About this good practice
Within the Portuguese Partnership Agreement for 2014-2020, an evaluative framework was developed for the Climate Transition, within TO3, along other identified “Sectoral Policy Priorities”. This methodology reinforced the centrality of Circular Economy (CE) and allowed for the support of the circular transition among national and regional SMEs, thus supporting their transition to a cleaner economy, while strengthening their competitiveness and promoting a sustainable economic growth.
Approved projects could benefit from a mark-up in their funding rate if the investment should materialise a strategy leading to the adoption of the CE principles, in the following areas: eco-design of processes and products; eco-efficiency; eco-innovation; industrial symbiosis; product life cycle extension; valorisation of by-products and waste; new business models, dematerialisation and digital transformation; renewable energy; energy efficiency; forest biomass; transports; and technologies.
During the application process, applicants were expected to outline the objectives to be achieved regarding eco-efficiency in terms of reduction in CO2 emissions, reduction of energy consumption, reduction of water consumption per unit of product, among other indicators. For this purpose, stakeholders could use internationally recognised protocols or methodologies.
For this practice, no additional human resources were needed, as the development and implementation of this referential were internalised in the usual procedure. As a result, approved projects aligned with the Climate Transition policy goal benefited from a 5% mark-up in the funding rate.
Evidence of success
This methodology was used between 2017 and 2021 in Productive Innovation calls. This practice, besides allowing for the increase in the funding rate of approved projects that contributed to the Climate Transition, also allowed for raising awareness on the importance of planning such transition and having appropriate methodologies for its measurement. Programme owners were also allowed to better filter and identify projects and promoters with a clear contribution to the Climate Transition.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is easily transferable to other funding schemes, either to mark-up the funding rate of approved projects or as evaluation criteria. Through its implementation, funding instruments can increase their impact in the support of strategic agendas such as the Climate Transition and Circular Economy. It could do so by stimulating the development of projects that encompass actions that are deemed good practices in eco-design, eco-efficiency, eco-innovation and industrial symbiosis, thus improving performance in terms of efficiency in the use of resources, as well as of new processes, products and business models.