£3m project to decarbonise Hemel Hempstead business park and improve sustainability

Lucy Neave

The research project aims to decarbonise the business park by analysing and overcoming the barriers that business owners’ face at a grounds roots level.

The Eastern New Energy research project aims to accelerate the race to net zero at a ground roots level by decarbonising Maylands Business Park in Hemel Hempstead – one of the UK’s largest business parks.

Led by the University of East London, the £10.2m funded project will help local businesses and organisations with ways to rapidly decarbonise communities, buildings and transport in the Eastern region.

Hertfordshire LEP’s sustainability-focused enterprise zone, Herts IQ, was instrumental in bringing £3m of the £10.2m funded research to Maylands in Hemel Hempstead, which is home to over 650 businesses.

Whilst 30 of the UK’s FTSE100 companies have signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign, it leaves thousands of UK business owners faced with the prospect of reducing their own carbon footprint by 2050 and many don’t know where to start.

As well as helping businesses to develop new technology, the Eastern New Energy project will address the challenges that business owners face by analysing the barriers to adopting low carbon practices and providing practical solutions on the ground.

Funded until early 2023, this ambitious pilot, if proven successful, will provide a model for other business parks elsewhere in the country.

The project was supported by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cambridge LEP and East Anglia LEP, which helped to secure investment from the European Regional Development Fund.

Richard Whitehead, chair of Herts IQ, said: “We worked hard to secure Maylands Business Park as the location for this pioneering research because Herts IQ is keen to improve sustainability not only for businesses that locate in Herts IQ, but also in its neighbouring areas.

“We are already working with Smart Go Maylands and our partner Dacorum Borough Council to improve sustainable transport across Maylands, and the Eastern New Energy decarbonisation project will help us work towards a greener, more sustainable future for all.”

The Eastern New Energy project will work with businesses in Maylands Business Park to reduce their carbon footprint by providing free advanced metering systems, energy audits, vehicle fleet audits and grants for the deployment of energy measures. It will also collaborate with businesses to develop an Energy Services Company (ESCo) to help deliver Net Zero action plans.

For businesses based in Maylands that take part in the project, it is also offering free fleet and energy audits that include recommendations for cost effective energy measures.

The ‘Decarbonising Travel in Maylands’ webinar, featuring a guide to free commercial fleet audits from the Energy Saving Trust is being held tomorrow (June 22) at 2.45pm to 4pm. To register for the webinar, click here.

Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors are also hosting a ‘Building Back Greener’ event featuring Eastern New Energy support for businesses on Thursday, July 15, at 8.30am – click here to register for this event.