M&S Energy launches £300,000 Community Energy Fund to support energy projects and technologies across the UK

LONDON, 2017-May-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the third year, M&S Energy is today (22 May 2017) launching the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund, with up to £300,000 available to support community energy projects and technologies across the UK.

Any not for profit organisation that wants to use renewable energy to provide community benefits can apply, whether a community energy group, sports club, library, amateur dramatic society, village hall or school – the judges are looking for innovative and inspiring projects that support the local community’s needs.

Following the initial application and shortlisting process the winners will be decided by public vote giving customers and community members the opportunity to get involved with the initiative and back their favourite project.  Projects that go to the public vote can also seek to raise additional funds through crowdfunding alongside gathering voter support.

Around 80,000 people voted in last year’s competition and 26 projects, including schools, sports clubs and a community pub, were awarded grants and over £28,000 was crowdfunded. The competition highlights the hard work people up and down the country put into improving their local community.

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 23rd June.

Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy said, “Each time we open the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund for new applicants, we are incredibly impressed by the time and commitment so many people give to the community projects that matter to them. Last year’s applicants upped their game with their campaigning and marketing efforts, and we are looking forward to starting the search for this year’s winners. As a 100% green energy provider, this fund is a great way for us to take our commitment further by getting involved with our communities and helping them become more environmentally and financially sustainable.

Dawn Bebe, Director, Energyshare said “Energyshare is delighted to help support the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund campaign for the third year in a row. We hope projects across the UK will once again compete from additional funds and use the opportunity to crowdfund even more funds for their projects to make them happen.”

Amongst last year’s winners was The Angler’s Rest, a community pub with a Post Office in the Peak District, that had faced closure but was saved by the local community who raised money through a local share scheme. This enthusiasm paid off again, with the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund judges awarding it £12,500 for solar panels which will help reduce its energy bills. The judges were equally impressed with Toxteth Food Central, a community-led food hub with an affordable food store, cafe, training space and garden. The judges were inspired by how this project has brought the local community together and awarded funding for solar panels to power the eco-friendly. Entering the competition for the second time, Papworth Trust in East Anglia, which offers care to disabled and older people, was also awarded funding, having demonstrated clear progress towards becoming a more sustainable organisation through LED installations and refurbishments using recycled materials.

Competition details

The M&S Energy Community Energy Fund will be awarded as follows:

  1. Regional funding awards for projects across Great Britain that require a maximum of £12,000, determined by the public vote
  2. Judges’ Prizes of at least  £20,000 awarded to the most innovative or inspiring projects selected from those that do not win through the public vote

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 23rd June.  Applicants will be shortlisted by a panel including M&S, SSE, Energyshare and an independent judge, projects will be considered based upon their social and environmental impact and on meeting a variety of criteria, including:

  • Having a clear business case that gives value for money
  • An engaged and supportive community
  • A measurable community benefit

Full details on how to enter are available at https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/

The public vote will open on Monday 4th September and closes on Friday 20th October.

The winners will be announced in November.

About M&S Energy

M&S launched M&S Energy in 2008, working with SSE, one of the UK’s leading energy companies. M&S Energy offers customers great value gas and electricity, with simple tariffs and excellent customer service from a brand they already know and trust. Like M&S, SSE champions environmental responsibility and works hard to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy use: SSE continues to be the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources and the largest generator of electricity from wind across the UK and Ireland.

The electricity consumed by M&S Energy customers is matched by electricity that has the Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO). The annual consumption of electricity used by M&S Energy customers is matched with the equivalent amount of electricity generated from large scale hydro sources input to the National Grid.

Media enquiries:
M&S Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919


H&M Foundation and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel partner to develop technologies to recycle textiles

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2016-Sep-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today it is possible to mechanically recycle single fibre fabrics such as denim jeans and wool sweaters. However garments are very often made from a blend of different fibres to improve fit, style, comfort and longevity.  Used apparel of blended or unknown materials are either discarded in landfills, or downcycled into insulation, carpeting, and other low value applications.

H&M Foundation is working with HKRITA to develop a series of research projects with a contribution of Euro 5.8 million. HKRITA will conduct the research and work to commercialize the outcomes. The Innovation and Technology Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government will provide additional substantial research funding and support.

“This is one of the biggest and most comprehensive efforts ever for textile recycling. The overall aim for us as a Foundation is to protect the planetary boundaries and work to ensure living conditions. We want to develop at least one ready technology to recycle clothes made from textile blends into new clothes. This would be a major breakthrough in the journey towards a closed loop for textiles in the fashion industry.” says Erik Bang, Project Manager at H&M Foundation.

“HKRITA is very excited about the work in this series of applied research projects.  We look forward to providing practical solutions to a pressing local and global challenge.  We are grateful to partner with H&M Foundation for making our work possible. Sustainability is one of our key research focuses. We aim to develop technologies that are scalable and commercially viable.” says Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel.

The exact financial contribution from H&M Foundation is determined by the surplus from H&M’s global in-store garment collecting program, which is donated to H&M Foundation. Half of this donation is allocated to research on textile recycling. To date the H&M Foundation has donated EUR 1.6 million to HKRITA.

The H&M Foundation, which initiated the global innovation challenge Global Change Award in 2015, had been looking for a world leading research institute to accelerate research on textile recycling, and found HKRITA to be the perfect match. H&M Foundation is the initiator and main funder of the research project 2016-2020 and HKRITA is co-funding. HKRITA, a publically funded applied research center, is the leader in practical and useful research in the textile and apparel area.

The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel was established in 2006 and is a publicly funded applied research center. It’s one of five applied research centers sponsored by the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. HKRITA engages in applied mid- and down-stream research to support the textile and apparel industries, to drive sustainable improvements, and to drive improvements for society.

The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission, aims to increase the added value, productivity and competitiveness of our economic activities. The Government hopes that, through the ITF, Hong Kong companies could be encouraged and assisted to upgrade their technological level and introduce innovative ideas to their businesses.

H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of the fashion company H&M. The mission of the Foundation is to create long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in communities, people and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with prominent organizations around the globe, the Foundation drives change within four focus areas; Education, Clean water, Strengthening women and Protecting the planet. In addition, the H&M Foundation can also provide emergency relief. Since 2013, the Stefan Persson family has donated SEK 1.1 billion (USD 154 million/EUR 123 million) to the H&M Foundation. For further information, visit hm.com/hmfoundation

For more information, please contact:
Yan Chan
Business Development
+ 852 2627 8171

Malin Björne
PR & Communications responsible
H&M Foundation
+46 70 796 39 75

Source: H&M