Tevi: Protecting the Natural Environment One Business at a Time
Tevi (the Cornish word for ‘grow’) is a unique EU funded venture which aims to create economic and environmental growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Founded in 2018, this multi-million-pound programme supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the county to regrow and regenerate a net positive impact on the environment and ecology in the region.
In support of the Cornish Environmental Growth strategy, Tevi’s mission is to assist local enterprises in becoming more efficient in their natural resource use and minimise their waste in intelligent and innovative ways. This comes as part of the global transition towards a circular economy, which promotes reducing waste pollution, extending the life cycle of products and regenerating natural systems.
The Tevi initiative has engaged with over 500 companies in Cornwall so far, providing expert consultation, opportunities for recognition and certification, and grant funding.
Dr Dan Bloomfield, Tevi Project manager, said: “I enjoy the sheer range of enterprises Tevi works with – from the large to the small. The fact that companies in Cornwall, across all sectors, understand the value of the natural environment to their business is heartening.”
Tevi’s Wildlife and Heathland Restoration Networking Event.
Over the last year, Tevi has run a range of Challenge Networks, bringing together various stakeholders to work on strategies to tackle critical environmental and sustainability issues.
Their ‘business-led solutions to pollinator decline’ Challenge Network facilitated innovative solutions to mitigate against the main causes of the pollinator decline problem, using locally sourced wildflower seed. The outcome was a white paper report, highlighting business case studies and recommendations to policy makers to reverse the pollinator decline.
Another Tevi Challenge Network revolved around electrical vehicle charging optimisation. Here their goal was to support the preparation of Cornwall’s visitor and hospitality organisations for rapid growth in electrical vehicle ownership and charging requirements, while ensuring the charging assets are operated for maximum utility and the benefit of the wider community. As a result of the network, they created a digital tool to guide SME investment in the most appropriate electric vehicle charging system, and potentially share costs and use with neighbouring organisations.
Through Tevi’s grant programme, they’ve been able to award funding of £1,000 to £10,000 to many enterprises with brilliant ideas which would benefit the wider Cornwall Community.
“We were delighted that the Tevi Team were so supportive of this unusual and ground breaking project. We really want to make radical change and Tevi saw the potential of this study, not just for us, but for the whole zero carbon sustainable energy future.”
Dr Chris Mann, CEO of Bennamann Ltd.
Bennamann Ltd was just one company to be awarded a grant from Tevi, totalling £9556. Bennaman is an early stage start-up working on commercial production, marketing and distribution of high value biomethane energy products that are derived from anaerobic digestion of organic materials at small (farm or estate) scale.
With support from Tevi the company has been researching potential energy yields from grassed areas and developing commercial business models to support a local clean energy revolution.
Dr Chris Mann, CEO of Bennamann Ltd, said: “We were delighted that the Tevi Team were so supportive of this unusual and ground breaking project.
“We really want to make radical change and Tevi saw the potential of this study, not just for us but for the whole zero carbon sustainable energy future.”
Tevi also awarded a £9,927.36 grant to ARC Marine, an eco-engineering company specialising in rebuilding rocky reef habitats worldwide. With Tevi’s funding, they will be purchasing a ‘Pan Mixer’, allowing them to transition to a recycled and low CO2 concrete mixture for their reef blocks. These blocks will be used for marine habitat regeneration, benefiting subsea ecosystems.
Professor Steffen Boehm, Co-Principle Investigator for Tevi, said: “I really enjoy engaging with businesses, policymakers and NGOs, working on actual challenges and problems in Cornwall and making real-world changes.”
The University of Exeter leads the work of Tevi through the Innovation, Impact and Business (IIB) team. It is delivered in partnership with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Development Company.
“IIB is not only hosting all EDIF and EU funded projects, but they were crucial in the creation of Tevi,” explained Steffen. “Alex Huke, [Head of Environment and Clean Growth in IIB] was very much involved in setting up the initiative and our strategic oversight. He also makes sure that there are constant cross overs to other IIB sections, services and teams, helping bring their knowledge forward to support the Tevi initiative.”
The Tevi programme has been granted an extension until December 2022, enabling them to continue their impactful environmental work with enterprises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
If you’re a SME who thinks you could benefit from Tevi’s Grand Fund, their third call closes on Monday 25th October 2021.
If you would like to find out more about the Tevi programme and the work they do, you can visit their website HERE.
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