People Want Environmental Solutions – and Brighton & Hove Has Them | Part 2

July 5, 2019

Brighton Energy Coop’s salute to our Brighton & Hove home as a green, caring, conscious city – Part 2.


We hear a lot about the terrible trouble we are all in. The climate crisis, plastic pollution, environmental destruction, this governments energy policy to name but four of the current disasters, but as a certain Joseph Addison once said:

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
– Joseph Addison

Our city is gifted with many individuals, projects and businesses that give us all a little hope and are offering some SOLUTIONS – ways to live a sustainable, clean and green life; and give us, our children – and the whole planet – a future.

We want to say a big thank you, and give a salute to these people for providing a few reasons to be cheerful, and allow us to be optimistic that things can change.

Below you will find a little hope… read on.

The story of Infinity in Brighton & Hove goes back a long way!

“Back in 1970, two friends – Ian Loeffler and Peter Deadman – opened a macrobiotic café at the University of Sussex called “Biting Through” which led to a demand for the ingredients they were using in their cooking. The following year, Peter, along with Jenny Deadman & Robin Bines opened a small shop called Infinity Foods in a converted terraced house in Church Street. Here they sold basic vegetarian whole foods and freshly baked products.

Infinity Foods has in turn grown and evolved. What began as a small shop in 1971 is today a thriving large store, brimming with an extensive range of vegetarian products – from cupboard essentials to freshly baked bread and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

In 1985, as a result of the increasing demand for bulk wholefood orders a group of members set up a separate wholesale branch of the business. Run initially from a site in Saltdean, then Portslade, with the eventual move to a warehouse in Shoreham-by-sea where it remains to this day.

Over the years, as the wholefood market has grown so too has the wholesale division of Infinity Foods. Today we are one of the UK’s leading national and international distributors of high quality, organic, biodynamic, fairtrade and natural products.”

Infinity Foods is the largest distrubutor of whole foods in Europe, with an annual turnover of more than £25m.

Their warehouse consumes large amount of electriciy; using BEC’s community-funded solar panels means substantial reductions and carbon savings each year, without having to pay for the solar equipment.


I’m so encouraged and impressed that young people in Brighton and Hove, as well as elsewhere, are so passionately refusing to remain silent and so determined to force change.  

– Caroline Lucas – Brighton’s Green MP

 Low Carbon Trust is an independent, not-for-profit organisation formed in 2001 to set up, manage and promote environmental projects.  Our main objective is tackling climate change through highlighting the connection between buildings, energy and carbon.  We do this by running the award winning Earthship Brighton community centre, an off-grid building in Stanmer Park that heats, cools, powers itself from the sun, harvests it’s water from the sky and treats its wastewater onsite using plants.  We offer tours of the earthship, an eco education trips for local schools and green building training courses for people interested in building their own natural home.

Twitter: @EarthshipBTN

Brighton Beach Design run the social media & web services for BEC.

  • They offer big discounts to individual creatives, charities & campaign groups in the environmental and protest movements; and local green businesses in Brighton.
  • They can provide website design, SEO, highly effective social media campaigns, graphic design, motion graphics and video production services as well as multi lingual websites.
  • If your an individual, an artist or creative and doing something for the planet.
  • If you run a campaign, charity or protest group.

Get in touch!

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Grants

Brighton Energy Coop’s Community Fund provides renewable energy grants and grants for energy efficiency projects. Each year BEC members vote to allocate the fund’s cash to local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. It’s open for any organisation in the BN postcode area.

Free Support to Help Organisations Save Energy

Everyone wants to do their bit to stop climate change but it can be difficult to know where to start.

That’s why, when the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC developed the Utilise Plus programme, we wanted to offer various services that help businesses to save energy no matter where they are on their sustainability journeys.

Whether you’re keen to learn more at one of our free events, want to identify smart solutions for your organisation with a fully- funded energy audit, or want to take action with a grant-funded energy-saving installation, the Utilise Plus programme has something for everyone.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Utilise Plus has already supported hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises throughout Sussex since launching in late 2017.

So far, we’ve helped these organisations make an estimated, combined saving of over 750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. What’s more, their annual energy bills will decrease, on average, by 27%, saving them money year after year.

Utilise Plus will run until the end of September 2019 so make the most of this funding while it lasts – use it or lose it!

Whichever stage your organisation is at, get in touch with the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC and see how the Utilise Plus programme can help you. Saving energy is not only good for your organisation’s cash flow but also good for the environment – win-win!

Just make sure you act fast while this free support is still available!

Call: 01273 964239
Tweet: @SustBusNetwork

The bright yellow Big Lemon buses are a familiar sight around Brighton and Hove.
This project initiated a fleet of 10 electric buses operating around town, all charged overnight at the bus depot.

Brighton Energy Coop oversaw the crowd-funding and ultimately winning bid to the Marks and Spencer’s Community Energy Fund, as well as the installation of solar panels on the Big Lemon Depot’s roof.

“In 2006 a group of people got together in a pub in Brighton to discuss public transport and decided to set up a Community Interest Company to provide affordable and environmentally-sustainable bus services in the local area. Soon afterwards The Big Lemon was born, and we now operate six local bus services in the Brighton area and a wide variety of coach services both locally and nationally.

Our core values are community, sustainability and innovation, and our mission is to enable everyone to get around their community in an affordable, enjoyable and environmentally-sustainable way.

Originally running all the buses on recycled waste cooking oil from local restaurants, The Big Lemon launched the UK’s first solar-powered electric bus in 2017 and we are now converting our entire bus fleet to electric. Electricity to power the buses is provided by Brighton Energy Coop solar panels on the roof of the bus depot.”

Earthwise are energy consultants who specialise in low carbon buildings that are beautiful, comfortable and affordable.  We are based in Brighton & Hove and have been working with low carbon buildings since 2003 and have extensive specialist knowledge in green building design, energy efficiency, natural materials and renewable energy technologies.   

We offer a Passivhaus Design and consultancy service including feasibility studies for new build and retrofitting old houses to deliver high quality, high comfort, low energy homes.  We enjoy collaborating with clients, architects and engineers to develop low energy building designs. 

Contact us today to discuss your project.

Last, but very much not least – here is how YOU can become part of the solution…


Brighton Energy Coop is a Brighton and Hove City Council approved contractor to roll out FREE SolarPV on local schools.

Invest from as little as £300 and earn 5% return on your investment.

Help us put FREE SolarPV on 9 more Brighton and Hove schools.

We hope you are feeling a little more hopeful after reading this.

SOLUTIONS – this is what we want! Have you read part 1? …

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