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Sustainable R&D: the road to net zero?

Posted on August 5, 2022

Today is Cycle to Work Day! We all know that reducing our carbon footprint is crucial to negate the environmental challenges we face.  Cycling to work is a great way for individuals to reduce environmental impact.  However, it’s no secret that more robust, industry-wide work is needed to achieve the UK’s net zero target.

There are many ways that companies can implement environmentally sustainable R&D (research & development) practices into their business, and some of them could even make you eligible for R&D Tax Credits.  R&D Tax Credits are a government incentive to encourage innovation across industries in the UK, allowing businesses that engage in R&D activity to claim back on a variety of expenditures.  This could include staffing costs, subcontractors, software, and materials.

Examples of sustainable R&D specifically in the Environmental & Sustainable Energy sector could include:

  • Designing and developing more efficient and cheaper solar technology.
  • Incorporating renewable energy into listed, heritage buildings or complex sites.
  • Recycling waste to create new products with better performance or reduce costs.
  • Developing processes or products to reduce noise pollution.
  • Developing innovative techniques for the remediation of polluted land.


Sustainable R&D in other sectors:

There are many other sustainable R&D projects that companies outside of the Environmental & Renewable Energy sector can carry out, too.  For example, companies in Food & Drink can develop new processes to reduce food waste or energy consumption.  Those in Agriculture can develop new methods to lessen their environmental impact, such as reusing materials or ‘waste’ products.  Care Homes and other businesses within the Health & Social Care sector could reduce their environmental impact by developing innovative eco-cleaning products.

We’ve even seen examples of sustainable R&D within sectors as niche as Mining & Quarrying, with such companies creating new extraction methods that have minimal impact on the environment.  So, whatever the sector, there are always ways you can incorporate sustainable R&D practices into your business, and claim R&D Tax Credits in turn!  This is a great way to contribute to net zero, whilst obtaining a financial boost for your business.

The examples above are not an exhaustive list of sectors or sustainable R&D projects, so we urge you to contact us to determine your eligibility.  Our specialists only offer services related to R&D Tax Credits, so they are true experts within the field and will be happy to help.