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Graphic showing the Circular Economy icons depicting that design, produce, distribute, consume and recyle should all form a circle

Businesses and other organisations account for around 30% of Cornwall’s carbon emissions. Many reductions in how much carbon your organisation produces could also create substantial cost savings.

We are committed to becoming a carbon neutral Council by 2030 - but all other businesses and organisations will need to take action if we are to meet the Cornwall wide target. Our shared vision for Cornwall is one where businesses thrive as part of a prosperous and fair society.

Find out what your carbon footprint is

  • Knowing your carbon footprint today gives you a baseline for measuring the improvements you make. In the future companies may add environmental measures to their tendering process and might need the information from you.
  • There are many free carbon calculators available to businesses - such as from the Carbon Trust. Other paid-for options might provide more detail, such as

What we're doing

We have calculated that our carbon footprint is 1.5% of Cornwall's total emissions. We are now delving into the detail to inform our 'Carbon Neutral Council' programme. We're also embedding a 'decision wheel' across all departments. This will embed environmental and social factors into decision making for all our projects. This decision wheel is based on Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics.

Business travel

  • Make sustainable commuting easier for your staff, through schemes such as Cycle to Work or a liftshare programme. Consider whether working from home options could help
  • Reduce journeys and save money by attending conferences online, instead of in person
  • Consider more sustainable transport including electric company vehicles and pool cars.

What we're doing

We are updating our Green Travel Plan for staff. This will include electric pool cars and promoting public transport use and lift sharing.


  • Generate your own renewable energy to power your buildings
  • Make sure the energy you buy is from 100% renewable sources
  • Use green web hosting to reduce the impact of all of the data you use
  • Reduce energy - Conduct an energy audit to identify where you can reduce usage and cost
  • Install energy efficient light bulbs, automatic switch offs and insulation

What we're doing

We have solar panels on some of our buildings and we are switching our street lights to LED, but we know we can do more. We are conducting a review of all our assets to understand and reduce energy usage.

Waste management

  • Compost the food waste from your kitchens and canteens
  • Recycle all of your metals and electronics
  • Go paper-light or even better, paperfree, by changing your printing habits. "Be Green - Keep it on the screen!"

What we're doing

We have been running internal competitions to encourage drastic reductions in printing. We have recycling bins in most of our offices.

Responsible procurement

  • Wherever possible, make sure that what you buy is sustainably produced and distributed, including stationery, food and equipment

What we're doing

We are working on a sustainability statement in tender documents to examine the sustainability of potential suppliers.

Engage your team

  • Create a garden to grow food and capture carbon
  • Encourage the staff canteen to provide vegetarian and vegan options and have fun trying out staff challenges, such as meat free Mondays
  • Encourage home working and hot-desking at branches more local to home
  • Consider including carbon literacy training as part of your induction programme

What we're doing

We have a wonderful group call the Green Champions who initiate ideas and events within the council. We are also developing carbon literacy training for our staff. Our canteen discourages single use products by charging for these items and selling re-usable coffee cups.

See green as a business opportunity

Moving into the low carbon economy could be good for your business

  • Sell ethically sourced products which set you apart from your competitors
  • The UK low-carbon economy could grow more than four times faster than the rest of the economy, between 2015 and 2030. This will deliver up to £170 billion of exports and support up to 2 million jobs 
  • If you have an idea for a 'green' business, or technology to combat climate change you can find schemes to develop it. For example, Imperial College London invite you to join one of their Cleantech Entrepreneurship programmes 
  • If you have a business idea you'd like to develop you can apply to the Climate Launchpad. If you've already developed your idea and you want to take it to the next level, you may be interested in their Climate KIC Accelerator.

Where can you get support?

Cornwall New Energy 

Have a great set of top tips to help your organisation transform.


Tevi offers SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises with fewer than 250 employees), bespoke support through a network of full-time specialists in the environment, sustainable development, engineering, design and business administration.

Carbon literacy resources

Engage your staff with the free Carbon literacy resources from the Defra-led National Sustainable Public Procurement Programme (NSPPP).

Cornwall sustainability awards

Cornwall Sustainability Awards are Cornwall’s leading initiative for rewarding and celebrating enterprises for their contribution to environmental growth and resource efficiency. You may find similar organisations to your own you could reach out to and share learning.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust have a guide to energy saving for businesses. They also offer energy efficiency and energy assessment support to SME's.

GreenBook Live Supplier database

GreenBook Live is a free to use online database to help businesses identify products and services that can help reduce their impact on the environment.


Wrap works with governments and business and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency. They also provide a space for organisations to share best practice.

Tax reliefs

Government schemes to incentivise environmentally friendly business.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

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