From Cleaner Production to Greening the Local Economy: A Case Study of Two European Programs Enhancing SMEs Competitiveness Through Environmental Approaches

From Cleaner Production to Greening the Local Economy: A Case Study of Two European Programs Enhancing SMEs Competitiveness Through Environmental Approaches

Nobutaka Odake (Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan) and Satomi Furukawa (Fuluhashi Environmental Institute Co., Ltd., Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-114-8.ch006
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Abstract

As interests in the impacts of business activities on environment have been growing, environmental policy is now shifting from the “end of pipe” stage to the next stage, which factor in the life cycles and social efficiency. An increasing trend in environmental departments of state and municipal governments in Europe is that these departments have outgrown their restriction-based environmental measures. Their concept of environmental policy has shifted to management support programs that helps small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase their competitiveness through improving their environmental efficiency. This chapter discusses and compares two environmental programs: the case of die Effizienz Agentur NRW (EFA) and the case of der ÖkoBusinessPlan Wien, the Eco Business Plan Vienna (EBP). The goal of this chapter is to extract the conveyed meanings of partnerships and the role of public sectors through the activities of local intermediaries such as agents need to play in fostering environmental conservation. The focus of discussion is on the partnerships among the parties involved in the programs and on the program operations.
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Activities Of Efa Nrw For Cleaner Production

NRW2, the largest German state in terms of economy with large industrial agglomeration areas, has been conducting the project which is intended for SMEs to pursue both environmental conservation and economic growth. EFA, located in Duisburg, is a nonprofit agency that was founded by the State of NRW in 1998. 403 projects were executed or are now ongoing as of April of 2007.

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