Commission staff working document accompanying document to the communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Small, clean and competitive = A programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises comply with environmental legislation "Case studies and good practices in Environmental Compliance Assistance" - EU monitor

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COUNCIL OF Brussels, 22 October 2007

THE EUROPEAN UNION

13860/07 ADD 3

COMPET 282 IND 89 MI 239 ENV 514

COVER NOTE

from: Secretary-General of the European Commission,

signed by Mr Jordi AYET PUIGARNAU, Director

date of receipt: 8 October 2007

to: Mr Javier SOLANA, Secretary-General/High Representative

Subject: Commission staff working document accompanying document to the communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

– Small, clean and competitive

  • A programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises comply with environmental legislation "Case studies and good practices in Environmental Compliance Assistance"

Delegations will find attached the Commission document SEC(2007) 908.

________________________

Encl.: SEC(2007) 908

COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES

Brussels, 8.10.2007 SEC(2007) 908

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying document to the

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Small, clean and competitive

A programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises comply with environmental

legislation

Case studies and good practices in Environmental Compliance Assistance

{COM(2007) 379 final i}

SEC(2007) 906

SEC(2007) 907}

EN EN

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • 1. 
    INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................ 3
  • 2. 
    CASE STUDIES OF GOOD PRACTICES IN SOME EU AND OECD

COUNTRIES ............................................................................................................... 7

  • 3. 
    OVERVIEW OF IDENTIFIED COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE INITIATIVES IN SOME EU AND OECD COUNTRIES ..................................................................... 40
  • 1. 
    INTRODUCTION

As a first operational initiative of the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs the Commission has commissioned a study to select existing good practices in compliance assistance at national and regional level in 15 EU Member States and Japan and the USA, selecting 17 case studies. The selection is based on an inventory of 104 SME environmental compliance and performance initiatives. The selection criteria were: whether the initiative is considered to be a best practice, whether it is innovative, the likelihood that it could be transferred, the availability of evaluation information and the need to contain variety in type, objectives and target audience. A closer analysis of seventeen selected case studies provides insights in the effectiveness and transferability.

Transferability is a crucial factor since the initiative should remain as effective in the new context as in the one within which is was developed. The specific local context in which SMEs operate greatly influences the transferability and can be considered from three perspectives: public awareness and preferences, the type of structure of industry and the administrative context.

Following an approach that classifies the initiatives according to how the objectives are delivered, six main ‘types’ of support and services have been identified:

• Passive information and advice tools (e.g. website, campaigns);

• Active/direct support and advice (e.g. helpdesks, on-site visits);

• Training;

• Network approaches (e.g. environmental management at cluster level);

• Incentives: economic and market incentives;

• Voluntary schemes.

A general conclusion from the case studies is that a common motivation for SMEs to participate in support programmes is to gain non-environmental benefits, such as cost-savings on energy, access to a network and business opportunities. This should be taken into account in designing initiatives for SMEs. Understanding networks is also important when considering the formation of SME assistance programmes because SMEs are particularly dependent on their network to compensate for the lack of resources and limited knowledge in-house.

From the assessment of existing compliance assistance initiatives at national, regional or local level, some important lessons can already be drawn:

• Public authorities or bodies tend to be best suited to delivering initiatives which are oneway and information based; whereas for more hands-on support initiatives the preference is for an independent deliverer, such as a private organisation or sector/business association. Partnership approaches appear to be highly successful, combining the respective expertise and merits of both public and independent organisations.

• The most effective initiatives for influencing behavioural change in SMEs are delivered at a regional level, due to advantages in terms of the accessibility of support, advice tailored to specific regional issues, participation in local business networks, and ease of developing relationships in the region. Certain types of initiatives (such as national information campaigns and information provision tools, i.e. websites and help lines) can benefit though from the efficiency gains of taking a national approach.

• For the provision of regulatory information passive assistance is effective, while, where the objective is to secure a greater behavioural change, or where the target audience needs a greater level of support, direct assistance is more effective.

• Trust and confidentiality are important, given that information shared between the SME and deliverer can be sensitive – especially when dealing with environmental compliance.

• Greater benefits are achieved from longer-term initiatives, due to the time taken to develop relationships and trust, to influence behavioural change, and to realise environmental outcomes.

• Some source of public funding is needed in most cases, especially to fund the start-up of initiatives or without clear competitiveness benefits for SMEs taking part.

• Marketing efforts should never be underestimated, with appropriate funding and a solid communication strategy.

• Building on existing relationships and utilising ‘gatekeepers’ such as sector or business associations already well connected to the SME community, can enhance levels of engagement and participation.

• Involving SMEs in networks with large companies and product-chains can have the advantage of influencing supply chains. Networks can also bring non-environmental benefits to SMEs and therefore motivate SMEs to participate in such initiatives.

• One type of network often mentioned in relation to innovation and competitiveness are ‘clusters’. Clusters can be defined as concentrations of competing, collaborating or interdependent companies and institutions which are connected by a system of market and non-market links. SMEs rely to a large extent on external support and relationships and participation in clusters can be important to the success of SMEs.

The following boxes relate to the different set of actions described in the Action Plan and exemplify some implementation initiatives that could be carried out at national or regional level, depending on local priorities and needs.

BOX 1 - More accessible tailor-made environmental management schemes

In Denmark, Environmental Competence Schemes were initiated by the Danish Environment Protection Agency (DEPA) to promote environmental management and EMS in industry. Since 1998, some 700 enterprises have received direct government subsidies. All these subsidy schemes have a strong focus on EMS implementation because of the observed positive correlation between EMS and long-term commitment to improving environmental performance. The schemes have been successful in raising awareness within SMEs and have funded recruitment and training.

The Bavarian Environmental Agreement is an agreement between the Bavarian State Government and Bavarian Business. It contains a list of measures aimed at decreasing the negative environmental impacts of industrial activity, and applies to many sectors of business. By 2005 over 5,000 companies had taken part in the programme. The introduction of an EMS (e.g. EMAS) is subsidised by the regional government for those enterprises with less than 150 employees and a turnover of less than €15 million. The subsidies cover a certain percentage of the costs of external personnel and certification. In return for introducing EMAS, a company is relieved of 30% of the costs of permitting procedures. There are also other cost reductions.

EMAS-easy is an innovative, informal and basic way of implementing EMAS fully in a small company in a way which is complementary to its business cycle. It is based on a popular tool called “Ecomapping”, now in use in more than 80 countries, which provides small organisations with a simple visual tool for analyzing and managing their environmental aspects. EMAS-easy can be implemented quickly (it takes 4 to 9 months instead of the standard 15 to 18 months);it is lean and un-bureaucratic (the environmental management handbook has been reduced to 4 pages, the environmental statement to one double page); it cuts down the costs of certification (the architecture of the management system is simple and it can be audited within a day, with a potential cost reduction of 60%); it cuts down on consulting costs (the need for external assistance is reduced to a third).

Also the success of the simple EMS called Ekoscan® and developed by the public company

IHOBE in Spain shows the great potential and the interest in the market for simple and innovative tools to introduce environmental management systems in SMEs.

BOX 2 - Focused financial assistance and a multi-annual financial programme

VAMIL and EIA/MIA in the Netherlands are tax incentives led principally by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Environment (VROM). VAMIL offers accelerated depreciation on environmental investments from a list of technologies, and enables companies to determine the rate of depreciation. This leads to savings of between 3-8% on the investments made. EIA/MIA enables partial deduction of environmental investments from tax. The percentage of the investment that can be deducted is explicitly set out in the Environment List.

The Slovenian Eco fund promotes investment in environmental protection by offering low interest credit to citizens and companies for investments in environmental protection, and guarantees for investments in environmental protection.

BOX 3 - Building local environmental expertise for SMEs

In Belgium, the UWE Team of Environmental Advisors provides support with "ecodiagnostics". Participating SMEs are offered an initial assessment of their environmental performance through a standardised audit method, involving two half days spent on site by a UWE environmental adviser, who then draws up an ‘ecodiagnostics’ report for the company’s management. This includes an assessment of regulatory compliance, strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations on achieving compliance and improving environmental performance, together with information on any aid schemes that may be available. These recommendations are then discussed with the management, and they are invited to commit to implementing all or some of them on a voluntary basis.

More sophisticated training initiatives include those where trainees pass on their new expertise within the company. For instance, the French PBE+ environmental self-diagnosis support includes a free two-day training session, after which the trainees become the ‘environment correspondents’ of their firms. Larger events on specific topics are regularly organised for environment correspondents from a number of firms.

BOX 4 - Improved communication and more targeted information

Many European statutory environment agencies and business associations produce online or printed guides to legislation and EMS implementation. The public economic chamber of Vienna for example publishes the ‘Umweltreferat Aktuell’, a journal on environmental law and current legal proposals; the French Chambers of Commerce and Industry run a website - Le Portail de l'Environnement – which informs and supports companies on environmental management. These approaches have proven useful for the dissemination of information to a wide audience, e.g. targeting all SMEs in one country or one region, or those in a specific sector.

The ability to tailor advice to an individual SME is a key strength of direct support. With advances in IT capabilities, it is now also becoming possible to tailor information provided by one-way information tools. In the UK, the Netregs website is currently developing a new way of personalising the regulatory compliance information it contains, so that information is customised to an individual’s specific requirements. Interest in this future service can be gauged by the response to a new simple registration service, where NetRegs proactively sends out information about changes to the site, with over 2000 registrations in the first two months and with only low levels of marketing.

  • 2. 
    CASE STUDIES OF GOOD PRACTICES IN SOME EU AND OECD

    COUNTRIES 1

CASE 1: IHOBE SERVICES, SPAIN

Name of initiative

IHOBE-line / IHOBE environmental assessment / Ecoscan

Type of initiative

Information tool (direct support service)

Country/Region

Spain / Basque country

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The IHOBE services are an initiative of the government of the autonomous Basque region. IHOBE is a publicly owned company which fosters environmental improvement inter alia in industry.

Target audience

The target audience is all industrial enterprises that operate in the Basque region.

Objectives

The objectives of IHOBE services are to assist companies to comply with legislation and improve environmental performance.

Description

IHOBE-Line

The IHOBE line is a free environmental information service for Basque businesses. The IHOBE-line depends on the collaboration of the panel of expert advisors and the contribution of all professionals working in any department of IHOBE.

IHOBE environmental assessment

The expert environmental assessment is an environmental information guidance service for Basque businesses, which is totally free of charge. An environmental technician from the IHOBE-line panel of expert advisors visits the company and tries to help staff understand and decide how to manage the environmental aspects of the organisation, or how to focus on a specific environmental problem in the company (for example a problem that could not be solved just via the IHOBE Line).

Ekoscan

Ekoscan® is an IHOBE service available for companies in order to:

1 Based on the study "Environmental Compliance Assistance for SMEs: analysis of specific initiatives at

national and local level and identification of best practises", IEEP, June 2006.

  • identify aspects that could be environmentally/economically improved and make suggestions as to how to carry these improvements out;
  • identify the environmental legislation that affects each industrial activity and assess the compliance level in your company;
  • begin the implementation of an ‘Environmental Performance System’ strengthening the continuous environmental improvement in its production process.

Companies that fulfil the requirements of the Ekoscan standard are certified with the Ekoscan Certificate. The Ekoscan standard requires environmental improvements to be made year on year and compliance with the environmental legislation. IHOBE finances 50% of the Ekoscan consultancy expenses in priority sectors.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

SME have access to a free information service (IHOBE-line) that employs experts in all business relevant environmental fields. They can also take advantage of the IHOBE environmental assessment service, which aims at finding the best solutions for environmental improvements. Companies can therefore use independent experts paid and supervised by the public authorities, who will examine the problems and capacities for environmental improvement, before they make investments or take action themselves.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

In 2004, around 21% of target companies have taken advantage of IHOBE-line and the environmental assessment service represent.

BUDGET

Total budget: In 2006, the budget amounts to €601,000.

In 2005: €24.039 for IHOBE-line; €117.639 for Environmental Assessment; €398.072 for Ekoscan.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Since the establishment of the IHOBE line, there have been around 3,500 queries per year. 53% of the Basque industrial companies know about the existence of the IHOBE line. The IHOBE assessment service is also well used, with more than 150 carried out annually.

TRANSFERABILITY

IHOBE services can be transferred to other Spanish regions, to the national level and to other Member States, although information would need to be tailored to the different legal requirements. If an info-line was to be introduced at a national level, the experts should still be recruited from the different regions. This would assure that clients from the different regions receive information that takes into consideration the regional/local conditions, as well as the regional legal requirements.

The IHOBE services are in part modelled on the UK Envirowise services (helpline and individual assessments). However, Envirowise is a national service giving advice to clients all over England and Wales, whereas IHOBE serves only clients from the Basque country, given that it is funded by the Basque regional government.

CASE 2: STIMULAR, THE NETHERLANDS

Name of initiative

Stimular Foundation

Type of initiative

Information Service Provider

Country/Region

Netherlands. Originally regional (Rotterdam) but has developed so that now half of its projects operate at a national level covering around 50 per cent of the country.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

Stimular 2 is an Independent Institute initially set up by the regional government and local business in 1990 as a

result of a government initiative to stimulate environmental innovation in SMEs in the Rotterdam area. After three years it became a foundation and became increasingly independent from the government. It is now entirely funded through project funding.

Target audience

SMEs which employ between 10 and 100 people and it has experience with a wide range of sectors.

Objectives

The activities of Stimular are intended to improve the environmental performance of SMEs by reducing waste and emissions and the adoption of broader more sustainable management practices including energy saving and waste and emission reductions.

Description

Together with SME entrepreneurs, Stimular develops new instruments for sustainable management building up knowledge and experience in the areas of waste and emission prevention, energy saving and environmental conservation.

One such new instrument for sustainable management for SMEs is the ‘SME-environment barometer’ which is designed to build up a picture of a company’s total annual environmental achievements in terms of energy, water, refuse, sewage, air emissions and transport. The information is also fed back into the local government so that it receives proper information about the environmental pressures in the region. Environmental Performance Indicators (EPI) show how a certain group of companies or an entire industrial area in their region is doing.

Projects are carried out together with regional governments, business associations and private companies, though marketing of services is usually to business associations and local government. At first, they go into a company and do an environmental audit, either general or sector specific, and make their recommendations. 25% of the SMEs then carry on with contact either through a second audit and/or the environmental barometers. Stimular also uses networks to keep in touch with the SMEs and to aid them to exchange ideas and advice on environmental issues.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

Stimular not only helps SMEs to improve their environmental performance but often has other benefits such as cost reductions through energy savings and better management practices in general. There are also benefits of better communication between SMEs and local government.

How SMEs are made aware of this initiative

EN 9 EN

A key feature of Stimular is that it works through local government and business associations and occasionally through important entrepreneurs with whom they have worked successfully in the past. These actors introduce Stimular and its activities to the local SMEs rather than Stimular contacting them directly initially.

Accordingly, if the local government and business associations are positive to the activities of Stimular then around 30% of the target SMEs participate but if this is not the case then around 10% of the SMEs take up the opportunities offered.

BUDGET

Expenditure per annum: Stimular currently operates on an annual budget of around €500,000.

Cost effectiveness: An external report found that one Euro spent on Stimular can save €13.50 in costs (energy

etc) for the SMEs 3 .

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

More than 500 companies in the Rotterdam region, and more recently across the whole nation, have successfully worked together with Stimular. Stimular has helped 500 companies set up an Environmental Barometer.

This initiative is aimed at delivering improved environmental performance rather than specifically improved compliance with environmental legislation. Stimular has increasingly adopted a broad approach with SMEs, wider than just its key environmental message. This is evident in its assistance with general management strategies as well as sustainability strategies as well as its involvement in SME networks: it currently acts as the general secretary for four business networks three of which are entirely environmental.

TRANSFERABILITY

This initiative could easily be transferred to other member states/regions. While some of the deliverables of the initiative are common place (audits for example) others are not known to have been replicated, eg the Barometer initiative. This kind of initiative should also be outside the government to be effective, though it is crucial to approach the SMEs through local governments and business associations.

CASE 3: SMALL BUSINESS OMBUDSMAN, USA

Name of initiative

Small Business Ombudsman

Type of initiative

Information and Outreach; Coordination of National Initiatives; approaches to EMS

Country/Region

USA

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manages the programme. The Small Business Division (SBD)/Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) assures that the EPA responsibly addresses small business environmental issues.

EN 10 EN

Target audience

SMEs

Objectives

The initiative aims to improve the regulatory environment for SMEs and to coordinate activities of compliance assistance. The SBO serves as liaison between small businesses and the EPA to promote understanding of Agency policy and small business needs and concerns. The office also reviews and resolves disputes with the EPA and works with EPA personnel to increase their understanding of small businesses in the development and enforcement of environmental regulations. The main objective is to promote an atmosphere between the Agency and the regulated small business community that will enhance voluntary compliance with regulations.

Description

The SBO provides small businesses with a gateway to the EPA’s programs and services. Providing “one-stop” assistance, the SBO is the EPA’s focal point for small business activities. The SBO serves as the liaison for the small business community in the development of Agency regulations and standards, communicating the needs and concerns of affected small businesses to the Working Groups writing regulations.

Main intended benefits for SMEs of having this initiative available to them

The SBO serves as a conduit for small businesses to access the EPA and facilitates communications between the small business community and the Agency.

BUDGET

The total budget for the function is $3,000,000 per annum. 50% for staff; 50% for operations, grants, and contracts.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Outcomes: Increases in the number of direct-dial calls and hotline calls (from 4,000 calls per year in the early 1980s to the current level of 1,100 - 1,500 calls monthly) and the associated distribution of technical and informational literature, growth in requests for personal appearances at conferences and workshops, and an expansion in participation in policymaking activities are evidence of the customer groups' confidence in the integrity and proactive stance of the SBO.

The Small Business Environmental Home Page received 393 915 hits (84 percent from USA) during the first quarter of 2005.

The strength of the initiative is that it provides small businesses and organizations that deal with small businesses an advocate within the EPA.

TRANSFERABILITY

Some aspects of the initiative have been replicated in the state programs.

CASE 4: NETREGS, UK

Name of initiative

NetRegs

Type of initiative

Information tool

Country/Region

UK (all regions)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

UK environmental regulators: the Environment Agency (England and Wales), the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Environment and Heritage Service of Northern Ireland.

The site has been developed through a partnership of regulators from the different UK regions in consultation with SME operators.

Target audience

SMEs

Description

NetRegs is a free to use website which aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK to understand the complex environmental regulations that can affect them. It is aimed at any SME operator that might need to comply with any environmental regulatory requirement. The site provides guidance on how to comply with environmental law as well as advice on good environmental practice. It provides clear, readily accessible information to businesses on the environmental legislation that affects them.

The site comprises four main areas:

– Sector-specific guidelines for over 100 sectors

– Management Guidelines covering different aspects of business operation from raw material inputs through to wastes (eg on energy efficiency)

– Current legislation: detailing regulations in all regions of the UK; and

– Future legislation: including consultations and EU law developments

£1.75 million (€2.5 million) has been allocated to carry out three projects during 2006/07. These include:

–Personalisation of NetRegs

–Compliance self-assessment tool

–"What do I do with my business waste?" web tool

Main intended benefits for SMEs

The intended benefits to SMEs are that they are less likely to be in non-compliance of environmental regulation and, therefore, open to penalties for non-compliance. Ensuring compliance also provides benefits in enhancing customer support for some SMEs.

Proportion of the target audience is engaged in the initiative

The only obvious weakness has been that less than 10% of SMEs in the UK have used the site.

BUDGET

The initial cost of the main project funded by the national Government was £3.5m (circa €5m) over 3 years. However about £1m (€1.45m) of this was for marketing and communications.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

NetRegs has implemented a simple registration service so that for the first time it can proactively send out information about changes to the web site. In the first two months since setting it up and with only low level PR there have been over 2000 registrations.

NetRegs has also started to get feedback from people who use the site through a recent survey it carried out. One of the more notable facts is that "repeat use of website is high with 57% of UK SME respondents having used the NetRegs website more than once and more than half of those have used it more than ten times".

In the 2005 survey respondents were asked what changes their organisation has carried out as a result of visiting NetRegs website (note totals can be greater than 100% as respondents could choose more than one option):

-6 out of 10 (61%) had either ensured they were already compliant or made changes;

-1 in 6 (17%) had identified areas where change was needed but not yet implemented it.

TRANSFERABILITY

The basic approach is readily transferable to other Member States/regions. A country with more diverse regulations (greater number of devolved regions) would have a significant challenge to provide the information on a web-site, in contrast to a centralised system.

NetRegs appears costly. However, it has been experimental, so the actual cost to set up in another country could be much reduced.

There are similar approaches in countries such as Ireland and Norway. However, in neither case do the websites contain the breadth of information available from NetRegs. This is both in terms of basic regulation and sectoral advice.

CASE 5: ENERGIGUIDEN, DENMARK

Name of initiative

Energy Guide (Energiguiden.dk)

Type of initiative

Website

Country/Region

Denmark

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The Association of Danish Energy Companies (Dansk Energi) delivers the website. The government can suggest specific sectors/topics for initiatives.

Target audience

The activities are primarily directed towards energy consultants with the aim of making their work easier. The website covers SME’s in the following categories:

-Business

-Public Sector

-Agriculture

Objectives

The objective of Dansk Energi is to increase the efficiency by saving time of their energy consultants. The onestop net shop for energy saving activities cuts out unnecessary duplication of resources and reduces site visits to SMEs. The objective of SMEs is to save money.

Description

Website tools to be used for SME’s. Companies are able to use the website to find information about how they can save energy. The service is non-commercial as it is statutory for the grid companies to carry it out as a significant contribution to fulfilling the Government’s energy policy aims of reducing CO2 emissions. Energy consultants also use the site as a database for material they can present to particular groups of clients.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

SMEs will save in heating, electricity, and water bills. The project would also contribute to fewer sick days, better work environment, better public image and a happier workforce.

BUDGET

The total budget was about 5,000,000 Dkk (€650,000). Website development costs were 1,000,000 Dkk (approx. €130,000). Marketing is an additional 4,000,000 Dkk (approx. €620,000).

Expenditure per annum: Circa 50,000 Dkk, (€6500) running costs of the website.

This service is free of charge at point of use. It is financed by a Government levy of 0.006 Dkk (€ 0.0008 per kW/h).

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Results of the energy consultants own evaluation of EnergyGuiden with reference to SME’s:

  • 80% use the tools developed
  • 83% of consultants find that the tools make their work easier
  • 43% report that they save time by using the tools
  • 94% think that the initiative should continue in its present form

The auto and industrial coatings, garages and printers surveys showed that 7% of respondents know of the site and have visited it and have taken action on the basis of the advice contained on the site.

A survey of machine tooling companies and wood manufacturers showed that 40% of the target group have heard of the site, and 14% of them have visited energiguiden.dk.

Cheap mode of communication. The success of energiguiden.dk is a consequence of the contacts created to relevant partner organisations and the involvement of energy consultants in the creation of the site.

In general communication has worked well. However, it has been difficult to get SMEs to visit the website without consultant contact or recommendation.

It has proved difficult to reach the target share of audience of SME’s.

TRANSFERABILITY

Barriers of language and economic and structural differences would need to be considered. Get users to participate in the development of the website, and keep their needs in mind.

CASE 6: VAMIL AND MIA, THE NETHERLANDS

Name of initiative

VAMIL and MIA

Type of initiative

Economic incentive

Country/Region

The Netherlands

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The delivery of the VAMIL and MIA incentives are led principally by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Environment (VROM) as the Department of Environmental Investments. The actual administration of the ‘tax regulations’ is done through the Tax and Customs Administration who process the claims from SMEs and SenterNovem.

Target audience

SMEs. However, any tax paying company in the Netherlands is actually eligible for both schemes. A very wide spectrum of industry can benefit from the incentives, through the “Environmental Technologies List”. Nine environmental categories have been created within the list and it encompasses a range of eligible industry sectors. These are production equipment, climate change, air pollution, noise and health, mobile equipment and transport, security and preventative measures, biodiversity and the natural environment, resource reduction and reuse and waste streams.

Objectives

The specific objective of the incentives is to stimulate the dissemination and market penetration of new environmentally friendly technologies. Through focusing on SMEs, VAMIL and MIA are intended to facilitate an improvement in the environmental performance of these companies by reducing the overall cost of an environmental investment relative to an investment in a conventional technology. While not intended to trigger the investment, the purpose is to incentivise the adoption of a more environmentally sensitive investment.

Description

The Random Depreciation of Environmental Investments (VAMIL) and the Environmental Investment Allowance (MIA) represent two ways for companies purchasing new environmental technologies to reduce their overall cost.

VAMIL facilitates the affordability of a purchase of an environmental technology such as a piece of equipment, by allowing the purchaser to determine the rate of depreciation. To be eligible, the environmental technology must be listed on the “Environmental Technologies List” produced and managed by VROM on an annual basis. The ability to determine the level of depreciation effectively reduces the cost of the investment by reducing the tax liability of the company.

The use of the MIA incentive is as a pure tax deduction tool. Again, the environmental technologies eligible appear on the “Environmental Technologies List” and it also stipulates the level of deduction applicable for each technology. These generally range from between 15-40% of the capital outlay of the technology. This may be deducted from the taxable profit level of the company over the calendar year in which the technology is bought.

In addition, for certain technologies on the “Environmental Technologies List”, it is possible to use a combination of both VAMIL and MIA in order to reduce the cost of the technology.

The “Environmental Technologies List” is the key supporting document for these measures providing a detailed breakdown of the equipment eligible for support through the incentives. In order to qualify for the list, the technology must meet a number of specific criteria. These include: being easily definable in both technical and cost structure terms; and having a market penetration of less than 30% of potential outlets that cater for the product’s specific application.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

Essentially, this benefit is a financial one, as these incentives offer the opportunity to reduce the cost of the purchase of the technology. In addition, these tools promote, disseminate and stimulate the market for investment in environmental-friendly equipment, creating a benefit to the manufacturers of these technologies. The use of these incentives is seen as a measure to encourage greater market penetration and diffusion of these new technologies.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

The largest sectors for the initiative are found in transportation, horticulture and intensive livestock breeding.

BUDGET

In 2006, the budget for VAMIL is €38 million, while for MIA it is €123 million. Of the MIA budget €50 million is a temporary measure to support the accelerated introduction of cleaner diesel engines, as air quality is currently a significant issue in the Netherlands.

Part of the budget for 2006 (€53 million) comes from the governmental budget for the reduction of air pollution. The rest of the budget consists of foregone fiscal revenues of the government.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Mrs. Rianne Dobbelsteen from VROM in a presentation on the VAMIL/ MIA initiatives 4 indicated that in 2003,

€1.1 billion had been invested in environmental investments that were on the technology-list; 8,000 enterprises, of which 95% were SMEs applied for this instrument; and 350 new techniques were proposed by suppliers to be listed on the technology list.

In 2005, 8,634 applications were received for VAMIL and MIA. These totalled investment costs of €941 million.

The estimated expenditure (foregone fiscal revenues) is €132 million minus a 25% 5 correction to equal €99

million.

The main perceived limitations of the VAMIL and MIA schemes are that SMEs that make little taxable profit cannot obtain such a great advantage. SMEs have also to be willing to finance the investment themselves upfront, with the benefit of tax relief achieved downstream of the initial investment.

TRANSFERABILITY

The respondents from Senternovem and VROM indicated that the VAMIL and MIA initiative could be easily transferred to other Member States.

4 This formed part of a workshop organised by EIM. The results are reported in EIM (2006) Promoting

Environmental Technologies in SMEs: Barriers and Measures.

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While the administrative costs are considered to be low considering the size of the scheme, the requirement to ensure that the “Environmental Technologies List” is updated annually does require the assessment of the 400 technologies and any new suggestions against the defined criteria. From this perspective the need to be aware of market developments and best available techniques is crucial to the scheme’s success in encouraging future innovation. It is also important from the perspective of prospective users that the length of time required to process and approve the application is minimised. The importance of consultation with both users and suppliers and the development and maintenance of networks with them is also crucial to ensure that the scheme responds to the changing demands of industry.

Similar programmes are known to operate in Belgium and the Spanish Basque Country and possibly other countries as well. Finland uses another model which is also very successful.

CASE 7: PBE+, FRANCE

Name of initiative

Performance Bretagne Environnement Plus (PBE+)

Type of initiative

Network approach; approaches to EMS

Country/Region

France, Brittany

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

PBE+ is an initiative by the Brittany Regional Council and local Brittany authorities. It is operated in collaboration between the regional Council, the local authorities, the employers unions, the national agency of environment and energy savings (ADEME), the Chambers of Trade and Commerce, and Electricité de France (EDF). The regional Council and the local authorities finance and pilot the project, meanwhile the coordination between partners and day-to-day management is implemented by the Britain Employers Union (UPIB). EDF is not a financial contributor to the programme, but contributes with their expertise of for instance energy issues.

Target audience

SMEs in all sectors

Objectives

PBE+’s overall objective is to create a critical mass of action on the environment by building networks and facilitating the exchange of experience among SMEs. More specifically, the initiative aims at making them aware of the environmental impacts of industrial activity and at promoting environmental management systems. Its second aim is to make SMEs aware of clean technologies and remediation techniques to improve their environmental performance.

Description

Established in 1994, PBE+ offers hands-on assistance to SMEs to achieve an environmental self-diagnosis. This includes free two-day training sessions, as well as advice on environmental queries (for example, on environmental legislation, ISO 14001 or clean technologies). Trained participants are called the ‘environment correspondent’ of his or her enterprise.

PBE+ is based on a multi-stakeholder approach involving a large number of relevant actors including bodies of public administration (DRIRE - Directions Régionales de l'Industrie, de la Recherche et de l'Environnement, DRAF – Direction Régional de l’agriculture et de la forêt, the Regional Council, ADEME), employers organisations (Mouvement Des Entreprises de France as well as the regional Chambers of Trade and Commerce) and the energy company Electricité de France (EDF). The PBE+ programme also supports network building between SMEs by clustering them in groups of between 10 and 40 enterprises according to specific topics.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

• Increased knowledge and awareness of environmental impacts;

• Help with EMS implementation;

• Improved environmental performance;

• Carrying out an environmental self-diagnosis;

• Helping with the organization of exchange between EMS evaluators in different companies.

• Respecting standards, and if possible, exceeding standards

• Bringing attention to and promoting knowledge of law and regulation.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

Approximately 1500 companies are members of the PBE+ network.

BUDGET

The budget is set annually and the total budget is approx €475 000.

The regional Council provides 50% of the subsidies and the central government (DRIRE & DRAF) contribute the other half. A smaller part of the funding comes from other organizations.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

More than 2000 industrial contacts have been following the program through the training sessions and more than 800 environmental self-diagnoses have been undertaken in SMEs.

The programme is based on the fact that responsibility is taken by the industrial actors themselves. Once the environmental correspondents are trained they are expected to use their new knowledge to carry out a selfdiagnostic of their company. Thereafter, correspondents keep themselves informed through clubs, thematic days and exchange within the network. The programme initiates a virtuous circle of industrial actors who wish to perpetually improve the environmental performance of their company.

Today, the PBE+ network of Breton industrial actors is important and information circulates easily and extensively within it. The large number of partners of the network enables extensive diffusion of information by different industrial and administrative actors.

Main weaknesses: The difficulty of evaluating the impacts of the operation on the Breton companies. Indicators are difficult to implement.

TRANSFERABILITY

According to PBE+ this initiative could easily be transferred.

This initiative has already been replicated in Normandie (at least).

CASE 8: SITRA environmental programme, FINLAND

Name of initiative

SITRA Environmental Programme

Type of initiative

Environmental Programme 2005-2007

Country/Region

Finland

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

Sitra (the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development) is responsible for the programme. Sitra is an independent public foundation under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. Sitra’s operations are funded with endowment capital and returns from capital investments.

Target audience

Clusters including SMEs, especially those SMEs within the environmental technology sector.

Objectives

The aim of the Environmental Programme is to assess the best possible clusters, involving the most innovative SMEs working within environmental technology. These clusters would consist of SMEs, universities, organisations and/or businesses that could benefit from the development/use of environmental technology. In general SMEs working within the environmental field are so small that they need to form networks with other SMEs. The programme will not only try to enable this but to also involve universities and other organisations to participate in these networks. The Environmental Programme would then provide support mechanisms and funding for prototypes.

The programme aims to bring the environmental sector into the forefront. It also aims to provide the historical evidence to support the foresight of a worthwhile investment opportunity.

Description

The programme starts from the general industry development frame, studies and experimental projects, and focuses on selected technology areas. These are:

  • Clean and energy-efficient technologies.
  • Water, wastewater and waste management.
  • Environmental monitoring and measurement.

The Environmental Programme is divided into an “industry profile”, “growth and internationalisation of export” and “home market development”.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

Increased business opportunities combined with the aim of creating an environmental investment portfolio to take to international markets. In addition, the environmental programme will create new networking opportunities for SMEs.

BUDGET

Total budget: €12-15 million

Actual expenditure per annum: €5 million

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

The previously very fragmented network is being pulled together and some of the ideas have started a life of their own. FinPro (a consultancy focused on accelerating the internationalization of Finnish companies) has developed some new project ideas as a consequence of being involved in the environmental programme.

The main strength of the initiative is the future looking approach in promoting SMEs in the environmental sector as a lucrative business opportunity. The programme will help SMEs to create clusters with other SMEs to overcome the lack of resources. These clusters are based on a mapping exercise, identifying the most innovative SMEs, which form the base for the networks with other organisations, such as TEKES (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

TRANSFERABILITY

The approach relies to some extent on an existing high standard of environmental know-how among some SMEs as well as a traditionally well developed co-operation between industry and universities. Even if the programme itself is transferable, its development might be hampered if these aspects are not as well developed in the country trying to implement this initiative.

In Sweden there is a programme called (Sventech). There are also plans to develop the “environmental

programme” idea within the Nordic Innovation Centre 6 .

CASE 9: LONDON REMADE, UK

Name of initiative

London Remade

Type of initiative

Direct support, market development, network approach

Country/Region

London, UK

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

London Remade is a company limited by guarantee (Ltd). It initially received £5.4 million (circa €7.8m) of Single Regeneration Budget funding with the specific objectives to demonstrate a growth in training, job opportunities or stability of job opportunities as a regeneration function, through the development of recycling facilities.

Target audience

London Remade works across a whole range of audiences. Its main target audiences are businesses of all types and sizes and Local Authorities.

6 The Nordic Innovation Centre is the Nordic Council of Ministers’ instrument for promoting an

innovative and knowledge-intensive Nordic business sector.

Objectives

Exploring how London can manage its own waste and what facilities are needed to achieve this objective, London Remade provides technical expertise and business acumen to improve recycling and waste management. It works across the private, public and social enterprise sectors to increase the region’s performance on minimising, recycling and reprocessing its waste, and developing markets for recycled products.

Description

London Remade delivers a range of business support, technical advice, recycling collection and reprocessing, information delivery, and market/product development programmes.

Business Support

Enhance - Enhance is a comprehensive business support programme that provides tailored assistance in the development and growth of SMEs and social enterprises involved in waste collection, recycling, manufacturing, re-use, reprocessing and refurbishment in London.

Inspired Recycling - Inspired Recycling encourages and supports the design and development of innovative and imaginative products using recycled materials and seek to increase their presence in the marketplace.

Enviro-Entrepreneur - The Enviro-Entrepreneur Summer School has been developed by London Remade and QED Consulting to take entrepreneurial candidates through the process of starting and growing a business and provide them with the business skills that will help them to get off to a successful start.

Recycling Collection and Reprocessing

London Remade delivers a range of projects that assist with improving the quantity and quality of materials collected for recycling and the infrastructure available.

The Mayor's Green Procurement Code

The Mayor's Green Procurement Code was set up in June 2001, and initially focused on stimulating demand for the purchase of recycled content products, from stationery to aggregate, throughout the Capital. The aim of the code is to help organisations to identify opportunities to recycle waste and/or buy products manufactured from recycled materials.

Main intended benefits

The intended benefits vary according to the different programmes (as above). For example, the objective of the business support programmes is to offer SMEs business support to either become more established in the green sector, or to enable them to grow, or diversify into something.

All the businesses that London Remade works with through the Mayor’s Green Procurement Code get a competitive advantage.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

It has a network of 6,000 contacts, about 600 of whom are regularly involved in one initiative or other. Exactly how many people receive support and advice on a daily basis has not been calculated, but London Remade receives around 100 calls a day from small businesses seeking help and averages 46,000 hits a month on its central web site alone.

BUDGET

In 2005/6 year London Remade’s total turnover was £3.3m (circa €4.8m); total expected budget for 06/07 is £3.4 m (circa €4.9m).

All of London Remade’s services are currently provided free of charge. The main source of funding is the UK Single Regeneration Budget (SRB). London Remade is also funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by sponsorship money.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

It can be fairly generic about its environmental outputs, the two main things are tonnes diverted from landfill and increase in expenditure on recycled content products:

  • London Remade does a purchase report every year, and can show steady increases on the amount of expenditure on recycled content products. Last year the cumulative total was £220m (circa €319m) worth of public and private sector money throughout the supply chain, which was converted to the purchase of recycled content products.
  • The SRB funding and the business support funding has resulted in more than 350,000 tonnes worth of capacity for new recycling plants in London. That’s a new organic, paper, glass, aggregate and plastics recycling facility that London wouldn’t have had otherwise. In October 2005 London Remade calculated that 960,000 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfill specifically through the work of this programme.

London Remade runs several web sites, and receives on average 46,000 hits a month on its main web site.

TRANSFERABILITY

London Remade believes that it could be easily transferred to other Member States/regions for two reasons: Firstly because there are a lot of Remades operating in the rest of the UK under very different environments, and doing very well. Secondly because London Remade has had some engagement in the past with one programme in particular that it runs with the National Health Service (NHS), where they were looking at running it within the new accession countries in Europe last year, and specifically felt that there was value there for those new participants in the EU.

London Remade is part of a UK wide network of Remades located in different geographical areas. Remade also has links with similar organisations across the world- the Clean Washington Centre in America, Eco-Recycle Victoria in Australia, the Catalan Recycling Centre in Spain, Remade Italy and Corporation’s Supporting Recycling in Canada.

The ideas behind London Remade were drawn from those involved in setting up the Clean Washington Centre in the USA over fifteen years ago.

CASE 10: EMAS EASY, HUNGARY

Name of initiative

EMAS-Easy, project implementation in Hungary

Type of initiative

EMAS initiative / capacity building / direct support measure

Country/Region

Hungary

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The implementing organisation in Hungary was a “KÖVET-INEM Hungária” the Hungarian Association of Environmentally Aware Management, which is an independent, non-for-profit, professional organisation.

Target audience

SMEs

Objectives

The objectives of the framework international programme are:

  • o build capacity in the new Member States for the implementation of EMAS in SMEs;
  • to demonstrate the feasibility of cost-effective EMAS implementation in SMEs by means of simplified environmental management tools;
  • to collect experiences in order to improve the tested model of simplified EMAS implementation in SMEs

National pilot projects for the dissemination of the EMAS Easy model were started in December 2004 in five CEE countries: Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The goals set at the national level were:

  • to train 5 national experts in the application of the Ecomapping© and EMAS easy™ tools;

-to train 10 SMEs and to coach the implementation activities by the above national experts;

-the best performing SMEs acquire EMAS certification;

-to collect and evaluate experiences with the implementation in order to integrate them to the EMAS Easy model;

-dissemination of project results.

Description

The motto of the EMAS Easy approach is “10 days, 10 pages and 10 people”, which refers to the simplified way it offers to implement the EU’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme in SMEs.

The ‘EMAS Capacity Building in the New Member States’ international programme followed the classical twophase implementation sequence where the first phase is the “training of trainers” at the international level, which is then followed by the implementation of projects at the local level with the help of experts trained in the first stage. In the focus of implementation activities there were two simplified (or “light”) environmental management

tools, Ecomapping © and EMAS easy™, the united application of which is regarded the EMAS Easy approach.

Ecomapping is a simple and easy-to-adopt method and tool which enables its user to pinpoint issues of environmental concern as well as measures with improvement potential on a simplified map of the workshop/production site. Attention is focused on the different environmental elements and problems such as water, soil, air, energy, waste, risks and urban situation.

EMAS easy™ is a simplified documentation tool, which enables the implementing agent to document its

environmental management system with the help of 10 simple (excel) forms based on the results of Ecomapping.

The forms have specifically been devised to ensure compliance with EMAS requirements 7 .

Main intended benefits for SMEs

According to earlier implementation experiences in Western Europe, the application of the EMAS Easy approach has the following benefits (over conventional models of implementation):

  • 150% less effort for the implementing agent

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  • 20% of verification and certification costs
  • 3 times less individual consulting effort
  • Experienced EMS consultants can adopt the approach in 2 x 2 days

How SMEs are made aware of the opportunities under this initiative

One of the key lessons learnt with communication was that it is particularly hard to persuade firms to take part in the initiative. It is to a great extent part of the well-known problem that due to the SME sector’s relatively early stage of development in the region, employees are already overburdened with core business activates. Therefore in the future the benefits of implementation must be even better emphasised and creative ways of involvement devised.

BUDGET

The total budget of the initiative (international framework programme) was €50,000 out of which the Hungarian implementation cost €10,000. The source of funding was the European Commissions’ ad-hoc budget. Participating SMEs contributed on average €800 each.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

The goals set at the start of the project have been successfully accomplished by the implementers.

Among firms that have already had a quality management system or other sort of management framework in place, about two-thirds decided to use the EMAS easy™ system to integrate all management systems together in their firm.

The weakness of the EMAS Easy approach itself is that it focuses on the production (or other core) activities of firms and there is little attention paid to the environmental aspects of ancillary activities like procurement, logistics etc, which can add up to significant impacts. Further, it is difficult to assess service providing SMEs. Both issues can be easily tackled by the extension of the approach with some smart tools, for instance questionnaires and check lists etc.

TRANSFERABILITY

The EMAS Easy approach can be transferred to other EU Member States easily due to its proven approach and results both in Western Europe and through this pilot programme in the new Member States. An overall key lesson learnt with the implementation of this pilot project related to transferability was that the cultural and administrative background (i.e. the SME sector’s general level of development, management culture, employee behaviour etc.) has to be addressed.

CASE 11: BAVARIAN ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT, GERMANY

Name of initiative

Agreement between the Bavarian State Government and the Bavarian Business Community (“Bavarian Environmental Agreement”). The chapter “environmental management systems”, especially the subsidisation of the introduction of environmental management systems and the reduction of permitting fees for companies being certified with EMAS/ISO 14001, is particularly considered in this study.

Type of initiative

Initiative promoting environmental management systems.

Country/Region

Bavaria, Germany

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The “actors” taking part in this Agreement are the Bavarian State Government and the Bavarian Business Community (Association of the Bavarian Industry, Association of Bavarian Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the Bavarian State Congress of Crafts Representatives).

Target audience

Industry and service companies that operate in the German region of Bavaria are the target groups of the Bavarian Agreement. If they fulfil the conditions of the Bavarian Agreement, any company can participate in the Agreement and may then use the “Environmental Agreement” label in their public relations efforts.

Objectives

It is intended to achieve environmental improvement for industry and SME, by means other than legal action.

Description

This approach entails the agreement of environmental objectives between industry (SMEs) and public authorities. Companies commit themselves to taking environmental measures and bettering their environmental performance beyond compliance. In exchange, they often obtain subsidies or are relieved of certain administrative obligations. The attainment of the objectives is evaluated regularly.

Support for Environmental Management Systems

The assistance and subsidisation of the introduction of environmental management systems is a very important aspect of the Bavarian Environmental Agreement and highly relevant for SMEs. The environmental audit of a company by an independent consultant, and the introduction of an environmental management system (e.g. EMAS or – under certain circumstances – also ISO 14001, Ökoprofit, QuH (the latter a system developed in Bavaria for the craft sector but not linked with the Bavarian Agreement)) is subsidised by the regional government for those enterprises that have up to 150 employees (from the beginning of 2007, 250 employees) and have a turnover at less than €15.3 million per year.

In exchange for the installation of EMAS and other certified systems, a company is relieved of 30% of the costs

for permitting procedures 8 . Meanwhile other cost reductions are realised. All companies that have introduced the

environmental management systems are granted certain administrative reliefs relating to duties/obligations such as emission monitoring and reporting duties; inspection of installations according to German Water Law; and monitoring duties according to waste law.

These incentives generally do not play a decisive role for the companies when it comes to deciding if the company should take part in the Bavarian Environmental Agreement or not (impression of the Ministry taking into account the gathered opinions of the companies). However, in the internal decision making procedures they might be (co-)decisive to convince the firm’s management to take part in the Environmental Agreement.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

About 40% of people working in industry are employed in companies that belong to the Bavarian Environmental Agreement (Bavarian Agreement in general, not only the part of environmental management systems). 80-90 % of the companies taking part in the Agreement are SMEs.

BUDGET

The total budget is €50 million over ten years. With regard to all the measures foreseen in the Bavarian Agreement, the funding is split between the Government and the companies participating.

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Cost effectiveness: Two studies by B.A.U.M and LfU (an administrative body for the environment) in Bavaria found that 88% of companies with an environmental management system (most of which are involved in the Bavarian Agreement) could better their environmental performance, 83 % claimed to have bettered their image, 61% found continuous cost savings by performing their management systems and 50% saved resources.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

By the end of 2005, about 5,000 companies had agreed to the Bavarian Environmental Agreement. These companies represent approximately 40% of all (ie. not just SME) employees in the Bavarian industry.

More than 200 projects and obligations were agreed between the state and industry for the second edition of the agreement (2000-2005). The rate of fulfilment was 98%. For the new agreement, 136 projects and obligations have been agreed.

Main strength: The initiative is based on voluntary action, encouraged by administrative relief and improving the overall environmental performance of the companies.

TRANSFERABILITY

The partnership between administration and companies (business associations) could be transferred to other Member States/regions. The instrument is flexible enough to allow the setting of different objectives according to the main environmental problems and the industrial structure of the respective Member States/region.

There are 10 other more or less extensive “environmental partnerships” in other German “Länder” (regions); North Rhine-Westphalia will conclude one soon. In particular, the subsidisation of environmental management systems is common in many German Länder. Most of the environmental agreements in Germany – and also in Austria - include subsidisation of the introduction of standardised environmental management systems.

CASE 12: Ökoprofit, AUSTRIA

Name of initiative

Ökoprofit

Type of initiative

Environmental Management Initiative (economic incentive)

Country/Region

Ökoprofit was originally developed and implemented as a local initiative in Graz, Austria. Since then it has spread to other Austrian regions and other EU Member States. For instance, it has been adopted in many German or Polish communities. As a consequence, the initiative can be regarded as already “common” in a number of countries of the EU. In this case study it is described with regard to Austria.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors are involved in the delivery of this initiative

The Ökoprofit project was originally developed by the Environmental Agency of the city of Graz in co-operation with the University of Graz.

Target audience

Companies in the production and service sectors with more than 20 employees.

Objectives

Ökoprofit is an initiative that furthers compliance with environmental law as well as the improvement of the environmental performance of enterprises.

Description

Successful participation in Ökoprofit will be rewarded by the granting of the Ökoprofit award. Two of the preconditions for the grant of the label “Ökoprofit company” are attendance at workshops as well as a proposal to improve environmental performance. Specific workshops train companies to reduce waste and emissions and provide individual consultation.

Companies co-operate with Ökoprofit consultants and set themselves precise objectives concerning the avoidance and/or reduction of waste and emissions of their companies. Individual plans outlining methods to attain these objectives are developed by the company in co-operation with the consultants (on-site consultation).

Main intended benefits for SMEs

Ökoprofit helps SMEs to take stock of their environmental situation without having to implement a full environmental management system, such as EMAS or ISO 14001, which might exceed the capacities of some small and medium enterprises. The activities under the guise of the Ökoprofit programme may, however, lay the ground for further development of a more complex environmental management system.

Proportion of the target audience is engaged in the initiative

The target audience for Ökoprofit is companies in the production and service sectors with more than 20

employees. Nearly 400 companies with this size are known in the region of Graz, 150 of which have already

joined Ökoprofit 9 .

BUDGET

There is a yearly budget of around €200,000. In addition, there are personnel costs (“working time”) in the Environmental Agency.

The city of Graz provides funding Ökoprofit, and 50% of its services are financed by the Ökoprofit -companies themselves. The companies have to finance at least part of the workshop/training sessions and also have to bear a share of consultancy costs. In addition, the costs of applying the measures to improve environmental performance must also be covered by the company.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Outcomes:

According to the figures provided by Ökoprofit Graz, the measures implemented have helped to realise many concrete ecological savings in the previous year.

Field Number of measures Saving

Water 6 10,392 m³

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Sewage 2 52,630 m³

Electricity 13 3,480 MWh

Natural gas 9 786,263 m³

Fuels 12 81,025 l

Hazardous waste 1 5 t

The city of Graz commissioned a poll about the level of satisfaction with Ökoprofit 10 . 82% of the companies

polled responded that the general savings of costs caused by Ökoprofit was considerable. More precisely, 82% of the companies emphasised the benefit of energy saving, and 65% the benefit of saving on resources. Another 69% responded that the reduction of emissions is considerable, 63% believed the reduction of waste water to be considerable, and 92% stated that the reduction of waste was also large. The poll also found that Ökoprofit contributed to fostering compliance with environmental law (80%), i.a. application of new environmental ordinances and the conduction of permitting procedures.

TRANSFERABILITY

This initiative could easily be transferred to other Member States/regions. The initiative has already been transferred to other regions and countries, among which are Poland and Germany.

In Austria, there are some similar private-public environmental agreements which subsidise e.g. environmental audits / scanning and the introduction of environmental management systems in companies, for example the “environmental management Lower Austria” programme.

CASE 13: HACKEFORS MODEL, SWEDEN

Name of initiative

Hackefors Model

Type of initiative

Network /Supply chain approaches

Country/Region

Sweden

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The initiative was developed by a private company, Altea AB, which first applied it to the district it belonged: the Hackefors district. The company is currently running the initiative in other districts, where it acts as consultant and co-ordinator, selling the model as a service.

Target audience

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The target audience is clusters of SMEs. Usually, participating companies belong to the same sector of industry or to the same company group.

Objectives

The initiatives aim at providing compliance assistance and improving environmental performance of enterprises, through the adoption of ISO 14001.

Description

The model is a network approach to EMS implementation. All participating companies appoint an environmental manager; together these form the EMS group. From this group a steering committee is selected and a central coordinator appointed. The co-ordinator is responsible for the network and the common parts of the system, including common documentation. The co-ordinator acts as a hired and shared environmental manager of the group.

Each enterprise develops its own EMS, although a large part of the documentation is identical for all companies (the EMS manual). Centralised handling and steering of many of the EMS documents saves the SMEs much of the administrative work. The initiative provides support to participating SMEs throughout all the stages of ISO 14001 until certification. The approach involves monthly meetings with homework, training for environmental managers and employees as well as dedicated enterprise visits.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

SMEs enjoy the benefits of being able to implement an EMS at reduced costs and reduced administrative work. The model facilitates both implementation and maintenance of an EMS and provides training to the involved enterprises.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

The target audience is Swedish clusters of SMEs. In 2003 there were approximately 485,000 11 SMEs the

majority of which (454,000) were micro enterprises. Assuming that the number of SMEs has not changed significantly, the 600 companies which have adopted the model represent circa 0.12% of total Swedish SMEs.

BUDGET

Total budget: Since Altea AB’s only activity is the management of the Hackefors model, we can take its turnover as an indicator of the dimension of this activity. Altea currently employs 7 people, and its turnover is circa 5-6m SEK per year (€550,000 - 650,000).

The ongoing costs are comprised of the firms participation fees plus the yearly fee companies pay after reaching certification, for the service offered by Altea to maintain and update the system. The yearly service includes four internal meetings with the coordinator, two internal audits, additional training, legal updates on the website and, optionally, legal compliance checks. The cost for participating depends on their size

Cost effectiveness: Comparisons between consulting services made by the service provider have indicated that the price for group certification is about 65% lower than for individual certification. Many of the cost savings are due to the sharing of expenses between the involved enterprises. Furthermore, a group of enterprises can have a bargaining advantage when negotiating the choice of an external auditing authority than would be the case if negotiated individually. Co-ordinated training also costs less than would be the case if each company was to do this alone; and effective and rational administration has led to further savings.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

The first initiative, held in the Hackefors district, involved 36 SMEs, the majority of which were, surprisingly,

micro firms. Since that time, the model has been reproduced in 40 different groups in several other Swedish

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regions, and in 2004 the number of firms being certified to ISO 14001 as a result of this model raised to 600. Amongst these, 59.1% of certificates have been issued to micro enterprises; 29.6% to small enterprises; 9.4% to medium-sized companies and 1.9% to large companies.

In a recent investigation 12 , a questionnaire was circulated among a sample of participants in 4 of the 24 SME

networks currently applying the Hackefors Model. In total, 68 companies were surveyed, with 50 firms (73%) replying. About 55% of the sample admitted that they would have never achieved ISO 14001 without a network approach. According to the study, the initiative has resulted in energy cost savings, improved relationships with customers, increased interest in training, and certification cost savings as a result of group certifications. Surveys revealed that over one third of the involved companies had undertaken further collaboration with other network members in many areas such as training and recycling. This seems to imply that the model, more generally, has made participants more aware of the benefits of network approaches.

Main strengths:

-Takes a network approach, which can be used by a variety of firms from different industrial sectors.

-Makes ISO 14001 more affordable for SMEs: the network approach requires less human and financial resources and may lead to significant cost savings, compared to individual certification. Provides an experienced coordinator, offering support throughout the process.

-Is delivered through a network of environmental representatives from each company, and coordinated centrally.

-Encourages relationships between companies, which may then cooperate in other network activities (such as training, district heating, electricity purchase, etc).

Main weakness: The central coordinator is a crucial figure, who must be a good communicator, a capable leader and should have a good understanding of the entire district. The central design of the EMSs may result in decreased flexibility of the individual company EMS. Also noted was the fact that the whole standardised EMS process could be too much of a burden administratively for the smallest firms taking part in the networks.

In order to avoid heavy dependency on one person, many people in Altea have experience of the Hackefors model, and can act as or help the co-ordinator.

TRANSFERABILITY

The fact that this initiative has been already replicated in other Swedish regions, and that it aroused the interest of some other countries, may indicate that the model has been recognised as being easily transferable and economically sustainable in the long run. It is important to keep in mind that the network of companies can include companies of very different sectors and with different internal skills.

CASE 14: BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT COORDINATORS (BECS),

WALES

Name of initiative:

Business Environment Coordinators

Type of initiative:

Direct Support

Country/Region:

UK / Wales

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The actors involved in this initiative are a partnership of publicly funded bodies and agencies operating under a not-for profit (NFP) structure. The partnership is between the Welsh Assembly Government, the Welsh Development Agency (dissolved on 01 April 2006 and integrated into the Welsh Assembly), Local Authorities in Wales, Arena Network (a NFP environmental business support agency) and Groundwork Wales (a UK wide business support organisation).

Target audience

The target audience is businesses in Wales, mainly SMEs but larger companies can use the facilities and services of the programme (usually through a membership fee or payment for services).

Objectives

The objectives of the BECS approach and the associated services are to achieve better environmental performance across a wide range of issues. This is supported by a focus on compliance with all aspects of environmental legislation. As representatives on the strategic decision making group and as service deliverers of the Welsh Business Environment Action Plan (BEAP), Arena Network and Groundwork Wales play an active part in setting the environmental and economic agenda for Wales. Further to this, an objective of the initiative is to achieve a coordinated approach and avoid overlap of development and delivery of environmental/economic projects and services, thus providing access to other services (Envirowise, Carbon Trust, WRAP, Wales Environment Trust, and Business Eye).

Description

Support is generally available over a longer period of time depending on what the company requires of the service. The initiative tries to promote other service providers (other than Arena Network and Groundwork Wales). The BECS are viewed as a One Stop Shop, and this seems to work well because they are based within Local Authority offices.

The main outputs of the initiative are direct support through telephone advice and on-site visits, seminars and other events organised through the partner delivery services, guidance through a stepped approach to gaining levels of an environmental management system (Green Dragon), and take up of grants designed to support environmental improvements (30%; up to £10,000) for pieces of equipment or other investment activity for eligible businesses).

Main intended benefits for SMEs

The main intended benefits for SMEs in having the initiative available to them is to provide one point of contact for accessing a wide range of services available for environmental management and environmental compliance across Wales. Through the BEC a company can access not only the services of Arena Network and Groundwork, but also assistance from the Local Authority, from the Carbon Trust, the Envirowise Programme (a UK wide programme), Environment Agency Wales, and Business Eye (a programme of general business support operating in Wales). This means that SMEs can choose from a wide range of environmentally related activities that will assist them in compliance, but also through the more efficient management of materials and resources often leading to cost reduction and savings.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

The actual targets for the initiatives between the funding years of 2004-2007 are 1400 companies to receive less than 2 days assistance, 400 companies to receive between 2–5 days funding, and 600 companies to be registered to a level of the Green Dragon (or other recognised) environmental management system. From the first funding period i.e. 2001 – 2004 there were targets of roughly the same number to be achieved. To date the numbers assisted are approximately 3000 (between 2001 and 2006), 1000 who have received additional assistance.

The number of businesses receiving grants through the Green Dragon Grants programme (which is a component of Green Dragon designed to assist companies to make progress through investment for example in energy efficient equipment or processes) is to date, 102 companies, with a grant value of £359,663 representing a total investment value of £1,376,523 (grant + company investment).

BUDGET

The total budget for the BEC initiative is £2million. The current total budget for the delivery and support of the Green Dragon programme is approximately £1.6m (which is additional to the £2 million that is assigned to the BECs initiative), and there is a further £95,000 for marketing, events and communications. This funding is matched by a mixture of cash and in kind funding from Local Authorities and other partners. The source of funding is mainly European funding. Some funding is also gained through membership.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Main strength: BECS provides a coordinated approach to the delivery of environmental business support services from a range of organisations that were previously duplicating effort. To this end, it is, therefore, more clearly identifiable and accessible to businesses in Wales, and is more economically efficient, and delivers a more effective service

TRANSFERABILITY

This initiative could easily be transferred to other Member States especially where regions are administratively subdivided into a medium to large number of small areas, and where the initiative could be centrally administered by one organisation or a small group of organisations working in partnership. It would work best in a region or Member State where business concerns are at the point where efficiency, cost down and environmental performance are beginning to be of interest (i.e. beyond concerns about pure business survival).

There are many environmental business support programmes in the UK offering similar assistance, but BECS in Wales is unique in that it coordinates management and provision of services in a more coherent and structured way than in some other regions of the UK. It is particularly unusual in that it coordinates such a large number of Local Authorities and ties them into Regional Assembly and national programmes and regional NFP service delivery agencies.

CASE 15: TEAM OF ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORS, BELGIUM

Name of initiative

Team of Environmental Advisors of the Union of Walloon Enterprises (Cellule Conseillers Environnement de l’Union Wallonne des Entreprises)

Type of initiative

Direct support and awareness-raising

Country/Region

Walloon Region, Belgium

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

Union Wallonne des Entreprises (Union of Walloon Enterprises – UWE), which is the main business federation in the Walloon Region. UWE is an independent organisation with the mission to promote and support companies in the Walloon Region.

Target audience

All companies operating in the Walloon Region in all sectors, but certain services are targeted specifically at SMEs. The focus is on companies with activities that pose substantial environmental risks.

Objectives

The Team itself describes its objectives as:

-informing Walloon enterprises on environmental regulation and the need for pollution prevention; and

-raising the level of awareness of Walloon enterprises with respect to environmental management and assist them in this field

Description

The main service provided is an ‘ecodiagnostics’ package. Participating SMEs are offered an initial assessment of their environmental situation and performance through a standardised audit method. This involves two half days spent on site by a UWE environmental advisor, who then draws up an ‘ecodiagnostics’ report for the company’s management. The whole process is based on voluntary participation, mutual trust and confidentiality. UWE provides support in the form of ongoing contact with companies participating in the ‘ecodiagnostics’ programme.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

-compliance with environmental legislation;

-reduction of environmental impacts with, ideally, economies of scale (in particular in relation to waste management) or access to subsidies, with cost savings as a result; and

-access to a network which permits the companies to assess their situation in relation to other companies.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

At present, most of the 2000 manufacturing companies in the Walloon Region have had the opportunity to benefit from an environmental diagnosis.

BUDGET

Total budget: €500,000 per year. The activities of the team are fully funded by the Walloon regional government under a framework contract with UWE. For the ‘ecodiagnostics’ service, a symbolic financial contribution of €200 is asked for from SMEs, in order to ensure commitment and ownership (this represents only 10% of the value of the service).

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Outcomes:

  • Since 1994, more than 800 environmental diagnoses carried out, mainly in SMEs. The diagnoses have resulted in the formulation of 16000 recommendations (on average around 20 recommendations per company) for compliance or reduction of environmental impacts. Around 60% of recommendations are adopted by the companies .
  • One of UWE’s assignments is to inform about legislation and it has developed some common tools aimed at informing about environmental legislation, including:

o Two internet sites with an average of 4000 visits per month;

o Help desk answered 556 questions in 2005.

o A distribution list with 2000 subscribers receiving a monthly email about the environmental permit; o Around 20 seminars per year, attended by 1229 persons in 2005

Evidence of sustained changes in performance through the realisation of action programmes:

-Investments : 59 companies with an average investment of €210 000

-Environmental Management Systems have been implemented in 32 companies (ISO 14001 or EMAS).

-100 companies have obtained an environmental permit.

Main strengths:

-Direct contact with the target companies to focus on the actions that are the most relevant to the particular company;

-Management of the programme by a federation representing the companies themselves.

TRANSFERABILITY

This initiative could easily be transferred to other Member States/regions, through a partnership between a business federation and a local authority.

This case study identifies and illustrates some important aspects to take into account when developing a compliance assistance programme for SMEs:

  • Confidentiality and trust: A key feature of the programme is that is operated by a business federation. This facilitates contact with the SMEs, builds partnerships and trust, and ensures confidentiality of company information.
  • Maintaining a network: One consequence of the trust and partnerships between the team and SMEs is the ability for UWE to build and maintain a network of SMEs. Through this network, it is possible for UWE to disseminate environmental information, and expand the scope of its services. In addition, it appears useful for the SMEs to have one contact point which can assist with all sorts of issues (including non-environmental issues).
  • On-site assistance: The importance of going to visit the companies was emphasised by both the team and the SMEs themselves. This gesture, which shows that the team really pays attention to SMEs, seems to motivate the SMEs to participate in the programme. In addition, information given by advisors in person seems to be easier to digest, rather than written material.

‘L’Union de Classe Moyenne’ is a business federation similar to UWE, but whose members are micro enterprises. This association also receives funding from the Walloon Region to raise awareness among its members regarding environmental management and to develop specific tools for this target group. There is frequent contact between the two teams, and a common pilot committee for the two programmes was established.

CASE 16: ON THE ROAD TO EPD AND STEPWISE EPD,

SWEDEN/INTERNATIONAL

Name of initiative

On the Road to EPD (Environmental Product Declarations) and Stepwise EPD

Type of initiative

Information tool

Country/Region

Sweden (On the road to EPD), Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Latvia (Stepwise EPD)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors are involved in the delivery of this initiative

Sirii (Swedish Industrial Research Institute’s Initiative) and the Swedish Environmental Management Council (Svenska Miljöstyrningsrådet) are responsible for the development of the initiatives. The EPD system is operated by the Swedish Environmental Management Council. The Stepwise EPD project is led by the IVF Industrial Research and Development Corporation.

Target audience

Swedish SMEs in the “On the Road to EPD”, and SMEs in the “Stepwise EPD”.

Description

The two projects “on the road to EPD” and the “Stepwise EPD” are interlinked. The “on the road to EPD” is a national, Swedish project, whereas the “Stepwise EPD” is an international EU funded project. “Stepwise EPD” is based on the Swedish programme, with the aim of harmonising the step-by-step procedure by testing the gradual EPD system on ten SMEs based in Denmark, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden.

The main purpose of an EPD is to provide easy accessible, quality-assured and comparable information regarding environmental performance of products and services. EPDs should be able to be used as a source of information by industrial consumers, enabling to add up and accumulate LCA-based data in the supply chain.

The aim of the two interlinking projects, “on the Road to EPD” and the “Stepwise EPD” is to help companies in the process of developing an EPD by a step-by-step procedure, enabling SMEs to enter the system gradually. The gradual updating of the declaration including successively more specific data will lead to improvements of the declaration with regard to completeness of relevant data specific for the product or service. The final declaration including all significant and product-specific data can be verified and registered in the EPD system as an EPD following the ISO standard 14025 Type III environmental declarations. The Stepwise EPDs can be pre-registered in the Swedish EPD-system.

Objectives

The international Stepwise EPD project aims at the following environmental and economic targets:

-to attract, during the two-year project, at least one new customer per SME thanks to the EPD, with total order prospects exceeding €600,000

-to identify at least 10 different ways of using the EPD in the PR of products and/or companies

-to identify at least two significant environmental improvement options with each declared product, i.e. at least 20 significant environmental improvement options in total.

-to start at least 5 product environmental improvement efforts based on above identified options.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

SMEs achievements will be published on the same website together with those of full EPDs. These sites hold an open, internet-based database system where the initial version of the environmental declaration may be registered and updated when relevant. The environmental work of the company is thereby marketed continuously through all stages of the process.

In the Stepwise EPD project, the expected benefits for SMEs are expressed in relation to time.

-Short-term benefits: Participating SMEs will primarily attract new customers by entering the market for environmentally declared products.

-Long term benefits: to keep those customers who demand EPD and attract new customers by being present in the market for environmentally declared products.

Since the EPD is LCA-based, it has a potential to lead to design modifications and innovations that ultimately improve product environmental performance that could stimulate sales and/or motivate higher returns.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

Currently fourteen Swedish companies have registered to the “on the road to EPD”.

BUDGET

The total budget of the “On the road to EPD” is about one million Swedish crowns (around € 100 000). The total budget of the “Stepwise EPD” is €1,188,000.

The “on the road to EDP” is funded by Nutek (Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth). Nutek is Sweden´s national public agency for economic policy issues. The “Stepwise EPD” is funded by the EU. All the participants contribute to the 50% co-funding.

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

Main strength: Enable SMEs to meet the EPD requirements step by step and then use the web registration as a marketing tool.

Perhaps the greatest weakness so far has been the low number of SMEs registered. Issues hampering the development of the initiatives are likely to be the high registration costs as well as doubts of the potential marketing advantage. There has also been a lack of data covering the entire life cycle of a product or a service and consequently some companies and organisations have struggled to acquire this. Drivers and barriers for SMEs to start working with EPDs are explored in the Stepwise EPD project.

TRANSFERABILITY

The Stepwise EPD is in effect an indication of the transferability of the “on the Road to EPD” initiative. The process of harmonising the “on the Road to EPD” initiative as an international tool has developed relatively smoothly. By stating that there is a correlation between marketing opportunities and EPD registration, those responsible for the initiative must ensure that the website is widely promoted.

CASE 17: GIADA PROJECT, ITALY

Name of initiative

Giada Projects

Type of initiative

Information and Training, EMAS support

Country/Region

Italy

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Actors involved in the delivery of this initiative

The initiative is run by 16 municipalities of the Chiampo Valley area, together with Vicenza Province. Partners of the project are the Veneto Environmental Agency (ARPAV), the Veneto Region and several industry and SMEs associations.

The management of the initiative was delegated to the Giada Agency, on behalf of the involved local authorities.

Target audience

The target audience is the Valle del Chiampo’s tanning district, ie its citizens and nearly 800 companies (most of which are SMEs) manufacturing bovine and calf leathers, employed in the furnishing, shoe and clothing industries.

Objectives

  • Reduction of air, water and soil pollution as a consequence of technological innovations being implemented by local businesses
  • Improvement of environmental protection in the territory, through the Agency set up
  • Citizens’ participation in environmental policies definition
  • Pledging economic growth and life quality improvement

Description

The project includes training and communication activities for entrepreneurs in the tanning sectors, public administration employees and students, and the implementation of a web site aimed at providing information and connecting the stakeholders.

The project first step was the elaboration of an environmental plan for the district, which analysed existing environmental data in order to define a shared environmental policy. This resulted in the development of an initial environmental review of the whole territory where the district is set, which could then be used by SMEs willing to develop environmental management systems (EMS). The environmental review may also be used by local authorities as a basis for the development of Strategic Environmental Planning (SEA).

The final step was the creation of a District Office for Environment (Giada Agency), a single interlocutor for companies and citizens in the field of environmental protection. The agency provides useful services to both public and private sectors.

Main intended benefits for SMEs

  • For SMEs who are willing to implement an Environmental Management System the Agency can provide the district environmental review and other useful information on environmental issues.
  • Help provided by the Agency in the application of some environmental legal requirements.

Proportion of the target audience engaged in the initiative

The target audience in the implementation phase was the tanning district of the Chiampo Valley, and it was totally engaged. In addition, some other activities present in the area have been involved, ie the companies whose impacts were heavily affecting the environmental aspects under consideration. For example, when analysing the impact of the district on water, the chemical and paper industries were also taken into consideration, as these activities are heavy water consumers. Most district enterprises in the tanning sector are SMEs. About 800 firms are involved, and more than 90% (ie 700-750 sites) are SMEs.

BUDGET

The initial cost of the project was estimated to be €1,505,000. The implementation of the initiative was covered by LIFE funding. Additional funding for the functioning of the Agency and related ongoing projects are funded by the Province of Vicenza (51%) and the participating municipalities (in different percentages).

EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS

A monitoring campaign by the Regional Environmental Agency (ARPAV) in 2004 revealed that the concentration of solvents in the air in the Chiampo Valley area has improved. The quantity of solvents used has been reduced by 45% (from 18,000 in 1996 to 9,500 tonnes recently), and the factor of emissions (the quantity of solvent consumed per unit production,) was reduced by a third. In addition, the quality of the treated waste water has improved.

Main strength: Problems are faced and solved in an integrated manner, optimising energies and resources. There is a strong cohesion and common interests shared by the involved subjects. This helps to speed up the decision making process, and makes the project more effective

Analysis of discharge from sewage connector (collecting factories’ and treatment plants’ waste water) into the Acquetta river– Chlorides mg/l (2000-2002)

Legal limit value

Trend

Source: ARPAV (2003)

TRANSFERABILITY

The District environmental agency provides several useful services to enterprises. It is an instrument quite easy to replicate and can add value to industrial districts, since environmental issues related to the district as a whole can be addressed altogether. According to the deliverers, it could be applied in every kind of district.

The Giada project acted a pilot case for two other initiatives, which started at a later stage. A similar project

called PIONEER (Paper Industry Operating in Network) 13 aimed at defining and experimentally apply a

methodology based on the EMAS Regulation to the paper-industry territorial cluster of Lucca. The project partly duplicated Giada, but the Lucca one was more focused on district EMAS. The province of Udine undertook a project similar to Vicenza, in an industrial area across 3-4 municipalities. The main difference between the two initiatives is that while the Giada Project’s target was a homogeneous district based on tanning activities, the one in Udine involved a much wider variety of sectors, with different types of impacts on the environment. There has been a useful exchange of information between Vicenza, Prato and Udine.

EN 39 EN

  • 3. 
    OVERVIEW OF IDENTIFIED COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE INITIATIVES

    IN SOME EU AND OECD COUNTRIES 14

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

AUSTRIA

Company - Waste Management Industry. Agreement;Ec

’Entsorgungsfachbetrieb’ Certified companies are onomic favoured in public procurement incentive

Management environmental programme support; graz.at/allgemeines/programm_ supporting the Economic ct.asp?ShowWhat=,15,16&Sel avoidance/reduction of waste incentive Entry=16

and emissions in companies.

EMAS companies. training

BELGIUM

  • 1. 
    PRESTI Waste and Pollution Prevention Economic www.presti.be

Stimulation Programme incentive

  • 2. 
    Brussels Enterprise Agency One-stop shop for all of the Passive information they need on setting information; http://www.abe-bao.be up or exercising an economic or active/direct innovative activity in the support Brussels Capital Region
  • 3. 
    GOM-milieucellen Environmental Units of the Active/direct www.gom.be

    Provincial Economic support Development Agencies

performance in SMEs and passive

14 Based on the study "Environmental Compliance Assistance for SMEs: analysis of specific initiatives at

national and local level and identification of best practises", IEEP, June 2006.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

information services information http://www.permisenvironnem

ent.be

  • 5. 
    UCM Environment Service Advice and assistance to small Active/direct www.ucm.be businesses on environmental support; legislation and advice on passive compliance. support

CZECH REPUBLIC

  • 1. 
    Czech Energy Agency (CEA) Consultation centre Passive and www.ceacr.cz active

awareness campaign; online information

tool; webpage and support

  • 2. 
    Czech Environmental Consultancy activity, Passive and www.cenia.cz

Information Agency (CENIA) information services (public active access) information

and support awareness campaign; online tool

  • 3. 
    Innovation II The division of SMEs at Economic http://www.czechinvest.org/we Czechinvest covers programmes incentive;Acti b/pwci.nsf/home/en?OpenDocu for SMEs financed from ve/direct ment

    structural and national funds, support programmes of a financial character and new activities in the field of financing small and medium-sized enterprises, consulting services and counselling services

  • 4. 
    Competitive advantage Comprehensive services for Economic http://www.czechinvest.org/we investors - full information incentive ;Acti b/pwci.nsf/home/en?OpenDocu assistance, handling of ve/direct ment

    investment incentives, business support property identification, location of Czech suppliers, aftercare services

    Business infrastructure development

    Access to structural funds

    Improvement contemporary competitive advantage.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

– Teaching materials ve/direct ment support

– Costs associated with preparation and realization of educational activities,

– Personal expenses of school employees

– Accommodation and allowance

  • 10. 
    Eco-info environmental Consultant service Active/direct www.eko-info.cz consultancy support

    Direct support services

  • 11. 
    Business academy Education (seminars and Training www.rhkhradec.cz consultancy)

    Direct support services

  • 12. 
    Consultancy Consultation and training Active/direct http:\\www.mpo.cz support

    Run by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic

  • 13. 
    Quality and Environmental Consultancy in implementation Training; http:\\www.qems.cz

Management systems of management systems (QMS, active/direct

EMS, EMAS, HACCP). support

DENMARK

  • 1. 
    Green Networks Voluntary co-operation at Network www.greennetwork.dk regional level between private

    companies, public authorities Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink

    Initiative support

    and interested third parties.

  • 2. 
    Environmental Competence Subsidy schemes with strong Economic www.mst.dk

Schemes (DEPA) focus on EMS implementation incentives on account of the observed

positive correlation between EMSs and long-term commitment to improved environmental performance.

ESTONIA

  • 2. 
    FEEB (Finnish-Estonian Aimed at expanding the Network http://www.greennetfinland.fi/e Environmental Networking) environmental business cluster n/projects/on-going/feen Prognoos of Southern Finland into Estonia prognoos/

    in order to create new business opportunities, build more competitive project consortia and target joint projects also in third markets.

FINLAND

  • 1. 
    Ingenia Awareness campaign for SMEs Networks www.jyu.fi in the metal industry
  • 2. 
    Environmental steps The training for SMEs consists Training of three levels. The first level is http://www.jyu.fi/econ/yhteisty the basic training (covering o/cooperation environmental impact

    assessment and environmental legislation). The second level is an environmental diploma, which is a small scale ‘semiofficial’ EMS for SMEs.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 3. 
    Environmental support in Enterprises, institutions, and Active/direct http://www.kolumbus.fi/finnma construction research institutes developed support ppartners/rym/eng/

    environmentally sustainable products, methods, and techniques, aiming for ecologically sound construction. The goal of the programme was to improve business activity, export potential, and competition ability

Programme business opportunities of SMEs market in the environmental field. incentives Compliance with EU legislation is secondary. The forwardlooking aim of the programme is to create an environmental investment portfolio to take to international markets.

FRANCE

1._ADEGE sector projects SMEs are coached together in Training; http://www.adege-env.com seminars, and the programme active/direct offers training on EMS and support regulation, as well as siteassistance for an environmental review and EMS design and implementation. Training is sector-specific and tailored to enterprises as small as eight employees.

Environnement Plus to SMEs to achieve an training ; environmental self-diagnosis, active/direct free four-day training sessions, support as well as counselling for all environmental questions (for example, on environmental legislation, EN ISO 14001 and clean technologies).

GERMANY

  • 3. 
    Bavarian Agreement Agreement between the Voluntary www.umweltpakt.bayern.de

    Bavarian State Government and Agreement; the Bavarian Business Economic Community, including a list of incentive measures aimed at decreasing the negative environmental impacts of industrial activity (among which is the subsidisation of environmental audits and the implementation of environmental management systems.)

  • 4. 
    IPPC Information Day The conference informed Information; http://www.ecologic- operators of IPPC installations active/direct events.de/ivu-infotagbw/ about the basic requirements laid support

    down in the IPPC Directive.

  • 6. 
    Project Pilot Schleswig-Holstein Consulting applicants for Active/direct www.mlur.landsh.de permits for industrial installation Support before and during a permitting procedure

HUNGARY

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 2. 
    Young Graduates for Cleaner The program provides the Economic http://hcpc.uni

Production opportunity for young experts incentives corvinus.hu/exp/04_indulo.htm who have graduated for no

longer than 3 years to be employed by SMEs.

  • 3. 
    Pollution Prevention and Training on cleaner production Training

Environmental Management and ISO 14001 http://hcpc.uni

System Consultation – POEMS corvinus.hu/exp/04_indulo.htm

  • 8. 
    Energy Trophy The European Energy Trophy is Economic http://www.kovet.hu an energy saving competition for Incentives European companies and public http://www.energytrophy.org/ organisations, which aims at energy savings by changes of behaviour.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 12. 
    SME Europe Business Club – Information campaign/seminar Information www.eicbudapest.hu ;

European Green Week (2005) with the aim to assist with www.itd.hu

Against Climate Change compliance (EU legislation and regulation on waste management and pollution)

13 Seminar on Environmental EIC Seminar ‘Environmental Information

Friendly Production – Integrated Friendly Production – Integrated www.eicbudapest.hu ;

Pollution Prevention Pollution Prevention’ www.itd.hu

  • 14. 
    EIC EMAS Seminar on the topic: Information

    Environmentally Aware www.eicbudapest.hu ; Company Management, www.itd.hu Environmental Production

  • 15. 
    EMAS Registration Those companies introducing Economic http://emas.kvvm.hu/ and registering with EMAS by incentive the end of 2006 do not have to pay the registration fee.
  • 16. 
    EMAS Brochure General information on all Passive http://emas.kvvm.hu aspects of / issues related to information EMAS implementation

Operative Program (GVOP) 2-1-2 introduction and certification of incentive environmental management and http://www.mvf.hu quality assurance systems such

as ISO 9001 and 14001, or EMAS.

Operative Program (GVOP) 2-2-2 consultation incentive http://www.mvf.hu

  • 19. 
    ‘For a Successful Hungary’ Credit Program for Enterprise Economic http://www.mfb.hu

Development incentive

ITALY

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 4. 
    Giada project Information tools (website), Passive and www.progettogiada.org active

    EMAS initiatives (sector information guidelines), and support; voluntary

Agreements with local agreement

authorities/governments, network

Public/private networks·

  • 5. 
    Fabricaethica Promotion of CSR among SMEs Economic www.fabricaethica.it through grants, website, incentive; conference and training passive

    information; training

JAPAN

  • 1. 
    Ministry of Environment Website offering inter alia a Passive http://www.env.go.jp website wide range of information information

    including the latest regulatory and support developments (administrative and legislative) and forthcoming developments.

Communication Network communication

Plan participating industries and 142 agreement industrial organizations has used

its own discretion to improve the environment, without pressure from any government or regulatory framework.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 4. 
    Conferences for supporting These conferences are sources of Information revitalization of SMEs experts providing advice on the

    direction of SME growth and on issues affecting SMEs, including environmental regulation.

  • 5. 
    One-stop-shop advice centres Providing assistance services in Active/direct terms of both funds and nonsupport material areas such as human resources, information, and technologies.

NETHERLANDS

  • 2. 
    Stimular Stimular is an institute which Passive and http://www.stimular.nl/engels.p offers services to develop active hp

    knowledge of sustainable information management practices within the and support SME. This is through for example, publications and the development of instruments for sustainable management which are free or at a low cost

  • 3. 
    SCCM SCCM keeps an on-line Passive http://www.sccm.nl/English/in database of EN ISO 14001 information dex.htm

    certified organisations. This web site is important because certified companies check whether or not they are on the list and remind their certification body if not.

  • 4. 
    Covenants Agreements between businesses Voluntary and licensing authorities Agreement regarding eg EMSs

energy efficiency including an information

online tool for information and support

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink

Initiative support

provision and sharing of information

SPAIN

  • 2. 
    Minimisation opportunities The MOED is a method to foster Active/direct http://www.cemaenvironmental diagnosis (MOED) cleaner production. A MOED is Support sa.org/ang/moed.htm

    the assessment of an industrial activity to detect potential opportunities for preventing and

    reducing pollution at source, and http://www.sbato provide a business with int.ch/pdffiles/MOEDE.pdf

    sufficient data for it to orient its policy towards cleaner practices and technology that are technically and economically viable.

4b. SME Subventions for the voluntary Economic www.cameramadrid.es/SEDE/f introduction of environmental incentive inanciation/ayudas/Med/Defaul management systems (replaced t.asp

initiative 4)

SLOVENIA

  • 1. 
    Eco fund Offers for instance credits for Economic http://www.ekosklad.si/pdf/LP investments in environmental incentive 2004angl.pdf

    protection with lower rates of interest; and guarantees for investments in environmental protection.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 2. 
    Directorate AURE Directorate for Activities on an Passive and

    Efficient Use of Energy and active http://www.aure.si/ Renewable Energy Sources information providing a web base info tool, and support; literature dissemination, and economic direct financial support. incentive

  • 4. 
    Slovene Enterprise Fund The Slovene Enterprise Fund is a Economic http://www.podjetniskisklad.si/ national finance institution incentive Predstavitev.htm

    founded with the aim of making funding for small and medium sized companies more accessible, thus speeding up their growth and development.

Agency info WEB literature dissemination information

  • 10. 
    Responsible care Under Responsible Care, the Voluntary http://www.gzs.si/DRNivo3.as Slovenian chemical industry agreement p?IDpm=9399

    is committed to continual improvement in all aspects of health, safety and environmental performance and to open communication about its activities and

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

achievement.

SWEDEN

  • 1. 
    Hackefors Model Network approach to EMS Network; www.altea.se implementation, including active/direct assigning a coordinator for a support and group of SMEs. training
  • 2. 
    MAF Scheme -Environment Funding programme Economic Final reports:

Driven Business Development Incentives

http://www.nutek.se/content/1/ c4/04/42/178f6fae.pdf

(general results)

http://www.nutek.se/content/1/ c4/04/42/d8c608a4.pdf

(project descriptions)

project homepage:

http://www.nutek.se/sb/d/131

  • 5. 
    ‘Svensk Miljobas’ Svensk Miljöbas establishes a Market www.stockholm.se common minimum level for incentives environmental certification /diplomas of small enterprises based on ISO 14001.

UNITED KINGDOM

  • 1. 
    NetRegs Web based info tool Passive information
  • 2. 
    The SIGMA Project Project Online toolkit, guidelines Passive http://www.projectsigma.com/ Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink

    Initiative support

and case studies. information

  • 3. 
    BECS Business Environment On site advice and support to Active/direct

Coordinators assist all SMEs (and others) with support http://greendragonems.com/eng environmental issues (and Green lish/contact/index.asp

(Wales) Dragon)

  • 4. 
    The Acorn Trust Website. Advice, free downloads Passive and http://www.theacorntrust.org/ Env Performance Indicator tool active

    and case studies information

    and support.

  • 6. 
    CRed (Carbon Reduction) Support and advice on carbon Network http://www.cred-uk.org/ emissions reduction through

    partner based initiative.

  • 7. 
    ENWORKS Business support programme: Passive and http://www.enworks.com/fram competitiveness and env active eset.asp

    performance Incl online support, information regional events and best practice and support case studies

  • 8. 
    Business Environmental Range of events to improve env Market http://www.sme-environment- Efficiency Project awareness and env management incentives london.co.uk/

    standards, rewarding businesses through a regionally recognised environmental award scheme (Green Mark)

USA

 1. Small Business Compliance Small Business Compliance www.epa.gov/compliance/ince Policy Policy Economic ntives/smallbusiness

incentive

http://www.epa.gov/complianc e/resources/policies/incentives/

smallbusiness/smbfactsht.pdf

  • 2. 
    The National Environmental Website which provides quick Passive

Compliance Assistance access to compliance assistance support www.epa.gov/clearinghouse Clearinghouse. tools, contacts, and planned

activities from the U.S. EPA, states, and other compliance assistance providers.

Inventory reference/Name of Short description Type of Weblink Initiative support

  • 5. 
    Compliance Assistance Centers The U.S. Environmental Passive http://www.assistancecenters.n Protection Agency has information; et

    sponsored partnerships with training industry, academic institutions, other groups to establish Compliance Assistance Centers for 14 industry & government sectors.

  • 6. 
    Small Business Ombudsman Information and outreach; Passive and http://www.epa.gov/sbo/ coordination of national active advice initiatives.
  • 7. 
    Kentucky Business KBEAP provides consultations Active/direct http://www.kbeap.org/Home/in Environmental Assistance Program on air quality issues to support dex.asp (KBEAP) businesses employing less than

    100 people. Services include free on-site assessments, confidential audits, permit-application assistance, regulationinterpretation assistance, and free on-site educational training.

 
 

2.

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