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SME Companies Get Help Coping with EU Requirements

A website providing information on EU environmental policy for SMEs

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California Green Chemistry Initiative Many of California Green Solutions readers work in the SME world -- and these Small and Medium Enterprises are also split between local companies and global organizations. This article points to some of the information being provided for sister SME companies in Europe, and the resources available to update them with info that helps them innovate and grow their companies.

BRUSSELS, Belgium, October 3, 2007 (ENS) - Helping small and medium sized companies use energy and resources efficiently is the aim of a newly published Communication from the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU government.

The Commission says it will accomplish its aim by providing a legal framework and measures that reinforce existing policies and initiatives in line with the unique characteristics of smaller companies.

The program will channel financial resources towards support networks, simplify access to environmental management systems, and promote greater awareness of environmental issues among these companies.

Several measures are already happening this year. A website providing information on EU environmental policy for SMEs is now available in seven languages and guides on energy efficiency, air emissions, soil and water and waste are planned. A handbook on funding opportunities also will be published.

Individual small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, employ fewer than 250 people, but the European Union's 23 million SMEs as a whole represent about 99 percent of all EU enterprises and 57 percent of the EU's total economic added value, so the impact of their activities on the environment is significant.

Many companies are not aware of the impact their activities have on the environment and a majority actually think that their activities have little or no impact, Dimas said.

SMEs also tend to believe that they are complying with legislation unless told otherwise although their activities may pose health and safety risks to workers as well as threats to the environment.

The Commission hopes to persuade smaller companies that they could lose out on the economic benefits presented by better environmental management and eco-innovation unles they integrating environmental considerations into their economic activities.

SME UNION President Christoph Leitl says the importance of the SME Union can be seen in the fact that SMEs are considered as the key for sustainable jobs, growth and prosperity.




Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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