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Environmental Policy Toolkit for SME Greening in EU Eastern Partnership Countries

image of Environmental Policy Toolkit for SME Greening in EU Eastern Partnership Countries

This toolkit, based on existing good practice, aims to help governments in the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to design and implement key instruments to promote environmental compliance and green business practices among small and medium-sized enterprises. Reducing the environmental impact of SMEs in both manufacturing and services is a key success factor in greening the economy. At the same time, improving environmental performance is a significant business opportunity for SMEs as important suppliers of goods and services. Developed under the EaP GREEN project, this report will be of interest to environmental and economic ministries, as well as business associations and non-governmental and academic institutions in EaP countries.

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Institutional aspects of greening SMEs in EaP countries

This chapter looks at the institutional structures that EaP countries need to establish in order to support the greening of SMEs. It begins with a discussion of the need to build the capacity of government actors, especially local and regional government administrations, to help signpost SMEs to where they can get appropriate resources and information (if it is not available at the local level). The role of national environmental authorities in overall co-ordination of efforts to promote green activity of SMEs is also noted. The chapter then discusses the vital place of trade associations and other industry groups in supporting greening efforts, as they are most likely to have effective communication channels with both their members and government authorities. Finally, the chapter addresses the potential role of financial advisors such as accountants, banks and insurance companies. SMEs are regularly in contact with them, and they are a trusted source of information; they could potentially increase awareness of changes to environmental requirements as well as sources for further information.

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