The "3xEnvironment" project - three campaigns integrating the SMEs sector and their surroundings in the efforts to protect the environment" has been created especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Our primary goal is to support the entrepreneurs in the implementation of some changes, making their enterprises proecological. This will be possible due to reducing the use of energy, water, paper supplies as well as raw materials. We encourage them to save money, while protecting the environment.
It happens commonly, that even small changes in everyday business procedures such as a change of contract terms with the suppliers (for example with energy suppliers) can cause the reduction of a product consumption, while maintaining the same level of service or the product quality . This means that environmental activities can be cost effective and for that we want to convince Polish companies from the SME sector.
Pro-ecological activities are one of the priorities of European Commission, that in 2008 set ambitious goals:
These objectives are to be achieved by the year 2020 and their successful implementation needs involvement of all kind of enterprises, in particular SMEs.
The aim of the project is to increase SMEs employees awareness in the topic of ecology and the efficient use of resources.
The study confirmed, that the awareness of the environmental impact of water, electricity, gas and other products‘ consumption in Polish small and medium-sized enterprises is very low. The aim of our project is to provide solutions for Polish entrepreneurs and to convince them, that environmental protection can be profitable.
By the issues related to the implementation of pro-ecological solutions, we want to inspire managers and employees of 3,000 companies. Our activities will be mainly addressed to companies within 6 sectors of industry: construction, timber, automotive, printing, personal services (hairdressing, beauty services) and food industry. We believe that by showing how to protect the environment and what effects can be induced by even a small change in our daily business routine, we will encourage people to develop a pro-environmental attitude. We want to achieve the following results during the project implementation:
Our activities are focused on the SMEs sector
The sector of small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland consists of 99% of all companies and employs 9 million of people. Its impact on the comsuption of natural resources is substancial.
The analysis of consumption of selected resources in the companies taking part in the project (17% of SMEs) shows that they consume: 89 million m3 of water, 12 million MW of power, 89 000 tons of paper, including 65 thousand of tons of paper for the purpose of administration and 5 million m3 of wood per year. Only the process of paper production is up to 185 thousand tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
And what is the awareness of these companies‘ impact on environmental pollution?
There are only 1.8% of industrial companies in SMEs sector indicating that their activities have "high" or "very high" impact on the environment. In general, they acknowledge the impact of energy consumption (38.5 %) and waste for disposal (21.8 %). They almost do not notice their impact on the environment through the consumption of water (9.5 %) or natural resources (2.9%).
The results of this study show that employees' awareness of the SME sector in relation to the impact they have on the environment is extremely low. That confirms our belief, that the implementation of projects such as "3xEnvironment" project aimed at this sector is extremely needed.
What will be the course of the project ? Project activities will concentrate on 3 campaigns:
Materials, which will be a great support for entrepreneurs interested in making changes in their companies will be worked out within the project. An ecological package will be our main product.
Ecological package, as a guide of environmental activities in the company, is an innovative multimedia tool for project participants. It includes training materials, a manual, an ecological handbook, tools for savings‘ calculation and a database of best practices.
The project is being carried out by Association Refa Wielkopolska as project’s coordinator in the partnership with Association for the Development of Continuing Education "Transfer" and Polish Craft Association in the following period of time: 01.10.2013 till 30.04.2016.
„3xEnvironment" project, meaning "Three campaigns integrating the business of SMEs sector and their surroundings in efforts to protect the environment" is co-financed by the financial instrument of European Union LIFE + and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.