Helping small and medium sized companies use energy and resources efficiently is the aim of a newly published Communication from the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU government.
The Commission says it will accomplish its aim by providing a legal framework and measures that reinforce existing policies and initiatives in line with the unique characteristics of smaller companies.
To this end, the Communication proposes to create a program to help small and medium sized companies implement European environmental legislation.
The program will channel financial resources towards support networks, simplify access to environmental management systems, and promote greater awareness of environmental issues among these companies.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said, "To successfully tackle the environmental challenges we face and to achieve our targets on greenhouse emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, all European companies must be on board."
"Small and medium sized companies are an integral part of Europe's economy and it is therefore vital that they play their part in making the European economy more sustainable," the commissioner said.
Several measures are already happening this year. A website providing information on EU environmental policy for SMEs is now available in seven languages and guides on energy efficiency, air emissions, soil and water and waste are planned. A handbook on funding opportunities also will be published.