Brussels, 10 October 2011 – GreenConServe has published the brochure ‘Green service innovation vouchers: Experiences from testing voucher schemes for sustainable construction service innovators.’
GreenConServe’s goal is to design, implement and test new schemes to accelerate SME-based service innovation in the construction industry in Norway, France and Germany. It works with public partners in these countries to test innovation vouchers for SMEs who want to develop a more sustainable service. The brochure introduces the concept of green innovation vouchers and explains how they can help the construction sector reduce its environmental impact. Buildings currently account for 42% of Europe’s final energy consumption and 35% of its GHG emissions, and construction has been targeted as a key sector for CO2 reduction in the Europe 2020 strategy.
By focussing on services and the whole building life-cycle, the GreenConServe project has overcome some of the traditional challenges of innovation in the construction sector. The brochure includes case studies from the different countries involved in the project, demonstrating how the technical and business support the vouchers offer has helped introduce innovative processes and made real steps towards greening the construction sector.
It concludes by recommending that future voucher schemes concentrate on providing eco-innovation skills, preparing SMEs for the rising demand for eco-innovative services, and energy audits, raising awareness among building owners and creating a market for local energy auditors. These two actions are likely to greatly improve the construction sector’s innovativeness while reducing its CO2 footprint.