The European Commission has published today an overview of the responses on a public consultation on the Green Action Plan for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Green Action Plan includes proposals to help boost SMEs’ potential by promoting their productivity, competitiveness and business opportunities. It also proposes to exploit green opportunities, by improving productivity and driving down costs in European SMEs through resource-efficiency, by supporting green entrepreneurship and by exploiting and developing Europe’s leadership in green processes and technologies.

The consultation indicated that SMEs lack information on potential resource efficiency improvements, as well as on their cost-efficiency. It also highlighted the importance of building strong partnerships between the different intermediaries in value chains, to share information and knowledge on resource efficiency.

In addition, respondents indicated that SMEs need to better understand not only the environmental case but also the business opportunities that resource efficiency and the circular economy offer to them in terms of increased productivity, new prospects for profitable activities, and globally enhanced competitiveness. They also pointed out that media, including social networks, can help to raise awareness.

Finally, the most effective support actions to help SMEs promote their green products and services are believed to be pre-market entry support (research and market intelligence, finance planning, personnel identification, understanding of local business culture and identifying suitable locations).