Haven Gateway: Find out how to market your low-carbon credentials, says Lisa Brazier

HOW “sustainable” is your company? There were fears that the economic downturn might stifle the drive to be green, but that’s certainly not been the case.

These days, it would certainly be hard to find a large company without a declared commitment to the environment. For smaller companies, the challenge is greater, partly because they may not have the resources to dedicate to becoming “greener”.

So here’s where the Haven Gateway’s �7.5million Low Carbon Freight Dividend project comes in! With nearly �3m of suppor from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), this three-year project offers a financial incentive to eligible SMEs for moving their containers from truck to train.

In tough economic times, that’s clearly a great offer. But SMEs often need expert advice and support, too – and just as important is the series of workshops being organised within the project.

On July 11, we will hold our first Low Carbon Marketing Workshop, in Ipswich. This full-day workshop is designed to give companies a whole toolbox of marketing tactics to help promote their activities as low-carbon, thereby winning and retaining customers.

Ipswich-based marketing, public relations and design company Trebuchet will be playing a major part, alongside other speakers on social media and marketing.

It will be a challenging, very interactive session, with key questions to answer: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? What does low-carbon actually mean, and how can switching to a low-carbon transport mode benefit your business from a marketing point of view?

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The programme will help SMEs understand the benefits and pitfalls from using social media, with a number of case studies to demonstrate successful ways of marketing; participants will also learn about other low-carbon projects and how they can boost their companies’ green credentials with initiatives such as environmental surveys.

We understand that time is precious, especially for SMEs with smaller teams, and we have designed the programme to add as much value to the day as possible; as well as the various fixed sessions, there will be the opportunity for one-to-one advice during lunchtime.

The next workshop is being planned for September. If you are interested in attending a Low Carbon Freight Dividend workshop, take a look at our website, or get in touch. You don’t have to sign up for the whole LCFD project – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

“Sustainability” is possibly an over-used word, but it’s one that sums up a general recognition that none of us can ignore environmental issues.

The ERDF’s East of England programme has a theme of low carbon economic growth, including a priority of ensuring sustainable development. Any SMEs interested in the Low Carbon Freight Dividend project should email lisa.brazier@haven-gateway.org or visit the website www.lcfd.co.uk.

: : Lisa Brazier is the Haven Gateway Partnership’s Low Carbon Freight Dividend project manager.

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