Environment and Resource Efficiency

Environment and resource efficiency policies provide opportunities for regional growth and job creation and can boost the attractiveness of a region for businesses, citizens and tourists. Regions need to protect ecosystems and vulnerable landscapes and prevent biodiversity loss in their territories to prevent (further) degradation of these natural assets. The sustainable management and exploitation of the natural environment can also foster sustainable regional development based on so-called ecosystem services.

A similar logic applies to the preservation and exploitation of regional cultural heritage. Preservation and exploitation strategies can incorporate ICT applications to, for instance, raise public awareness and ownership of cultural heritage or by introducing applications on e-culture.

Enhancing resource efficiency at regional level involves using limited resources sustainably, whilst also avoiding negative impacts for the environment. Efficiency also allows to create greater value from less input, bringing down unit costs for manufacturers and buyers. Regions can play a key role in improving resource use through interacting with consumers and producers, as well as through their own role as energy consumer.

Although various national and supra-national initiatives are in place to support this transition, regions do play a key role. Interreg Europe can help regions to find practices to answer regional challenges, such as preparing sustainable exploitation models for natural and cultural heritage assets, developing and integrating green infrastructure, encouraging SMEs to assess and address resource use issues, or, reducing waste volumes in SMES and households.

This platform offers participants and other stakeholders a range of ideas and inspiration on how to better protect natural and cultural heritage and use Earth’s limited resources in a sustainable manner and thus contribue to meeting environmental and socio-economic objectives. The support is provided through a set of workshops, networking events, examples of good practices and a helpdesk of experts.