Enterprise Ireland has developed a range of initiatives aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their sustainability journey. From financial assistance to training programs, these sustainability supports are designed to help SMEs integrate sustainability and environmental management into their operations. By availing these resources, SMEs can enhance their environmental performance, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient economy.
1. The Green Transition Fund
The Green Transition Fund is a significant initiative that provides financial support to SMEs looking to enhance their sustainability efforts. The fund consists of two strands: the Climate Planning Fund for Business and the Enterprise Emissions Reduction Fund.
1.1 Climate Planning Fund for Business
Climate Planning Fund for Business offers various grants to assist SMEs in developing sustainability action plans and adopting environmental best practices which includes –
SMEs can avail a €1,800 grant to engage consultants who can help them develop sustainability, decarbonisation, or circular economy action plans. These plans serve as roadmaps for businesses to identify and implement measures that reduce their environmental impact.
To encourage the adoption of environmental best practices, Enterprise Ireland offers a 7-day, 80% grant funding scheme with support of up to €5,000. This funding enables SMEs to introduce systems and structures that lay the foundation for future environmental improvement projects.
SMEs aiming for long-term carbon reduction can access grants of up to €35k to develop comprehensive Carbon Reduction Roadmaps. These roadmaps outline the steps and strategies required to achieve significant emissions reductions over an extended period.
Enterprise Ireland also provides funding for training programs to enhance SMEs’ environmental management capabilities. This grant covers 50% of the training costs, up to a maximum of €50k. It helps SMEs align with international standards and frameworks, improve environmental efficiency, and achieve sustainability goals.
1.2 Enterprise Emissions Reduction Fund
Enterprise Emissions Reduction Fund focuses on supporting SMEs in their efforts to decarbonise their manufacturing processes and develop sustainable products or services. The fund offers three tracks:
- Capital Grant for Decarbonising Manufacturing Heating Processes – Capital grant to support companies to decarbonise their manufacturing heating processes through investment in carbon abating capital equipment and technologies
- Capital Grant for Energy Metering & Tracking Systems
- Research, Development, and Innovation Grants – (Innovation Voucher, Exploring Innovation, Agile Innovation, Research & Development) to support the planning and development of new products, services or processes in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation
2. The Green Transition Webinar Series covering various topics, including green financing, ESG & Sustainability Reporting, Green Skills, and BCorp Certification.
These are half-day workshop, running every second Thursday (9.30am – 12.30pm) via Zoom that been designed to help SME business leaders understand the importance of sustainability and ESG to their business and quip them with practical skills to incorporate these principles into their business plans. A key outcome is the development of an action plan to integrate sustainability and ESG principles into their business operations and decision-making processes. Sign up HERE
4. Sustainability Leaders Programme
Enterprise Ireland has partnered with Skillnet Ireland’s Climate Ready Academy to develop the Sustainability Leaders Programme, a 12-week course aiming to provide practical support and guidance to those responsible for developing a sustainability strategy and action plan for their site.
The second iteration of the programme will be kicking-off in March 2024 (Dates TBC). Workshops will cover topics including – Introducing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for Leadership; Identifying your Sustainability Priorities; Defining and monitoring your SDGs; Integrating Sustainability into your Business; Communicating and Reporting; Bespoke Sustainability Charter and Action Plan to deploy in their business.
Trainees will create a Sustainability Charter which captures the business case for action and an agreed Sustainability Action Plan for the first 12 months. Successful trainees will gain the knowledge which will boost their organisation’s reputation and brand image by having a recognised sustainable leader onsite.
Start Date: Early March 2024
Duration: 6 online workshops, over 12 weeks
5. Other Supports for SMEs
- Climate Toolkit for Business – estimate your organisation carbon footprint and develop your action plan.
- SEAI: Energy Audit Voucher*, Energy Academy, SME Guide to Energy Efficiency and Management. *SMEs with annual energy spend >€10,000 excluding travel.
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To see how WrxFlo can help you achieve these goals, contact us today.