WMG Net Zero Innovation Network helping SMEs become more sustainable

WMG at The University of Warwick helped more than 50 small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in the West Midlands become more sustainable after the energy crisis left 60% of these critical UK manufacturers threatened with closure.

Laura Downey, the technical lead of the Innovation programme at Warwick, said “The Net Zero Innovation Network has supported over 50 businesses and counting.”

The Net Zero Innovation Network was designed to provide solutions for SMEs impacted by the energy crisis. It helps to deconstruct the complexities of energy management, sustainability and innovation for manufacturers in the UK. The average energy usage by businesses using the toolkit was cut down to 32%, with one of these enterprises actually reducing its energy consumption by 81%.

WMG […] provide a range of knowledge and expertise which we just did not have

Leslie Sharp, Kingfisher Enamelling

This coincides with the programme facilitating the usage of state-of-the-art equipment at the University by SMEs. This builds on key themes of the programme: people, planet and profit to empower businesses to make real lasting changes. The Network is now up for the “Energy Efficiency Project of the Year Award” – hosted by edie’s Net Zero Awards.

The Net Zero Innovation Network currently has a range of projects underway, including waste heat recovery simulation, process automation, and digitalisation. These projects assess how to manage energy consumption in businesses, and encourage the utilisation of digital technologies to upgrading their processes pen and paper to digital.

Leslie Sharp, of Kingfisher Enamelling, one of the beneficiaries from the WMG programme, commented: “WMG…provide a range of knowledge and expertise which we just did not have. Added to this, their drive and commitment to help SMEs is immeasurable.”

SMEs are responsible for a total of 44% of non-household UK emissions. The work the programme is doing aims to create a significantly more sustainable future for the UK and beyond.


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