Norwich BID launches new EU green initiative for the city

Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) wants to help businesses re-purpose their waste to create new resources. Norwich is one of 2 locations in the UK working on the European ‘Interreg 2 Seas’ project: an EU funded initiative which aims to ‘upcycle’ 20% of all the waste produced by businesses in the 6 participating locations.

On June 24th Norwich BID launched this ambitious project, aiming to establish a working circular economy for the city. The ‘Upcycle your Waste’ programme will run over 3 years, and aims to support Norwich’s SMEs in reducing their running costs, by handling and transforming their waste into new resources for the community. The project is entirely free for businesses to participate in, and is a truly ground-breaking piece of work when it comes to creating a more sustainable future for Norwich.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director of Norwich BID said: “Norwich BID is excited to be launching this project in Norwich, and to be one of only 2 locations in the UK involved in the Interreg 2 Seas programme. We’re pleased to be able to offer SMEs in the city ways to save money and time when it comes to handling their waste, but – more than that – we’re exceptionally proud to move the city further towards a more sustainable future. This project is the first of its kind here in Norwich, and has ambitious targets for the future. Over the next 3 years, we want to help our businesses create new systems for waste management that will keep resources working within the community for years to come.”

 

How the project will work

  • In the first stage of the ‘Upcycle your Waste’ project, Norwich BID is engaging with businesses in the Norwich area to interview them about what would make it easier for them to participate in the project, and what challenges they might face when it comes to re-purposing their waste. Before the end of summer, Norwich BID aims to interview 100 businesses of all types.
  • The second phase of the project will take place in the Autumn, until early 2021. During this time, the goal is to analyse the various types of waste that 300 businesses are producing.
  • Throughout 2021, Norwich BID will be building a business case for the city’s upcycling, and provide support and capacity for every business involved to re-purpose their waste.
  • At the end of the project in 2022/23, we want to have put in place methods and means for businesses to put their waste to better use. Norwich BID is aiming to create something positive for the environment and the economy, by ensuring that resources can be re-purposed and the city’s contribution to landfill is significantly reduced.

Project benefits

  • The project is completely free for SMEs to participate in, and ultimately should save businesses money by identifying new sources of income from their existing rubbish!
  • Resources from SMEs will be upcycled and put straight back into the economy. Things that are normally thrown away will be put to good use to benefit people and businesses.
  • This project is a huge leap for the city in creating a more sustainable future for Norwich. A ‘circular economy’ means that resources are constantly in use and waste is kept out of landfill, which is vital in ensuring society’s impact on the environment is minimal.
  • ‘Upcycle your Waste’ also aims to improve the efficiency of waste-handling, especially when it comes to production and manufacturing. Businesses will benefit from easy-to-access means for upcycling, as well as professional advice on their waste throughout the project term.
  • Norwich BID wants to create a collaborative community when it comes to creating a circular economy for the city. Partners will be part of a pioneering new movement for their city, which should have lasting impact for years to come.

The project is currently in its first phase, and Norwich BID is asking businesses in greater Norwich to get in touch for a 20 minute conversation about what will make the project work for them.

Norwich BID projects officer Victoria Nieto Felipe said: “Over the past 4 months we’ve seen some powerful examples of how our community can pull together in the face of big challenges. As Norwich – along with lots of towns and cities – plans for the future, we want to do everything we can to make sure the way we use our city is sustainable. I’m excited to be working on such a meaningful initiative and encouraged that other cities across the world have seen really positive results from projects like this one.”

Norwich is working with six other partners in four countries across Europe (Economisch Huis Oostend, Kent County Council, Katholieke Hogeschool Vives Zuid, OD IJmond, City of Roubaix, Technische Universiteit Delft) with the aim of getting 20% of our collective pre-existing waste stream upcycled.

 

Norwich BID is still in the process of interviewing 100 businesses across the Greater Norwich area. Any business who would like to be involved in the Upcycle Your Waste project can do so by sending an email to projects@norwichbid.co.uk.

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