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Launching our £3m Carbon Innovation Fund

People standing in woods

Fund is the largest partnership of its kind between the Co-op Foundation and Co-op 

Organisations tackling climate change are invited to apply for funding of up to £100k from a new partnership between the Co-op Foundation and Co-op.  

The £3m Carbon Innovation Fund will support projects run by charities, social enterprises, community organisations and local, regional and national governments that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the food and farming sector and contribute to real system change.  

Innovation in this context could be something new to the organisation’s sector, region, country or the world. Alternatively, it could include ancient, traditional or indigenous practices or a new method of delivering something that already exists. Essentially, it is doing something different to the current status quo. 

The Carbon Innovation Fund is the largest partnership of its kind between the Co-op Foundation and Co-op. It closely follows Co-op’s own commitment to become a Net Zero business by 2040 and COP26.  

First-stage applications for funding open on 22 November. Applications will close at 12pm (midday) on Friday 10 December before a second stage in January. The Foundation expects to fund approximately 10 projects in year one. 

Interested organisations can apply here

Nick Crofts, CEO of the Co-op Foundation, said: “The Carbon Innovation Fund is the largest partnership of its kind between Co-op and the Co-op Foundation and it will bring forward real change within the food and farming industries. We want to harness the passion that people across the world showed during COP26 to make a real difference to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. I’d encourage all eligible organisations to learn more about how our fund could help them. Climate change affects us all, but co-operation and knowledge sharing can help us safeguard the planet for future generations.” 

Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO said: “With the Carbon Innovation Fund, we’re looking to do something different. Rather than ideas for individual commercial benefit, we want innovations that can be freely shared and can be of benefit to society in general. It’s this type of co-operation that we believe we need to help accelerate our response to the climate crisis.” 

Funding for the Carbon Innovation Fund has been donated by Co-op from the sale of compostable carrier bags in the UK, with the remainder coming from the Co-op Foundation’s own funds. 

The Co-op Foundation has previously supported a number of green initiatives, including  

Heeley Trust, The Conservation Volunteers, Co-operative Alternatives and Cynnal Cymru (Sustain Wales).   

Read more about available funding and apply here. Sign up to the Co-op Foundation blog to hear first when new funding is announced.  

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