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Environmental technologies

Environmental technologies not only help to reduce energy and resource consumption, and therefore create less emissions and waste—they also offer real business benefits by cutting costs and improving competitiveness.

With the drive towards cleaner and more sustainable production and consumption, the sector has expanded to embrace resource management, low-carbon technologies and an increasing emphasis on life-cycle thinking. Ours is the only region with an agreed target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—by 25% by 2016. Meeting our national targets for renewables is expected to stimulate up to £20bn of new investment in the UK, and install 2,000MW of new generating capacity in Yorkshire & Humber alone.

Our environmental technologies strategic sector champion

Yorkshire Forward directly employs a ‘strategic sector champion’ for environmental technologies—an experienced industrialist who identifies opportunities for innovation through collaboration, and brokers relationships between businesses and the science base. Email Andrew Fox (

What’s covered by ‘environmental technologies'?

This includes air pollution control; waste management; contaminated land remediation; energy management; renewable and low-carbon energy; environmental monitoring and analysis; environmental consultancy services; noise and vibrations control; recovery and recycling; marine pollution; and cleaner technologies and processes.

Which businesses are already here?

These include E-Diesel; E.ON Renewables; Greenergy International; Independent Power Systems; ITM Power; North Energy; Renewable Fuels; Springdale Crop Synergies; Tag Environmental; Waste Recycling Group (WRG); Waterman Sustainable Energy; Windsave Ltd; Yorkshire Wind Power Ltd; Yorwaste Ltd; and Zenon Environmental UK Ltd.

What kind of things are already happening here?

  • The region was the UK’s largest supplier of recycled glass in 2005
  • 50% of the UK’s developable off-shore wind is on the Greater Wash, off the Humber Estuary
  • The UK’s largest single-line biodiesel production facility is based in the region
  • The region’s large agricultural areas have the potential to produce more biomass than anywhere else in the country
  • Award-winning Yorkshire Water is recognised as the UK leader in water management and waste-water treatment.

What kind of regional expertise is there?

The region is one of the UK’s top performers outside London in terms of R&D expenditure by higher education institutions. Expertise and facilities in Yorkshire & Humber include:

What is Yorkshire Forward doing for the sector?

We ensure that the region is able to benefit fully from the economic opportunities which arise from environmental legislation; energy- and resource-efficiencies; and climate change targets.

Some of our recent investments include:
  • Creating the Sustainable Futures Company (SFCo) which encompasses: Future Energy Yorkshire (FEY), delivering the region’s objectives in renewable and low-carbon energy; Resource Efficiency Yorkshire (REY), helping to increase the competitiveness of regional businesses through the widespread adoption of resource-efficiency measures; and Carbon Action Yorkshire (CAY), designed to stimulate leadership in the development of a low-carbon economy for the region. We're also supporting businesses which are developing innovative environmental technologies, by providing market information and signposting to the relevant contacts to help businesses access finance and the support they need to grow.
  • We're supporting the Water Industry Forum, which provides a mechanism for growing the water and waste-water treatment sector within our region. We're helping to create a vibrant regional network for the water industry supply chain, promoting trading, networking and transfer of product, process and regulatory information.
  • We’ve invested £8.7m in the Environmental Energy Technology Centre (EETC), an incubator building to support businesses entering the emerging low-carbon-energy technologies market
  • We’ve invested £2.6m in the setting-up of the Yorkshire & Humber Carbon Capture and Storage Network. This new organisation plans to stimulate the capture of up to 60m tons of carbon dioxide every year, and will develop the evidence base for the benefits of a shared carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure in the region.

Northern Wind Innovation Programme - £2.6 million research funding

The Northern Wind Innovation Programme is a two year project funded through the Northern Way Partnership and delivered by NaREC and Envirolink Northwest. The programme aims to:

  • Drive innovation in the offshore wind sector through provision of a £2.6million research fund
  • Increase knowledge transfer between academia and industry 
  • Enable northern companies with capabilities or potential in the offshore wind sector to identify and realise these opportunities 
  • Enhance the reputation of the North as an international centre for wind technology

For more information visit

Carbon Abatement Technologies – Funding call information

The Northern Way, The Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change have announced a joint £15m Carbon Abatement Technologies (CATs) joint competition to be launched in June 2009.

If your company is involved in engineering, power generation, cement, chemicals, pumps, valves, materials or any other related area and you are interested in finding out about the opportunities for your organisation in Carbon Abatement Technologies then please click the link below to see further details and register for a free regional event.

Find out more

Is your business involved in energy-efficiency for residential dwellings?

Yorkshire Forward has commissioned a study of the industrial supply-chain relevant to retrofitting of energy-efficiency measures in the Region’s varied stock of residential dwellings.  If your business is involved in this activity, as a contractor, a supplier of equipment or materials, a designer, or in any other part of the supply-chain, please complete the on-line questionnaire.  The outcomes of this study will guide the Regional strategy in this sector. Your company name will be included in the list of survey participants, anonymity of your responses is ensured by our contractor, University of Sheffield.

The Facts

  • The value of the world-wide market for low-carbon technologies could be $700bn by 2010
  • In this sector in our region:
  • There are about 450 firms…
  • …employing more than 13,000 people…
  • … contributing £1.8bn a year to the region’s economy.

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