Support for Derby creative businesses to reduce carbon emissions!

By Gemma Sylva
decarbonise_logo_smReduce energy and resource use, minimise negative environmental impacts, and contribute to tackling climate change in the city.

My name is Gemma Sylva; I lead a small team who run Derby City Council’s award-winning DE-Carbonise project.

DE-Carbonise offers free advice and grants of up to £20,000 to help small and medium sized businesses reduce their carbon emissions. This could include measures such as lighting, heating, insulation, glazing, electric vehicles and charge points, renewable energy generation (e.g. solar panels) and resource/waste improvements. Grants cover up to 40% of the cost of the works.

This is a short summary of the support we offer.


We have worked with Snug Recording Co, providing a carbon reduction audit and subsequent grant to improve heating and insulation at their premises.

Voiceover“We have compared our energy usage and costs from the 3 years before Gemma created our Carbon Reduction Report and helped us to secure a grant contribution to the implementation costs. We found that our bills had reduced by 36% and the heat pump and secondary glazing had improved the comfort of clients and staff working in our facility. These kinds of savings are huge for micro businesses like us and the process was surprisingly easy. I'd recommend that any business in the city with concerns about energy efficiency should get in touch and find out more.” Robin Newman, Director, Snug Recording Co.

I also recorded the voiceover for our summary video at Snug last summer!

DS Screenprints compressorDS Screenprints, a t-shirt printer, has already reduced energy costs through investing in energy efficient equipment and lighting. The most recent project, part-funded by DE-Carbonise, was to replace an old and very noisy compressor with a highly efficient model. This is much quieter and has improved working conditions in the workshop significantly. The company is expecting to save nearly £900 per year from the new compressor and will make even greater savings by identifying and fixing compressed air leaks at the same time.

The Little Dog Laughed, greeting card and gift designers, undertook a full lighting upgrade, changing their inefficient fittings to LED to save £500 per year. This also improved the quality of light to help with their detailed design and handmade product work.

We are happy to offer free, impartial advice to any qualifying businesses occupying commercial premises in the Derby City Council area. The minimum project size is £2,500 not including VAT (subject to carbon savings) so the smallest projects may be too small to qualify. If we aren’t able to offer a grant, we can often signpost to other sources of assistance/funding.

DE-Carbonise is a partnership between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

GS HeadshotLet’s chat


More information and case studies are available on our website

Please get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss the specifics of your organisation.