Partnership to create unique energy offsetting programme in South of England

Green partnership peddling to success: James Grugeon, CEO of Environmental Protection UK, and Mark Smith, Chief Executive of The Southern Co-operative

A leading retail co-operative and environmental charity have gone into partnership to create a unique energy off-setting programme which aims to counteract the carbon footprint of stores locally.

The Southern Co-operative, an independent, non-political co-operative in the south of England, has asked Environmental Protection UK, a national environmental organisation based in Brighton, to carry out a full carbon and environmental audit of its 180 stores and funeral homes and to then create projects which offset them in the local communities where the stores are based.

“Some of the projects we are looking to put together... include retro-fitting local housing to insulate and minimise energy use, installing renewable energies such as solar thermal and solar PV, as well as community projects to improve local environmental quality,” said James Grugeon, CEO of Environmental Protection UK.

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The Southern Co-operative offers a sustainable and ethical alternative to supermarket and convenience store shoppers and their community supermarkets and neighbourhood stores are owned by their membership, which is open to everyone to join. They already use energy from renewable sources, working to minimise their carbon footprint and are committed to sustainably and ethically farmed and fished foods, environmentally-friendly products and they actively support the development of Fairtrade products.

People interested in joining The Southern Co-operative and finding out more about how they can be a part of the movement, should see: www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk

Environmental Protection UK provides expert policy analysis and advice on air quality, land quality, waste and noise and their effects on people and communities in terms of a wide range of issues including public health, planning, transport, energy and climate.

Under the leadership of James Grugeon, Environmental Protection UK has been working to bring together businesses, local authorities and communities to build successful partnerships for environmental action. It is pioneering the approach in Brighton & Hove, working with local Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and developing projects with the City Council to help implement the city's sustainability strategy.

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