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What you think of the Carbon Trust

green-business-growthA few weeks back, we posed the question, “What do you think of the Carbon Trust?” Well, our readers have responded, so we’re featuring a few of the best comments here (thanks to EcoConnect for helping with this):

I think the Carbon Trust does the best of a bad situation. Its link to government is always going to lead to second guessing, and their entrepreneurial style (ie, The Carbon Trust Standard) does little to quell this as they sometimes appear to lack neutrality. To me, the bottom line is that they are a useful function to generating change in business behaviour — something that is often lacking in the UK. Advancement of compliance programs in the UK have often been paralyzed by consensus building which impedes action — a good example of this is the industry-led initiative to dramatically alter the framework of the CRC. It’s time to start bringing about change before it’s too late, and the CT is a good and necessary tool to do this.

I hope this helps and is on track for what you are looking for.

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Plus points: some of their basic research (eg, wind speed calculator) is excellent and very valuable.

Minus points: too much money leaks into consultants and “support” rather than helping generate carbon savings — eg, grants to startups are not cash to support startups but grants to spend on marketing or IP consultants at £100/hr. Also, it is so difficult to get help that many just don’t bother. Our friends over the channel are much less fussy about this. Generally these systems intended to ensure grant money is well spent cost far more to administer than they ever save in avoiding mis-spending.

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The organisation needs to raise its profile and talk more about the work it is doing. I agree with John in that I seem to have met many consultants who claim to have been retained by the organisation.

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I find Carbon Trust is very useful. I downloaded so many articles which contain detailed information.

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They are a black hole

Occasionally venturing out if they want something and shutting the door behing them

Not to be seen again nor heard

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After visiting the CT, and presenting a fairly comprehensive (70 page) business plan and technical summary, we recieved a totally bizarre reply that indicated that a) either their “technical” team is not technically competent or b) they hadn’t bothered to read the document.We were literally astonished at the quality of the comments which were: without basis in fact, lacking any numerical analysis, without reference to any published financial data, academic publications or patents, and almost flippant in tone. The lack of technical knowledge in a flagship organisation dealing with science and technology is inexcusable. Having said that we will still be apply for funding with them and there is definatily a place and need for such an organisation. Their descisions just need to be based on more solid ground than personal whim or received opinion.

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I’m looking at inclusion now in one of the CT’s incubators administered by TTP.  The detail of questioning is fairly typical of a government0backed body. I get the feeling that they like to appear to offer grant funding for start-ups but in reality the access to funds may be quite difficult. Will comment further when deeper into the engagement.

Any further thoughts, dear readers? Let us know in the comments section below.

2 Comments

  • SECSI
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 9:57 am

    By their own figures, the CT only realise 30% of the cost effective savings identified. It’s not unusual for businesses to cherry pick only the most cost effective savings. Begs the questions as to whether the savings identified are realistic and if they are how the gap can be filled to achieve more.

  • Keith Wyatt
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Our customers who have sought Carbon Trust funding have had good experiences with working with the Trust. With their interest-free loans, they have been able to work with us to substantial cut their lighting energy bills and generated a positive cash flow from day 1 with our energy-saving Eluma lighting. On top of the energy savings and financial benefits, some of our clients have enjoy notable PR from their involvement, such as Roberts Mart & Co Ltd – featured at the launch of the Big Business Refit.

    Keith Wyatt, Somar International.

Comments are closed.

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