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Feedback on Green Action Plan consultation

16 April, 2014

The European Commission has published an overview of contributions received in response to a public consultation on the Green Action Plan for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The results will be used to shape actions aimed at promoting resource efficiency for and by SMEs, and will be included in the forthcoming Green Action Plan for SMEs.

 

The consultation was designed to provide feedback to the Commission on what SMEs feel will be the most effective actions to help them turn environmental challenges into business opportunities. The Green Action Plan, which the Commission will soon adopt, outlines actions for SMEs to further develop the significant potential that improvements in resource efficiency – in terms of productivity gain, improved competitiveness and business opportunities – could bring them. It proposes to exploit green opportunities by improving productivity and reducing costs in SMEs through resource efficiency, supporting green entrepreneurship, and developing Europe’s leadership in green processes and technologies.

 

A total of 175 respondents contributed to the consultation, 75% of these were SMEs. The results indicate that SMEs lack information on potential resource efficiency improvements and their cost efficiencies. The majority of respondents have not tried to estimate the investment cost to improve their resource efficiency because they either never thought of it or thought it was too complicated. Only a small percentage has received help from experts. SMEs do not fully understand the business opportunities associated with resource efficiency and the circular economy. The importance of building partnerships and knowledge sharing to increase resource efficiency was highlighted. SME intermediaries, such as co-innovation centres, technology transfer support and resource efficiency consultancy offer valuable services, including awareness raising, advice and coaching and on-site support. Respondents also noted that the Enterprise Europe Network is instrumental in helping SMEs become resource efficient by specifically matchmaking events that promote the installation of green technologies.

 

Original article

 

Press release