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Low Carbon Business Support: Buffalo Fundraising Consultants

Ceiling with LED lighting

About the business

Situated in central Bristol, this business provides fundraising consultancy and support for the not-for-profit sector, including arts, education, and charities.  

The company is situated on the 4th floor in one wing of the Whitefriars building in Lewins Mead, central Bristol. The windows are single glazed and cannot be opened; and heating and ventilation are provided by a centralised warm air system with no individual controls. Around 30 staff work in the office space

Buffalo had already begun decarbonisation activities, including: lights are sensor controlled; rail travel is encouraged and the carbon emissions from business travel are offset; employees can benefit from the Cycle To Work Scheme; they have several dry recycling bins.

Project impact

  • lightbulb icon 35% Reduction in energy use
  • World icon *2.7tCO2e Annual reduction in business carbon emissions (*BEIS 2017 Conversion Factors)
  • Hand with money in it icon £835 Annual saving on energy bills

What did the free carbon survey identify?

A free carbon survey carried out by the West of England Combined Authority identified LED Lighting in the energy saving options in a decarbonisation report. 

These would bring an estimated annual carbon saving of 2.7 tCO2e, with an estimated energy saving of 6,006 kWh (35%) and £835 saved annually.

What was the result?

They received grant funding to replace 52 fluorescent tube light fittings within their office with equivalent LED panels to reduce energy consumption 

Further recommendations

Other recommendations were identified for the business to explore. These included:  reducing carbon impact of staff commuting; aerated taps to reduce hot water consumption;  switching off unused office equipment; and installing a timer to prevent under-sink electric heater from being switched on all the time.

What did the business say?

Founder & Managing Director Edward Lang provided insight into the consultancy’s low-carbon journey:

What was your motivation behind seeking a Green Business Grant?

We wanted to further reduce our carbon footprint. The West of England Green Business Grant made it financially viable for us to take this next step in our decarbonisation journey.

How have the improvements benefitted your business?

LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent tubes and they also last longer. Therefore, this green upgrade will provide us with both immediate and medium-term energy savings. An unexpected benefit from this upgrade is that the quality of light is also much better.

How did you promote the project to colleagues and customers?

We produce a monthly staff newsletter and so our green lighting upgrade was included in this. This upgrade is also well timed as we’re looking to start safely encouraging staff back to the office and the improved lighting will be a contributing factor to encouraging staff back.

Are there any more recommendations from your Decarbonisation Report that you intend to use?

Yes. The report recommended we look to install a timer switch to ensure our kitchen water heater was off overnight. We’ve gone one step further and installed a much more efficient Quoker boiling water tap which also provides on-demand hot water.

What is the next step in your ‘green’ journey?

We are looking to reduce the number of journeys we make to meet clients face to face. Covid has rapidly accelerated people’s acceptance of video meetings and we’ve invested in our tech infrastructure to make video conferencing the default choice.

How important are small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in creating a more sustainable region?

An SME’s individual impact on creating a more sustainable region is similar to the impact a single leaf has on a tree. However, if all local SMEs make some small changes, then the region tree will be full of leaves and will really benefit. In time we hope that Bristol’s region tree will encourage a national forest to flourish.

West of England Green Business Grants

The West of England Green Business Grants Scheme offers small & medium enterprises in the region capital grants to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and/or business operations.  The grants of up to £15,000 cover 50-80% of eligible costs.

The £1.7m Scheme is part of the Low Carbon Challenge Fund, which is funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund and the West of England Combined Authority’s Recovery Fund.  Further details can be found on Green Business Grants.