In this year’s budget, the Chancellor pledged to cut energy costs for British manufacturers. However, one spin-out company from Nottingham Trent University is already a step ahead, having helped a number of blue chip companies drive down the cost of energy bills and address their environmental impact.
Loreus Limited delivers a range of innovative solutions to help businesses address their environmental performance, energy efficiency and generally improve business sustainability. According to research by energy company E.ON, energy inefficiency is costing UK SMEs around £7.7 billion a year.
To help reduce these costs, Loreus has developed a range of online, environmental management and sustainability software tools. Globally the market for this software is worth an estimated £15 million and Loreus is working with a range of public sector organisations such as The Department of Health, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, professional bodies and universities such as The British Medical Association and Cambridge University, and large private sector organisations such as Games Workshop, Greencore Foods and CIGNA Healthcare.
Having traded profitably for over 10 years,Loreus is now looking to expand and grow. Thanks to £40,000 worth of funding from the Nottingham Technology Grant Fund (N’Tech), the business will develop its software products, create three jobs and move into new offices in the spring. Currently based at Nottingham Trent University, Loreus is converting the former police station in Clifton and transforming it for commercial use.
Their web based software, delivered through a single platform called Sustainability Manager, enables clients to implement environmental management systems, carry out carbon footprints, and track their and their suppliers’ sustainability performance. However, unlike their competitors, Loreus’s software is flexible allowing businesses to choose a suite on a specific topic, ranging from carbon emissions and supply chain management through to whole business sustainability.
Set-up in 2002 by main shareholders and directors Dr Peter Redfern and Dr Robert Beattie, the business currently employs four people. Managing Director Dr Peter Redfern is a member of the United Nations Regional Centre for Expertise in Ecologically Sustainable Development and has extensive consultancy experience with a wide range of public and private sector organisations. Over the next year, Loreus will increase its team to seven as they look to develop their sales and marketing strategies to expand their customer base.
In addition to its software products, Loreus also provide bespoke environmental consultancy and on-line training courses on topics such as carbon and environmental management, many of which offer a professional qualification.
Dr Peter Redfern commented: “For businesses both large and small, Corporate Social Responsibility is now a priority and one of the key ways to address this is by measuring your environmental impact. The software and training we’ve developed helps businesses to improve their resource efficiency and drive down energy costs which in turn benefits the environment.”
Dr Jeremy Hague, head of business development at Nottingham Trent University and N’Tech Investment Panel representative, added: “The University is supporting some really innovative companies and we’re especially pleased that one of these was able to benefit from N’Tech funding to aid its expansion and growth.”
N’Tech grants are geared towards the growing life science, digital content and clean technology sectors. The N’Tech fund is run by Nottingham City Council. The programme is focussed on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the greater Nottingham area.
N’Tech is a core element of the Nottingham Growth Plan a blueprint for the city’s future business growth and one of the most ambitious strategies of the UK’s Core Cities. Measures introduced as part of the plan have played a key role in encouraging new business formation through various finance and support packages. To date the N’Tech fund has had 37 successful applications, awarded grants to the value £4.2 million leading to the creation or safeguarding of 806 jobs.
N’Tech grants are funded solely through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). Nottingham City Council secured RGF from the Government for grants to help fast track development of businesses based in the city. The funding can provide grants of £20,000 to £1million per successful company to support growth and expansion.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Skills at the City Council, added: “Green energy is a priority sector in Nottingham and for good reason. We’re already one of the UK’s greenest cities. Our work installing photovoltaics on houses across the city and our recent announcement that we will be forming our own energy company demonstrates our commitment to this sector. We want to help local businesses to reap the benefits of becoming greener too. Loreus is a great example of a business born out of the city’s talent in this area. We’re a hotbed of innovation, and Loreus has the potential to benefit other small businesses by helping them cut down on energy bills, which can be a significant area of expenditure.”
Source: Growing Nottingham