Essex University's Business School, independant evaluation of Low Carbon Champions Programme

The draft report said that: The Low Carbon Champions Programme is a unique and effective solution to a pressing global issue.  It should be supported to continue and develop to reach further businesses.

It showed short-term outcomes in terms of carbon reduction (as a result of actions taken) and it is likely there will be longer term outcomes through changes to business processess and increased commitment to carbon reduction within the organisations involved. 

The LCC Programme was well valued and largely effective, it successfully used different incentives to attract a range of organisations to get involved and maintained a relatively high completion rate.  All aspects of the programme wre valued by the Champions themselves, in particular the business-orientated approach, the mixture of training - building knowledge, and mentoring - supporting specific changes in organisations.  As well as the processes, tools and information shared, the carbon audit and the opportunity to apply for a Suffolk Carbon Charter were welcomed.

The approach taken by the Low Carbons Champions team itself was undoubtedly one of the main reasons for success.  Organisations valued their personal commitment to environmental issues, but also their openness to others not feeling the same.  The focus on ensuring that actions made business sense, meant that LCC organisations became more aware of the potential for reducing carbon to save money and also raise the profile of the business.  In addition, it proved a very useful aid to environmentally aware Champions in convincing senior management of the value of investing in carbon reduction.  Having experienced and respected business development, environmental management and carbon reduction experts on the team was essential in supporting effectively and securing senior support.