The Hessian innovation and investment support programme PIUS helps SMEs to reduce material use, energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
PIUS stands for production-integrated environmental protection (“Produktionsintegrierter Umweltschutz”) and is a support system comprising of the advisory scheme PIUS-Beratung and the funding scheme PIUS-Invest. Both PIUS programmes are interlinked but they also can be applied separately.

The goal of PIUS-Beratung is to identify savings in the area of production, service and trade. Advisors will develop solutions on how to optimise processes in the energy cycle and in the cycle of materials. It is possible to obtain a grant for up to 50% of this advisory service, with a maximum of 600 Euros per advisor day (650 euros in ERDF priority areas) and a maximum of 12,000 Euros (13,00 in ERDF priority areas) over a period of 3 years.

PIUS-Invest is the second part of the system. It can be used to implement the cost reduction measures identified in the PIUS-Beratung. While simple organizational changes can already lead to energy efficiency, major investments are often needed. Therefore, the funding applies to process and organizational innovations, for example improvements and efficiency increases in production and business processes or investments in environmentally friendly plant engineering. Required are direct actions that lead to a reduction in material and energy consumption and consequently to a reduction in CO2 emissions. PIUS-Invest offers a grant of up to 30% with a maximum of 500,000 Euros. Projects will be supported with 1 Euro for every kilogram of CO2.

Resources needed

The programme is financed by the ERDF

Evidence of success

The programme has led to over 30 investement projects. The investments have a total expenditure of 29.7 M € with 7.4 M € of granted subsidies and expected CO2-savings of 98,300 tons per year.

Difficulties encountered

At the beginning SMEs that received consulting hesitated to invest the time and financial resources necessary for realizing the recommended improvements. As a consequence, PIUS-Invest was introduced to facilitate investments.

Potential for learning or transfer

This practice is potentially interesting for other regions, since many already offer energy consulting. A key factor for sucess is to accompany any advisory-scheme with a matching investment-scheme, so that the potential savings can actually be implemented.

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Main institution
Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development
Darmstadt, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
January 2014
End Date


Christian  Engers Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Dagmar Meinen

Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport an Regional Development