Driving the Message Home
Edibleculture is a Faversham-based business offering a wide variety of horticultural services to local residents; from pruning trees to growing a huge range of plants (peat, pesticide and plastic free, the first in the UK to claim this!) They work closely with community groups and schools advising on orchard planting and greening projects.
The company strive to continually improve their low carbon credentials so applied to LoCASE for an EU grant back in September 2018 to help invest in a Renault Kangoo I ZE electric van to deliver their local orders across Swale and the wider South East. They were one of over 1,000 firms successful in claiming funding, in this case a grant for £5,437.81 (40% of the total cost of £13,594.52). The van has been invaluable of late in delivering (free within Faversham) to those who were self-isolating or unable to make it to their nursery.
“Our customers are buying into what we are trying to do”
The aim and motivation of this project was to create a greener business while improving business survival, saving money and optimising advertising opportunity. The key benefit of this scheme is the reduction of the businesses carbon footprint, an estimated saving of 1.93 TCO2e per year. As result of the annual carbon saving, the business is expected to make a cost saving of £2,290 per year in diesel whilst also helping with air quality in and around Swale.
“People are very conscious about where they spend their money and what they’re purchasing”
The Low Carbon Kent team at Kent County Council worked with Chris Williams and David Ware (Edibleculture’s owners) to see the process through swiftly. They have since stepped up their sustainability crusade through expanding their plastic free PosiPot range and are looking at a further electric van to join the fleet. Kent County Council have just secured Highways England funding to launch Kent REVS, a free ‘try before you buy’ scheme designed to help other Kent firms realise how and where an electric van could fit within their fleet make up. LoCASE itself has just been extended so we urge all of our SMEs to consider contacting the team before investing in their own business to see where this funding could fit in.