Commission consults on resource efficiency in SMEs

Brussels, 25 September – European Commission DG Enterprise & Industry has launched a consultation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the role played by environmental labels in improving market access for green products. The consultation will be used to strengthen measures for promoting resource efficiency among SMEs under a ‘Green Action Plan’ for the sector.

Brussels, 25 September – European Commission DG Enterprise & Industry has launched a consultation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the role played by environmental labels in improving market access for green products. The consultation will be used to strengthen measures for promoting resource efficiency among SMEs under a ‘Green Action Plan’ for the sector.

About 50% of manufacturing SMEs’ costs relates to the supply of raw materials and more efficient use could save European industry €630m per year. In order to tap into these savings, DG Industry is also looking to better understand the challenges facing SMEs in improving resource efficiency.

One major problem identified is that it is challenging to access finance for efficiency improvements as many lenders do not understand the areas, or believe financial return to be insufficient to justify investment. Raising awareness amongst lenders, providing loan guarantees and creating financing lines are suggested as potential measures for improving availability of finance.

The consultation also seeks to understand general motivation for resource efficiency and whether green SMEs are interested in internationalising their products and services. Trade missions, advice on dealing with other countries’ regulations, and market development support are listed as areas for improvement.

SMEs are also asked at what stage in the value chain support for resource efficiency would be most useful, from the extraction of raw materials through production to repair and waste management. In addition, respondents are asked to rate the effectiveness of existing services that aim to help them improve their resource efficiency.

The consultation is open until 12 December

Click to access the Consultation on the Green Action Plan for SMEs

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