Europe 2020 is a 10-year growth strategy proposed by the European Commission for reviving the economy of the European Union. It aims to build a resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy with sustainable growth during the current decade.
The RECOMMEND partnership strongly believes that fostering eco-management and eco-innovation systems at a regional level will play a significant role in Europe's ambition to achieve a low emission economy where economic development is uncoupled from the use of natural resources. It is believed that economic growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand.
Some innovative European regions have already set a priority on implementing eco-management and eco-innovation and have supported their SMEs in adopting their management systems by implementing environmental-friendly measures. Such regional success stories have attracted much interest even beyond national levels. But very quickly it has become clear that the success of such regional concepts and its acceptance amongst its target groups strongly depends inter alia on the structural specialities of each region. A simple copy and paste approach is not appropriate. Therefore the RECOMMEND partnership will examine what kind of challenges the single regions have to face on their way to sustainable development and what can be learnt from each other. The three crucial questions will be:
- How can regional public authorities and enterprises (especially SMEs) be made aware and convinced of the importance and efficiency of environmental management?
- How can enterprises be supported effectively when starting or intensifying their orientation towards more eco-efficient and eco-innovative production?
- Which will be the appropriate methodologies to stimulate a high level of commitment for sustainable development at the different levels of regional economies?