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Carbon Innovation Fund offers £3m to tackle climate crisis

Carbon Innovation Fund offers £3m to tackle climate crisis

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Howard Lake | 22 November 2021 |
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People sitting and standing in a circle in a wood. Photo: Co-op Foundation
Photo by Co-op Foundation

The Co-Op Foundation and Co-op have jointly created a £3m fund that will support organisations that are tackling climate crisis in the food and farming sector.

This partnership, which is the largest to date, was between Co-op and its charitable foundation, the Co-op Foundation. It follows Co-op’s own commitment to become a Net Zero business by 2040 and COP26. 

Grants of up to £100,000These are available from the fund.

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Funding for the Carbon Innovation Fund has been donated by Co-op from the sale of compostable carrier bags in the UK, with the remainder coming from the Co-op Foundation’s own funds. 

Who can apply for this position?

The £3m Carbon Innovation Fund will support projects run by charities, social enterprises, community organisations and local, regional and national governments that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the food and farming sector and “contribute to real system change”.  

What would innovation look like?

Innovation in this context could be:

  • something new to the organisation’s sector, region, country or the world
  • applying ancient, traditional or indigenous practices
  • introducing a new and better method of delivering something that already exists
  • behaviour change among consumers or producers).

First-stage applications for funding open on 22 November. Applications will close at 12pm (midday) on Friday 10 December before a second stage in January. 

The Foundation expects to fund approximately 10 projectsIn year 1. 

It has previously supported environmental projects and organisations such as Heeley Trust, The Conservation Volunteers, Co-operative Alternatives and Cynnal Cymru (Sustain Wales). 

Nick Crofts, CEO of the Co-op Foundation, said: “We want to harness the passion that people across the world showed during COP26 to make a real difference to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. I’d encourage all eligible organisations to learn more about how our fund could help them. Climate change affects us all, but co-operation and knowledge sharing can help us safeguard the planet for future generations.” 

Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO said: “Rather than ideas for individual commercial benefit, we want innovations that can be freely shared and can be of benefit to society in general. It’s this type of co-operation that we believe we need to help accelerate our response to the climate crisis.” 

WATCH: Carbon Innovation Fund Webinar

Last week, the Co-op Foundation hosted an online webinar to share additional information about the Carbon Innovation Fund, and answer potential applicants’ questions.

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