Work continues to enhance biodiversity across Chesterfield

A series of projects that aim to increase biodiversity in Chesterfield have already been successfully completed in 2022 – with even more activities planned throughout the year.

Chesterfield Borough Council has been working with both the Don Catchment Rivers Trust (DCRT) and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to support projects that will help enhance biodiversity across the borough.

In Holmebrook Valley Country Park, DCRT have worked with Fletchers Waste Management to expand the small ponds in the north of the park, which will help create a more diverse range of habitats for local wildlife.

The council, together with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, have planted 1500 trees in Whitecotes Park, Brearley Wetlands and Badger Recreation Ground. Not only do new trees help absorb carbon, but they also create new habitats for wildlife.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Tackling ongoing climate change issues and improving biodiversity provision are closely related. The work we have been doing with partners aims to ensure that Chesterfield is at the forefront of tackling these emergencies. I’m proud of the work we’ve done but there is still lots more to do and I would encourage everyone to get involved and support our work in this key area.”

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “These interventions in our green spaces not only support our ambitious climate change plans, but they also enhance these green spaces for local people. Our recently approved Parks and Open Spaces Strategy has sustainability as a key aim for works to improve our facilities.  Ensuring that local people have excellent green spaces to enjoy is key to improving the quality of life for all our residents.”

The small ponds in the north of Holmebrook Valley Park were originally created several years ago however the pond liners used became damaged and water was not being held in the ponds.

To ensure the ponds can hold water they have been lined with clay and they are already holding water following heavy rainfall. These ponds will also help reduce the flow of storm waters into the river which could reduce the flood risk downstream.

Fletchers Waste Management volunteered their machinery and staff to help complete the ponds at no cost.

DCRT will now be hosting volunteer days so that planting around the ponds can take place.

The council is working closely with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to plant trees and enhance biodiversity across the borough with funding provided through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Further tree planting will take place in 2022 to ensure the council exceeds its target of planting at least 1000 trees every year.

The council will be working with community groups, tree wardens and other volunteers to ensure these trees are planted and can thrive. Some of these will be planted in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. More details about these and how members of the community can get involved will be released in due course.

Any residents wanting to support the council’s tree planting programme can volunteer to become a tree warden by emailing greenspaces@chesterfield.gov.uk or calling 01246 959415.

Working on ponds in Holmebrook Valley Country Park

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New festival aims to build on town’s recent plastic-free accolade

Chesterfield campaign group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, is aiming to build on their recent Plastic Free Community award by organising a Plastic Free Festival, taking place on Sunday 8th August, 10am-5pm on New Square at Chesterfield market.

Organisers say the Plastic Free Festival aims to be the one-stop place to help people to reduce their single-use plastics. At the event, festival-goers can enjoy a plastic-free marketplace with stallholders selling products that encourage a plastic-free lifestyle, with businesses such as the award-winning Steph’s Sustainable Stuff, Elsie Moss Botanical, Astra Designs UK and Smarties Fruit & Veg.

Alongside the stalls will be craft recycling and upcycling workshops provided by local crafters. And to provide a festival-feel, there’ll be live music and dance performances along with food and drink courtesy of local Plastic Free Champion business, El Cafe Verde.

Special guest performances on the day include Nick Toczec, Yorkshire poet and entertainer, as well as the Chesterfield Garland Dancers. Local budding poets are being asked to take part in a Plastic Free Poetry competition, with winners performing at the festival itself.

So that the event can live up to its name, attendees will be encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, cups, coffee mugs and containers. And two Crooked Spire branded festival cups (a reusable coffee cup and a half pint cup), sponsored by local Chesterfield businesses, will be available either to loan or buy at the event.


The festival is sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council, with over £700 of funding for the event coming from the council’s Community Infrastructure Levy grant scheme.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead said: “The Plastic Free Festival will be a really great opportunity to show off the fantastic work that the Chesterfield community have achieved so far to reduce their single-use plastics, celebrating our recent Plastic Free Community accreditation. The festival is the first of its kind in the area and aims to help the public to discover some fantastic local independent businesses, of which all are reducing their plastic footprint.”

“We are delighted that not only has Chesterfield Borough Council given us some funding to be able to run the event, they’ve also given us permission to hold the festival on New Square on Chesterfield market. It will be a great family fun day out.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We’re proud to be funding the Plastic Free Festival, by working together with the community we can make real changes that will help improve the local environment and help us all reduce our carbon footprint.”

“The festival is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to understand how they can lead a plastic-free lifestyle. But it is also an important celebration of the businesses and organisations that have helped our town become an accredited Plastic Free Community.”

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Plastic-free July: How Chesterfield Champions are working to reduce single-use plastics

Businesses across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire have been doing their bit as part of efforts across the town to cut down on single-use plastic waste.

And with the issue under the spotlight throughout the ‘Plastic Free July’ awareness month, we’ve teamed up with local community group, Plastic-free Chesterfield to find out how Chesterfield Champions have been playing their part.

The organisation is challenging the community of Chesterfield to join the Plastic Free July challenge and make at least one swap away from single-use plastic throughout the month.

To give people a helping hand, Plastic Free Chesterfield will be providing daily tips on their social media accounts throughout the month of July, as well as holding an advice and information stall on Chesterfield Market on Saturday 3rd July.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead, said: “Plastic Free July is such a great opportunity for individuals & families, businesses, schools, colleges, and community groups & organisations to be able to think about what single-use plastic they’re using, and attempt the challenge to find and make at least one swap away.

“Anyone who contacts Plastic Free Chesterfield will be provided with friendly top tips and advice and we really hope that the Chesterfield community can join in this exciting challenge.

“Chesterfield may be far from the sea but as soon as any plastic runs off into our streams and rivers, it will make its way to the ocean. Therefore we must work together as a Chesterfield community to reduce single-use plastics and find alternatives.

“Chesterfield is now an accredited Plastic Free Community with over 100 businesses, community organisations and schools signed up to reduce their single-use plastics. Therefore now is a key opportunity to be a part of this fantastic movement and say no to single use plastic packaging.”

How Chesterfield Champions are swapping plastic waste for sustainable alternatives

Northern Tea Merchants

Northern Tea Merchants allows people to bring in their own containers to purchase loose tea and coffee. Their tea and coffee is sold loose without the need for plastic packaging. They also use paper bags.

Shop Indie

Shop Indie on Vicar Lane has taken several measures to reduce the amount of single-use plastic it uses. The store gives out paper bags to customers, while the beauty products they sell are packaged in glass. The shop sells a small range of bar vegan soaps instead of single-use plastic soap bottles. Shop Indie also encourages suppliers to provide either naked cards or compostable bags instead of single-use plastic card bags.

R.P Davidson Cheese Factor

The Cheese Factor has recently taken a major change and has eliminated all plastic packaging on the shop’s cheeseboards, switching instead to cardboard packaging. The Cheese Factor also uses paper bags instead of single use plastic bags. In terms of refill, The Cheese Factor allows customers to bring their own containers to take away cheese and other products from the store on the side of the market hall.

Chesterfield College

Chesterfield College open days

Chesterfield College has swapped plastic cutlery for wood and bamboo spoons, knives and forks. The college has also swapped plastic straws for paper straws, and swapped plastic takeaway boxes for Vegware takeaway trays.

Chesterfield Football Club

Chesterfield FC Proact

Chesterfield FC and Chesterfield FC Community Trust have signed the Plastic Free Pledge, committing to reduce single-use plastics. The Community Trust also does excellent work in raising awareness about plastic pollution in our local schools.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action

Derbyshire Voluntary Action has stopped buying plastic water bottles and are using water filter jugs. The organisation has pledged not to use disposable cups and plates at their forums and meetings. DVA aims to use other refillables wherever possible.

Green Arch Consulting

Green Arch Consulting founder, Emma Knight-Strong has pledged to spread the word about Plastic Free Chesterfield and its objectives, make connections between Plastic Free Chesterfield and interested organisations and individuals who would like to be involved, or who can help further the impact of the group.

As a sole trader based from a home office, Emma has minimal single use plastics impact, however her greatest impact is in helping her clients to understand and reduce their own single use plastics.

Junction Arts

The team at Junction Arts has pledged not to serve drinks in disposable cups at their events and workshops, and are also using plastic-free tea bags. The charity also makes sure that all its print marketing is recyclable.

West Studios

Business Support

Chesterfield’s West Studios is home to a number of small businesses, and now provides wooden stirrers instead of plastic, sugar in containers rather than sachets, and provides customers with a discount on drinks when they bring their own reusable mugs for use in the café area. West Studios has also switched to vegwear for single-use hot drink containers.

Monkey Park CIC

Monkey Park uses a number of environmentally friendly packaging solutions such as cardboard straws, paper bags, cardboard takeaway containers and vegware sandwich boxes instead of single-use plastic packaging. Monkey Park also sell grain travelware cutlery instead of single-use plastic cutlery.


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New bee-friendly ‘pocket park’ created by Chesterfield residents

Community-spirited residents have pulled together to create a new ‘pocket park’, with support from Chesterfield Borough Council.

The new space at Edinburgh Road Park features a number of raised beds that have been planted with wildflowers and plants to support pollinators like bees, new paving, 15,000 spring flowering bulbs and local urban artist Peter Barber has created a wall mural that celebrates nature behind the raised beds.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt said: “I had a great time getting stuck in and helping out at one of the planting sessions. The pocket park is a fantastic space for the local community and offers something unique for them to enjoy. We also had a wonderful array of daffodils in the spring thanks to the efforts of the group and the children who enjoyed planting in the mud!”

“Working together with The Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park, to develop this park shows how projects like this can help bring the community closer together. I know local people of every generation have been involved in this project throughout and I hope they will all get to enjoy it for many years.”

The work is being led by The Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park after securing funding worth almost £20,000. Working in partnership with the Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road the council submitted a bid to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and were awarded £14,500, Chesterfield Borough Council through its Housing Tenant Participation programme provided £5,000 and Derbyshire County Council Public Health also contributed a further £1,000 towards the project.

More improvements are planned, and volunteers are still welcome to get involved.

James Green, Chairperson of The Healthy Friends of Edinburgh Road Park, said: “I’ve lived near Edinburgh Park all my life. As a child I used the play area and used to play football on the field. Nowadays, I walk my Border Terrier, Missy down there for exercise and a bit of relaxation.

“It was clear that Edinburgh Road Park was in need of some tender loving care so after many months of working with local residents, the council and a number of funding bodies it’s been pleasure to get to this point in the project. There have been many positive comments from local people on the improvements we’ve made. I hope more people visit the park to take a look!”

The first phase of improvements, including the raised beds and paving, were completed during the first lockdown in late spring 2020, closely followed by a socially distanced bulb planting in the autumn of 2020. In the autumn the group will complete the project with the planting of 40 trees in the same area as the bulbs and local people are still welcome to volunteer and get involved.

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Chesterfield’s Corrugated Case Company creates eco-friendly furniture brand

A Chesterfield-based packaging company has launched a new venture aimed at creating eco-friendly home furnishings, children’s’ play pens and accessories.

Deckle & Chop has been created by the Corrugated Case Company to help fill the increasing demand for environmentally friendly and recyclable products.

The hand-crafted contemporary goods are made solely from cardboard, with the company initially releasing five designs from its toy range. The team behind Deckle & Chop say they’re now working on introducing new products on a regular basis, following a successful launch of home furniture products in March.

Lizzy Barker, structural packaging designer at Corrugated Case Company said: “Our journey starts over 20 years ago manufacturing standard cardboard boxes for business and commercial use. During our spare time, with our creative minds & understanding of cardboards amazing properties, we designed some pieces for the office and our own homes.

“We soon realised that these needed to be shared with the world and made available for purchase by everyone. We really hope that interest in our business and our products takes off and we are already working on new designs to add to our portfolio.”

Following the launch, Deckle and Chop has created a website and social media pages, in order to showcase the new products. Find out more at https://deckleandchop.com/ or on Facebook.

Recent designs include coffee tables, lampshades, and more recently play pens and an innovative ‘hot air balloon’ night light accessory centred around children.

Founded in 1996, The Corrugated Case Company continues to support a broad portfolio of clients ranging from local businesses to leading national brands — providing packing solutions for everything from products in transit to external customer-facing promotional packaging. The Corrugated Case Company’s products were also featured recently on an episode of the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals. You can read more about that here. 

Corrugated Case Company supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield is awarded ‘Plastic Free Communities’ Status as it Takes Action on Single-Use Plastic.

Chesterfield has joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way to tackle throw away plastic at source.

The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.

Local Tapton resident, Greg Hewitt, started the campaign in summer 2019 after watching a number of documentaries such as Blue Planet 2 and A Plastic Ocean.

Registering with the SAS Plastic Free Communities movement, Greg and a number of volunteers have pulled together key organisations and businesses in the town to put in place a five-point plan. The objectives include; setting up a community led steering group, instigating the SAS Plastic Free Schools education programme, getting local council commitment and working with local businesses, organisations and community groups to spread the word and minimise the amount of disposable plastics they use.

Greg said: “The campaign has been challenging, especially with Covid, but most business and community organisations we have spoken to have been supportive of the campaign and have signed up. Having support from major partners such as the council, Destination Chesterfield, Derbyshire Voluntary Action, and Chesterfield FC feels amazing.

So far 50 local independent businesses have signed up to the campaign, each making at least three swaps away from single use plastic. These include the award-winning Steph’s Sustainable Stuff, The Cheese Factor, El Cafe Verde and No10.

Plastic Free Chesterfield rose above the challenges of the Covid pandemic in 2020 by organising monthly webinars featuring speakers from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Ethical Consumer.

And whilst businesses were joining in, 40 community organisations have signed a Plastic Free Pledge showing their support for the campaign. These include Chesterfield Garland Dancers, Our Vision Our Future, and the newly formed Chesterfield Litter Picking Group.

Greg continued: “To finally reach Plastic Free Community status after a year and a half feels incredible. It is the culmination of many hours given by volunteers who all want Chesterfield to reduce single-use plastics. Just because we now have the status, doesn’t mean Chesterfield is completely plastic free. This is an ongoing journey and we will continue our work to gain the support for our campaign in the community.”

The Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community network aims to free the places where we live from single-use. Using the five point plan the aim is to empower communities to kick start local grassroots action, which can then be built upon.

The marine conservation charity, based in St Agnes in Cornwall, says it wants to unite communities to tackle avoidable plastic from the beach all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. It says it is not about removing all plastic from our lives, but kicking our addiction to throwaway plastic and changing the system that produces it.

Rachel Yates, SAS Plastic Free Communities Project Manager, said: “It’s great to see the work that Chesterfield has done to reduce the availability of avoidable plastics, raise awareness and encourage people to refill and reuse.”

“We have over seven hundred communities across the UK working to reduce single use plastic and the impact it has on our environment. Every step those communities and the individuals in them take is a step towards tackling the problem at source, challenging our throwaway culture and encouraging the habit and system changes we need to see.”

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Dozens help with Chesterfield Canal clean ups

Fifteen volunteers helped to tidy-up one of Chesterfield’s best outdoor spaces last month, with Chesterfield Litter Picking Group and Chesterfield Canal Trust working together to get rid of litter and debris along the canal.

The team got together for the effort on Saturday 24th April, including several canoeists and paddleboarders, who did a superb job clearing the towpath and the canal above Tapton Lock in Chesterfield in the morning. They even removed debris that had got stuck on tree branches in floods.

They saw lots of newly hatched ducklings and even a newt that was found under an old mattress along the bank.

The volunteers also intend to make contact with the companies backing onto the water to encourage them to refrain from dumping their rubbish onto the banks.

In the afternoon, a second group totalling 35 people of all ages, tackled the currently unrestored section of the canal in Renishaw. They cleared a huge amount of rubbish, mostly drinks bottles and cans, but also a tyre, a roadsign, a fire extinguisher and a garden seat. A large elm tree that had collapsed into the canal was cut up and cleared.

This group also cleared vegetation along half a mile of towpath stretching from Main Road Bridge right back to Hague Lane. This is usually impassable in the summer because it gets smothered in brambles, but it is more pleasant for walkers than the adjacent the Trans-Pennine Trail.

This clear-up will be repeated on the last Saturday afternoon of every month. The Chesterfield Canal Trust is keen to set up a group of local volunteers in Renishaw who will eventually manage their section of the canal and look after the adjacent woodland and fishing pond.

In the autumn, the Trust is set to start a major project at Renishaw, making good a previous restoration attempt and extending it to a total of 1,000 metres. This will eventually link up to the Doe Lea Valley restoration section for which the Trust has recently received planning permission.

When all these works are finished, probably sometime in 2024, it will extend the restored canal in Derbyshire from 5 miles to 7½ miles. The highlight will be a 37 metre long aqueduct, nearly 10 metres above the River Doe Lea.

Besides providing a wonderful towpath for walkers, cyclists and mobility scooter users, it will give new fishing grounds. Opportunities for the hire of boats, canoes, paddleboards and cycles will be created. There will be a need for refreshments and it will attract people to the area, thereby benefitting local businesses.

Kath Auton, the Trust’s Membership Secretary, said: “Today has been wonderful. We have met so many local people who are keen to help get the canal restored and back in water. It will be a real asset to Renishaw. I can’t wait for the next clear-up on May 29th.”

Chesterfield Canal Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Plastic Free Chesterfield urges businesses to ‘build back greener’

As Chesterfield’s shops, restaurants and cafes start to plan their re-opening from 12th April, local campaign action group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, is calling on the borough’s business sector to Build Back Better and Build Back Greener from the Covid-19 pandemic, by pledging to reduce their single-use plastics.

A Surfers Against Sewage survey last year found that 63% of respondents want to decrease their personal consumption of plastic packaging and 60% want to use refillable containers more once lockdown eases.

Plastic Free Chesterfield is offering to support businesses with advice on how to reduce their single-use plastics, listing swaps they can take on their website, along with a Facebook group to network and ask questions from other businesses who have made changes.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead said: “Whilst businesses are currently closed and are preparing to open, then can use this time to their advantage by planning ahead, and reducing their single-use plastics, ready for opening. For those hospitality businesses the government has already helped, by banning single-use plastic straws and stirrers, but for other businesses, there are always ways of making sustainable swaps.”

Companies who can make at least three swaps away from single-use plastic will be awarded the status as a Plastic Free Champion business, gaining a certificate and plaque, as well as free publicity from the group.

Destination Chesterfield recently signed up to become a Plastic Free Ally in the town. The organisation has pledged to make a number of changes at its in-person events, including swapping single-use plastic cups and coffee cups for glass and china glasses and mugs for drinks, metal cutlery will be used instead of single-use plastic cutlery and paper, and card or cotton bags will replace single use plastic bags.

Businesses wishing to Build Back Greener should get in touch with Plastic Free Chesterfield via their website

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Promising response to Green Entrepreneurs Scheme from Derbyshire businesses

More than 130 people from businesses and community groups across Derbyshire joined the virtual launch of Derbyshire County Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Fund – a £2 million grant fund for organisations interested in developing and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

Businesses and organisations heard details about how they can apply for funding through the scheme being run in partnership with the University of Derby to help support green economic recovery across Derbyshire.

There are 3 separate funds:

Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund
£1.2 million set aside for a small number of high-quality projects from entrepreneurs wanting to establish green, alternative energy or low carbon initiatives in Derbyshire to provide community heat and power schemes. The minimum grant available through this fund would be £100,000. Applications for expressions of interest will open 1 April 2021.

Green Entrepreneurs Small Grant Fund
Grants of £10,000 – £20,000 for new and existing businesses with game changing proposals in alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction. £500,000 will be made available through this fund. There will be 3 separate rounds in which to apply for funding – the first will launch on 1 April 2021 followed by further rounds opening on 4 October 2021 and then 3 January 2022.

Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund
A training fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of alternative energy. £100,000 will be made available through this fund. Grants will be awarded monthly from July 2021 onwards.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis added:

“We’re championing business innovation and want Derbyshire to become a leader in the field in the development of green energy as part of our bold ambition to cut the council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2032 and that of the Derbyshire economy by 2050.

“We believe there is a unique opportunity to bring greater benefits to local communities and the local economic conditions to create high quality jobs driven by utilising the local skills base in engineering and manufacturing.

“We’re excited to be able to offer businesses the financial support needed to help turn their ideas into reality, through game changing proposals that help to tackle climate change and impact positively on the way we all live in the future both in Derbyshire and further afield.”

Councillor Tony King, Cabinet member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, said:

“We’ve had an unbelievable response to the scheme so far from businesses and community organisations across Derbyshire.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the applications start to come in with proposals for projects to kick-start the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda and boost the local economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would urge anyone who was unable to join the virtual launch to visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/gef to find out more.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“I am delighted that the Green Entrepreneur launch was such a success. It is really encouraging to see so much interest and enthusiasm from local businesses in taking up opportunities like this to operate more sustainably and to make a real contribution towards reducing their carbon footprint.

“We look forward now to working with the county council to deliver the scheme to our entrepreneur community, and to make Derbyshire synonymous with sustainable business.”

Find more information about the programme including application forms, timetable for grant funding and eligibility criteria.

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£2m Green Entrepreneurs Fund to be launched in Derbyshire

Companies in Chesterfield and Derbyshire with green aspirations can apply for a slice of a new £2m funding pot – which is set to be launched at an event delivered by East Midlands Chamber.

Derbyshire County Council will introduce its £2m Green Entrepreneurs Fund at an information session hosted by the Chamber on Thursday 17 March from 9am to 10am.

The fund, which was created in collaboration with the University of Derby as part of its Covid-19 economic strategy and climate change commitments, is intended to help SMEs to develop and invest in low-carbon energy and carbon reduction schemes alongside training.

East Midlands Chamber policy and representation manager Ian Bates said: “Since we launched our Sustainable East Midlands campaign at the tail end of last year, we’ve noticed a strong uplift in the number of businesses that are recognising the importance of joining the low-carbon agenda.

“But many of these ambitious companies will require the necessary funding to give them both the incentive and confidence to invest in green technologies.

“The Green Entrepreneurs Fund is a fantastic initiative from Derbyshire County Council in collaboration with our strategic partner, the University of Derby, and we’re very eager to help promote it to the wider business community with this launch event.”

Who is eligible for the Green Entrepreneurs Fund?

Derbyshire-based SMEs employing up to 250 staff and micro-businesses with up to 10 staff are eligible to apply for grants, which are designed to kickstart the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda, as well as boost the financial health of local businesses in the wake of the pandemic.

The capital and revenue support will help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, retrain in low-carbon skills and develop innovative solutions in low-carbon schemes.

A small number of high-quality demonstrator projects that provide community heat and power solutions will be prioritised.

The £2m scheme is funded by Derbyshire County Council’s Covid Recovery Fund and overseen by a Green Entrepreneurs Fund Programme Board featuring representatives from the council and University of Derby.

Green Entrepreneurs Fund launch event

Businesses can find out who can apply for the funding, the levels of grants available and timescales for delivery at the Chamber-run event on 17 March.

It will also include talks from Derbyshire County Council leader Councillor Barry Lewis, and Professor Kathryn Mitchell, vice-chancellor and chief executive at the University of Derby, about the work they are doing to contribute towards carbon reduction in Derbyshire. Find out more about the event here: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/green-entrepreneurs-fund-launch-event/

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Chesterfield packaging specialists Robinson launch new sustainability pledge

A Chesterfield manufacturer specialising in value added custom packaging has announced the launch of its ambitious sustainability pledge.

The pledge by Robinson outlines a range of commitments underpinned by their strategic priorities focused on putting the customer first, sustainable growth and thriving people.

CEO Dr Helene Roberts says this the blueprint for Robinson’s future-fit business. She says: “We have a role to contribute to sustainability and regenerative growth, which we view as key drivers with great opportunities for our business and the industry.

“Sustainability is about capacity for now and the long-term: meeting social and environmental needs without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive and prosper. In an industry where our products are used every day, we understand that we must make the most of the resources we use while meeting consumer needs in food and product protection.

“Our aim is circularity: to recover, regenerate and restore all products and materials at the end of their useful life.”

Lubna Edwards, Sustainability and Marketing Director for Robinson, is managing the roll out of the Sustainability Pledge, based on five pillars and 15 ambitious commitments:

  • People – helping people thrive and building a happy and healthy culture, with goals to include implementation of a comprehensive people development plan, zero accidents every year, and championing employee health and wellbeing.
  • Regeneration – extracting the maximum value from resources used in all operations and recovering and restoring materials and resources at the end of their life. Goals include zero waste to landfill, becoming net carbon positive and implementing principles for sustainable buildings.
  • Intelligence – creating sustainable products and services and partnering with customers to contribute to building a circular economy by applying purposeful design, using recycled materials and designing packaging for recyclability. Goals include virgin plastic reduction, maximum recycled content and all products to be fully recyclable.
  • Transformation – driving shared commercial value and income streams beyond current business models and collaborating with customers and partners to regenerate local circular economies. Goals focus on sustainable business environments, greener spaces and habitats, and offering reusable products.
  • Community – delivering real tangible social and environmental benefits to local communities, educating the next generation of change-makers and bringing more sustainable initiatives to the areas in which the business operates. Goals include offering career-enhancing work experience and opportunities, engaging educators and students on the benefits of packaging and recycling and giving back to communities.

Lubna says: “I am delighted to launch our Sustainability Pledge which strengthens our ability to deliver packaging with purpose. It is supports delivery of our company purpose which is to go above and beyond to create a sustainable future for our people and planet. It is an ambitious pledge but one I am confident we will achieve with the support of our people and partners.”

Robinson supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.



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