The Scottish government has doubled the amount of money available to social entrepreneurs to £3 million, to be distributed over three years via the Social Entrepreneurs Fund. Scotland has more than 5,000 social enterprises – including those that reinvest profits to address important issues like homelessness, unemployment or climate change – with 200 new enterprises starting annually. A ‘Buy Social’ certification scheme will also be introduced so consumers will be able to know when they are buying from a social enterprise.
ESA (the Environmental Services Association) published Planning for a Circular Economy, which asserted that many of the UK’s planning authorities are operating an “outdated” framework that is stifling moves to create new waste management projects. It highlights a number of bureaucratic blocks, and specifies that combined heat-and-power systems utilising energy from waste are constrained by “uncoordinated public policy”. It further argues that a properly functioning circular economy could generate 50,000 new jobs and boost GDP by £3 billion.
The Social Stock Exchange member company iSMART said a sponsorship agreement has been signed between it and WishMeLuck, a Malta-based online raffle company, which will be giving part of its profits from the 15 June draw to sponsor a classroom in Malta for one year. The move is part of the “Sponsor a School” Campaign that iSmart launched a few weeks ago, which is open to all companies wanting to help students with learning difficulties. Sponsorship opportunities with iSMART, which helps children with learning difficulties, are available via firstname.lastname@example.org or www.getismart.com/sponsor.
The UK government pledged to award £109.7 million of government funding to help develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon road transport. Seven projects will share grants from the latest round of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the joint industry-government programme of low carbon vehicle technology. The projects, led by BMW, CNH Industrial, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Penso Consulting, Westfield Sportscars and Williams Advanced Engineering, cover a wide range of innovations. The government also reiterated that people buying an electric vehicle will continue to benefit from up to £4,500 off the cost of an ultra-low emission car, up to £2,500 off a hybrid and receive £500 towards the installation of a charge point in their home.
Dong Energy, the Danish wind power company, said it would build two projects in the German North Sea without government support in the form of subsidies. According to Samuel Leupold of Dong: “The zero subsidy bid is a breakthrough for the cost competitiveness of offshore wind and it demonstrates the technology’s massive global growth potential as a cornerstone in the economically viable shift to green energy systems.”
PKA, which is Denmark’s fourth biggest pension fund responsible for the retirement incomes of 300,000 people, said it had divested from five Canadian oil producers. Its view is that the fossil fuel business is at risk of significant future losses given the transition to renewable energy. The move heightens concern over ‘stranded assets’ in the coal, oil and carbon-intensive industries.
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