by Local Operations Managers and colleagues from Customer, Community and Local Energy, Connectionsand Investment Planning.

Electricity North West face the challenge of investing and managing a reliable network capable of delivering the UK’s ambitious targets for reductions in carbon emissions. New technology is changing the way that companies, communities and customers generate, distribute and use energy.

Adoption of electric vehicles, solar generation and battery storage are allowing people to participate in energy markets in new ways and to share the rewards of this transformation and changing the demands on distribution networks.

This interactive event is an opportunity to discuss what has been achieved, what is planned in the coming years and to seek valuable input from local businesses to help shape future business planning and strategy.

This is your opportunity to contribute – don’t miss it!

Registration is from 8.30am with 9.00am start and a 12.00pm close. Following the briefing there will be a chance to network over lunch with your fellow delegates and meet the team from Electricity North West who are keen to hear your views.

The Chamber Low Carbon team will be on hand to discuss the support and funding available through the Low Carbon programme.

Book Here

Launch of Lunch & Learn Programme

Chamber Low Carbon has announced a new series of free seminars and workshops designed to give people in Lancashire the tools and knowledge to make their businesses green.

These regular events will be held at the NWL Chamber’s Training Centre on the Fylde Coast and the Chamber Low Carbon Hub near Accrington.  All sessions will delivered by experts in that field alongside lunch and networking.

Three sessions will be held at each site before the end of the year; just click on the date and venue for more details and to book your free place:

‘Going Green’ The Principles of Environmental Management 

19th Nov in Blackpool

23rd Nov in Accrington

‘Measuring Up!’ How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

26th Nov in Blackpool

28th Nov in Accrington

‘The Circular Economy & How to Get On’

10th Dec in Blackpool

14th Dec in Accrington


The series will continue in the new year covering topics including:

  • Principles of Energy Management
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Water Efficiency
  • LEAN Production
  • Business Energy Bills
  • Renewable Energy
  • Calculating Payback Periods
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Climate Change Consequences

To keep informed about these workshops and other events subscribe to the Chamber Low Carbon newsletter.

If you have low carbon or environmental topics you would like to see covered then let us know by emailing