A company called Economic Solutions is advertising for three Sustainable Growth Advisers. They will be based in the North West of England. Here is part of the advert:
Economic Solutions is a major not-for-profit group of companies delivering a wide range of business growth support, skills and recruitment services to employers. It is at the heart of Greater Manchester's strategy for determining and delivering business growth services and supporting partners across the North West. Our challenge is to harness the skills and expertise of public and private partners to deliver cost-efficient services for growing businesses.
We are seeking to recruit 3 talented individuals to develop and manage a new initiative which will support the 5 North West Local Enterprise Partnerships in understanding and capitalise on environmentally sustainable economic development including shaping future projects and funding opportunities. The role, based in the ENWORKS team, www.enworks.com will include supporting our partners to develop and deliver environmental sustainability action plans for the LEP which will be operational until 2015.
At the bottom of the advert it states 'this post is part-financed by the ERDF and the Environment Agency.' How much money comes from the European Regional Development Fund and the Environment Agency I do not know.
I'm not saying all the work done by Economic Solutions doesn't have any merit. Clearly many businesses use its services, therefore they must be doing something right. It is interesting to note Economic Solutions is one of the organisations the Government is using to help administer its business start-up scheme, costing £82.5 million.
At best, this is about increasing energy efficiency. All businesses are looking to reduce costs. But if they want to reduce energy costs, there are plenty of resources freely available to help them. If they feel they need to bring in experts, they are free to do so, but there is no reason why taxpayers should be picking up the bill.
Part of the job of a Sustainable Growth Adviser is to help businesses find funding opportunities for green projects though. That sounds horribly like chasing grants and other subsidies. Sustainable Growth Advisers partly funded by taxpayers will help others to get more money in expensive subsidies. That is an expensive vicious cycle.