Environmental Week: An update on Tevi

It’s been a dynamic summer for the Tevi programme as it continues to support SMEs in Cornwall and the Idles of Scilly to grow whilst at the same time delivering environmental sustainability initiatives across the county.

The team, comprising over a dozen members of staff across four partner institutions and supported by University of Exeter academics, has now engaged with over 170 enterprises, offering insight and consultancy services, access to grant funding, networking opportunities and business-led solutions to some of the region’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

New interdisciplinary networks around themes like marine environmental growth and food waste, bolstered by an increasingly broader range of expertise within the team, points to an exciting autumn for everyone involved with the Tevi programme.

The ERDF-funded programme, now in its second year, focuses on the two key concepts of environmental growth and circular economy. Environmental growth means facilitating economic development that benefits nature, adding to biodiversity and increasing the positive impacts derived from the region’s wealth of ecosystems. Circular economy is all about removing waste from the economy, reducing the need for single-use resources by, for example, turning discarded materials into new products or designing products to last longer and be more easily repaired.

The heart of Tevi’s interaction with enterprises lies in its bespoke consultancy services. This broad range of offerings includes research around product development, identifying cost-cutting efficiencies and opportunities for greater environmental impact and producing bespoke public-facing documentation for enterprises, such as environmental or equality statements.

These activities are supported by a grant scheme. In recent months, Tevi funded 16 enterprises to carry out initiatives linked to increased environmental growth or transition to the circular economy. These grants, which are match-funded (20%) by each enterprise, often focus on equipment purchases or highly specialised consultancy and reporting requiring external expertise.

Lastly, Tevi’s recently launched Challenge Networks (CNs) are now bringing together enterprises, University of Exeter academics and external experts to tackle Cornwall’s most pressing sustainability challenges. Each CN typically starts with an introductory workshop designed to explore the topic whilst forging consensus on what particular angle the CN should focus on. Subsequently, a series of focussed workshops identify an enterprise-led solution and grant funding is unlocked to enable its delivery. Active CNs, at present, include eco-moorings, local seed banks, end-of-life renewables, food waste, transportation efficiency, mine waste remediation and developments in electric vehicle chargers.

Tevi is led by the University of Exeter in partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Development Company. One of the main aims of the programme is to deliver Cornwall Council’s Environmental Growth Strategy 2015-2065, which argues that the health of the county’s long-term economy relies on a thriving environment.

For more information, please email Project Manager Dan Bloomfield at info@tevi.co.uk.