Carbon Innovation Fund Round Three

We're supporting organisations finding new ways to grow food without damaging peatlands

This fund is now closed for applications.

Our three-year, £3.5m Carbon Innovation Fund is a partnership between The Co-op Foundation and the Co-op. It’s funded through Co-op donations raised from the sale of compostable carrier bags in the UK and our own Co-op Foundation funds.

Round Three 

Round Three of our Carbon Innovation Fund opens for applications at 12pm on Wednesday 14 February. We close for applications at midday on Friday 15 March.

In Round One of our fund, we funded a broad range of amazing initiatives working to reduce the environmental impact of the food and farming sector. Our second round focused specifically on innovative projects reducing the UK’s reliance on soy-containing feed and synthetic fertilisers. 

For our third round of funding (CIF3), we want to focus on sustainable ways to create a thriving food and farming sector, without the need to damage important peat soils across the UK. 

Why peat? 

Co-op were the first UK supermarket to ban peat-containing compost from shelves in 2021, focusing on peat-free alternatives only.  We know that to protect our environment, we need to find sustainable solutions to make sure damaging peatlands is no longer the norm. 

In the UK alone, an estimated 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon are stored in peatlands. However, with almost 80% of UK peatland degraded, without any intervention to repair and preserve UK peatlands, their greenhouse gas emissionscould exceed the equivalent of 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.  

Peatland is often drained to grow crops and to allow livestock to graze. It is also often broken up to put the peat into compost as a growth aid. This is a major issue in terms of landscape degradation and biodiversity loss. Because of this, we want to focus our funding on ways to protect peatland while still providing the food we need to eat.  

Who can we support? 

We can award grants of £50,000 to £150,000 to initiatives which do one or more of the following:

  • Reduce the amount of peat needed to grow crops within food supply chains 
  • Remove the peat needed to grow crops within food supply chains 
  • Sustainable management / looking after peat soils by using alternative, non-damaging farming methods for crops and/or livestock

Find out more

More information about the fund is available below. Please read guidance notes and watch our webinar prior to application:

Watch our webinar

Heart of Bucks

This year, we are partnering with Heart of Bucks Community Foundation to provide some ringfenced funding for a project in Buckinghamshire. If your organisation is based in Buckinghamshire, visit this page to find out more about how you can apply for this funding.

Watch our webinar about Heart of Bucks Community Foundation below.


Image Credit: Cerniau peatland, RSPB Lake Vyrnwy
Credit: Alex Falkingham