Access to Technology and Know-how in Cleaner Produ.. (ACT CLEAN)
Access to Technology and Know-how in Cleaner Production in Central Europe
Start date: Nov 30, 2008,
End date: Nov 29, 2011
While EU directives set requirements in order to ensure the eco-efficiency of the production process, many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Central Europe struggle to respond to them. They do not have access to the existing technological or managerial solutions developed in other parts of Central Europe. In the understanding that a sustainable natural resource management in times of globalisation cannot be addressed by one country alone, ACT CLEAN has identified the following challenges: SMEs need to get access to environmentally friendly technologies and activities in order to comply with current and future EU directives. A lack of links between demand and supply of environmentally friendly technologies and know-how can be identified. Therefore existing technology and know-how must be demonstrated and deployed. The second challenge can be described as the identification and exchange of SME support tools for cleaner production (CP). ACT CLEAN is tackling these challenges from two sides: firstly It will enable SMEs to comply with existing or imminent requirements by focusing on few, selected EU directives that are needed by project stakeholders in Central Europe. Secondly it will push the application of existing environmentally friendly technologies and activities within Central Europe area by identifying the most relevant ones, demonstrating the economic and environmental value and support their deployment. Achievements: The Act Clean project aims at promoting environmentally friendly technologies and activities in order to ensure eco-efficient production processes as well as compliance with EU requirements. To achieve this general objective, project partners established the “Act Clean matchmaking mechanism”, which supports the encounter of demand and supply of Cleaner Production (CP) technologies and management systems throughout Central Europe (CE). Via the project website (www.act-clean.eu) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can access: 1) the Act Clean database with around 350 technologies and processes, 2) information on legal frameworks (i.e. relevant directives), funding opportunities (i.e. support programmes), CE wide events for SME matchmaking, 3) services provided by Act Clean National Contact Points, which are one-stop-shops for supporting CP in SMEs, 4) the Act Clean Toolbox, with 45 CP tools in the fields of emission & waste prevention, energy & material efficiency as well as EMS & LCA. Most of the tools promoted by the Toolbox were successfully tested. Some very interesting examples of CP tools include: "Green Lex", which allows SMEs to assess which (environmental) regulations are relevant for them and whether they obey them; "Umberto", a software tool to model, calculate, visualize and evaluate material and energy flow systems, mainly used to analyze the process systems, either in a plant or a company, or, along a product life cycle.Also training courses for SMEs on topics relevant for CP were exchanged and respective trainings for SMEs were run. An example is the training on “Initial Review for Sustainable Consumption and Production”, which is run by the Czech partner Enviros and proved to be interetsing for application in other CE countries. It provides SMEs with an easy to apply methodology for assessing their sustainability: it focuses on opportunities for improvement and then assigns suitable instruments to these opportunities. A series of Best Practice Workshops was held to promote Cleaner Production technologies and processes identified in the past years. These often were coupled with b2b meetings allowing direct matchmaking. In period 6 the Transnational Agenda was finalized and launched. The Agenda aims to provide impulses for improving framework conditions supporting SMEs in CE in implementing CP production processes. It elaborates recommendations in the 3 major fields of networking, awareness and financing and is complemented by an outline of national level actions required for implementation of the recommendations. Continuous outreach to political decision makers aimed to secure that the policy recommendations of the project are taken up by policy makers. In this context Act Clean partners have held a series of (informal) meetings with their national ministries.
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