About this good practice
Countries around the world are faced with a pressing need to act on climate change mitigation. Many have set ambitious policy targets for a more sustainable economy. Ambitious targets demand profound transformations in how economies and societies work and require that all engage in the transition.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are an essential engine to the green transition. While the environmental footprint of individual SMEs may be small, their aggregate impact is substantial. Evidence points to a contribution of 60–70% to industrial emissions, as well as to other aspects of environmental degradation such as waste.
Greening is a pathway for SMEs to reduce costs and increase productivity.
How Objectives are reached:
Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) are committed to supporting Irish SMEs and have developed with Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and other stakeholders a simple easy to use online Climate Toolkit 4 Business which provides a single point of information and support in a complex policy space. The carbon calculator tool and climate action plan generator provide SMEs with practical ways to take action to reduce emissions, increase resilience, remain competitive in low-carbon economy of future
Stakeholders: DETE; DECC; Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland; SEAI; Skillnet Ireland; IBEC; Chambers Ireland; Local Enterprise Offices, Irish Water; EPA and Failte Ireland.
.5 x Staff in Climate Action and Energy Policy Unit, DETE to manage/promote the tool, €35k, €100k invested in development of the online platform, €10k annual hosting, €7k maintenance, €2k marketing. Total approx. costs €154k.
Evidence of success
Since its launch in December 2021:
• 86,198 total views on the Climate Toolkit 4 Business website
• 9,150 users interacted with Climate Toolkit 4 Business and viewed an individual climate action report for their business since December 2021.
• 3,363 subscribers have signed up to Climate Toolkit 4 Business website
• 1,297 registered users – who can return and measure and track their progress/impact on their greening journey.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Climate Toolkit 4 Business has been successful and can be transferred as it essentially works for SMEs is because it provides practical and cost-effective actions that individual businesses can take to support their green transformation and build resilience.
SMEs are often forgotten about as the Large MNCs are the target for the reduction of emissions, but by their sheer numbers, the greening of SMEs across Europe is critical if we are to counter the effects of climate change.
Building sustainability into SMEs is critical because:
• Customers are looking for providers that are sustainable. Value is added to products or services by reducing its carbon impact.
• Attracting and retaining talent depends on matching their values and expectations.
• It can help SMEs ‘bottom line’. Efficiency in how business uses material and energy resources saves money.
• The transition to low carbon will shape our economy, preparing now to thrive in this transition gives SMEs a competitive advantage.