Minister of the Environment Marko Pomerants approved the directive according to which approximately 80,000 euros will be allocated until 2020 to raise the awareness of companies with regard to energy and resource efficiency.
Raising corporate awareness is the first stage of the measure “Corporate energy and resource efficiency”, supported from the structural funds of the European Union’s budget for 2014–2020. The next stage includes additional training of the auditors and then, the corporate resource use will be audited, and those companies, which pass the audit, have the option to implement the offered resource saving solutions within the framework of the programme.
“The competitiveness of Estonia is increasingly dependent on the resource and energy intensity of the economy, as well as the ability of the companies to operate in a more resource efficient manner by introducing new technologies and solutions,” Head of Environmental Management Department of the Ministry of the Environment Kaupo Heinma said. “Unfortunately, the resource intensity and environmental effect of products and services in Estonian economy continues to be one of the highest in the European Union. By means of the activities offered by the Ministry of the Environment, we want to improve competitiveness and reduce environmental impact.”
The aim of raising awareness is to encourage companies to seek for options to make their production more effective. In order to achieve this goal, various information days and training sessions will be organised, where opportunities on how to make production more effective are to be discussed. The greatest potential for saving resources in Estonia arises from mining, food, wood, and paper industry.
“With this programme, we would like to create greater interest among companies towards resource-efficient production methods. We are extremely interested that this programme would help as many companies as possible in finding new solutions,” Heinma said. Corporate awareness programme lasts for five years – from the end of this year to 2020.
The ever-growing competition for natural resources leads to their shortages and higher prices, which will affect the world economy. However, at the same time, plenty of valuable materials remain unused or aside as residues in economic activities. This situation can be improved by the introduction of new technologies, which enable to more fully exploit the resources and reuse the waste generated. On one hand, the increased use of resources and waste recycling allows protecting the environment and human health and on the other hand, increases the competitiveness of companies through the effective use of resources.
The budget of outreach activities is 79,800 euros and it is fully funded from the resources of the European Union Regional Development Fund. The total budget of the measure “Corporate energy and resource efficiency” is 136 million euros, of which 109 million euros is meant for the companies to increase resource efficiency.