At Rio+20 governments from around the world committed to the transition to green economies. While the transition is gathering momentum, progress is being hindered by limited uptake of green practices by businesses and the private sector.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of our economies - accounting for 99% of European businesses. SMEs tend to be more innovative, flexible and diverse than their larger counterparts. As such, they have the potential to unlock the transition to a green - and fair - economy.
But there are two major bottlenecks slowing the transformation. One is the disconnection between best-in-class “green practice” enterprises and wider business communities. The other is the gap between the research communities working on green economy and the everyday practices of businesses.
The GreenEcoNet consortium brings together leading research networks from across Europe. Over the next three years our ambition is to connect SMEs in Europe to each other to share their experiences, innovations and best practices; and to strengthen the links between SMEs and the research community.
GreenEcoNet is building the first European-wide SME knowledge-exchange platform on a green economy. The platform will combine an online hub, including a searchable database of good practices, case studies and tools, with a series of in-person dialogues and workshops. Through our activities we will connect SMEs, policy-makers and researchers in order to explore the opportunities, challenges and innovations required for the transition to green economies at a practical level.