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SMART - Sustainable Management Action Research and Training

An Action Programme on Environmental Management and Certification for the development of African, Caribbean and Pacific Enterprises.The SMART program is developed under a framework Agreement between CDE and the International Network for Environmental Management (INEM).

It aims to reinforce local capacities with new methods and proven adapted concepts for envi-ronmental management systems and standards. Environmental certification can be achieved at reduced cost and time by the clustering of enterprises and the process of coaching with local environmental consultants.

Introduction

Under the framework agreement between CDE and INEM, the Sustainable Management Action, Research and Training action program has been developed with the following main objectives:

  • Raising awareness about Environmental Management Systems, tools and techniques for implementation in small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in ACP countries;
  • Developing and training specific target groups with focus on private environmental professionals in the understanding and implementation of cost-effective Environmental Management Systems;
  • Promoting and facilitating the implementation and certification of internationally recognized EMS, like ISO 14001 and EMAS in small and medium sized enterprises in ACP countries;
  • Identifying future needs for training on environmental management, applicable tools and techniques, opportunities for sustainable capacity building and launching of pilot projects;
  • Building and strengthening the capacity of environmental professionals in emerging markets.

This program should ultimately help the private sector in each ACP region to build the environmental management know-how, expertise and capacity and develop markets by:

  • Providing more professionals who can assist in the development of environmental management in ACP companies;
  • Developing new environmental consulting services, partnerships and networks for industry;
  • Meeting the environmental requirements and standards for international markets and customers.

 

SMART Program - First Results in the Caribbean Region and Southern African Region

The SMART Program started in the Caribbean region with a Prospective Study in July 2004 in order to analyze existing know-how and initiatives, to meet existing stakeholders and progress in the development of environmental capacity and to assess future needs in the local market.

Based upon the results of this study, the SMART Seminar "Capacity Building for Environmental Management Systems for Caribbean Enterprises" was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 22-26 November 2004.

31 environmental professionals from 7 ACP countries attended the SMART seminar for Capacity building on Environmental Management Systems. An important part of these participants joined the CDE consultants network and the INEM infrastructure. They constitute a database of well-trained and qualified consultants from the private sector for Environmental Management in the Caribbean region. A regional professional association is under discussion.

As a direct result from the technical workshops in the seminar, some 15-project ideas have been drafted for national and regional projects covering five Caribbean countries and involving a potential of 50 private companies to be assisted mainly in the tourism and agro-food sector.

The objective of these projects will focus on the implementation and certification of Environmental Management Systems in small and medium sized companies.

A selection of these projects will constitute the base of the SMART Facility, Phase 3 of the SMART program in the Caribbean. Technical assistance to enterprises on the implementation of EMS, assistance and training to consultants, advisory companies and intermediary organizations will be supported by CDE through the SMART Facility program.

In March 2005, a Prospective Study in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean was carried out, covering the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique and Zambia

Interesting meetings with over 150 stakeholders from the environmental sector were held with relevant and promising projects in agro-food, aquaculture, horticulture, mining, and supply-chain sector. 

 

SMART Program - Relations with European Investment Bank and ACP Financial Institutions and Intermediaries

During the SMART Seminar in the Caribbean, the local environmental consultants have emphasized on the lack of financial resources of small and medium sized enterprises for covering the costs of implementing environmental management systems in their infrastructure. In addition, the local financial institutions are very reluctant to grant loans for the implementation of environment management systems. Several meetings with local institutions have shown a lack of understanding for the need of EMS in enterprises.

The implementation of Environmental Management Systems in enterprises can benefit to:

  • Reduce costs of raw materials and energy;
  • Reduce operational and external costs;
  • Create new market opportunities;
  • Ameliorate health and safety conditions of workers;
  • Upgrade the environmental conditions in the enterprise and reduce pollution loads;
  • Implement internationally recognized certification like ISO 14001 and EMAS;
  • Increase environmental awareness;
  • Stimulate the economy in ACP countries. 

Meetings at the European Investment Bank were held in November 2004 with Mr. David Crush, Head of the Caribbean and Pacific Division and in 16 February 2005 with Mr. Anthony Whitehouse, Deputy Head of Caribbean Division, Mr. Justin Loasby, Associate Director for Southern Africa and Indian Ocean, Mr. Francisco Gaspar and Mrs Isabel Costa, in charge of Mozambique and Angola.  

The purpose of these meetings was to present the SMART Program in the Caribbean and Southern Africa region, as well as to show the first results of the seminar held from 22 - 26 November 2004 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Further possibility was discussed to

  • Develop partnership with EIB participation in the SMART program;
  • Develop training program on "Environmental Management" for ACP financial intermediaries.
  • Propose the database of SMART environmental professionals in CDE consultants network for EIA studies in the context of EIB projects;
  • Develop specific subsidized loan possibilities from EIB/ Investment Facility for projects with substantial environmental benefits to SME/ACP;

During the Prospective Study in Southern Africa, a meeting with Dr. Rosalind Thomas, CEO, Mr. Herrick Mpuku, Program Manager for Capacity Building and Mr. Joseph W. Nyamunda, Program Manager SME Development of the Development Finance Resource Center from the Southern African Development Community was held in Gaborone, Botswana on March 1, 2005.

They have expressed strong interest on a specific training program on "Environmental Management" for ACP Financial Institutions and Intermediaries.



SMART Program- Project for the Development of a SMART Training Program on "Environmental Management" for Financial Institutions and Intermediaries in ACP countries

In the Phase 3, Facility of the SMART Program, assistance to consultants and advisory companies is foreseen for

  • Training of consultants on specific themes of the environment;
  • Training of consultants in order to assist enterprises and/or to evaluate and prepare projects for further investment;
  • Training of consultants in a clustering and coaching process for implementation of EMS;
  • Establishing contacts with other advisory companies.

The participation and understanding of Financial Institutions in the process of implementing Environmental Management Systems in SMEĀ“s in ACP countries is important. Small and medium sized enterprises will need financial assistance in order to adapt  their production line and infrastructure, so that they can implement an Environmental Management Systems and obtain international certification like ISO 14001 or EMAS.

The benefits of an implemented EMS, the cost reduction of raw materials, energy, water, waste collection, toxic and chemical goods are important factors to be taken into account by Financial Institutions for future investments in sustainable enterprises.

It appears that in ACP Financial Institutions, there is a lack of understanding and expertise to understand the need for export orientated enterprises or suppliers of multinational companies to implement certified EMS in order to stay competitive and to open new market opportunities.

The SMART Program proposes to develop together with the European Investment Bank a specific training program on ?Environmental Management? for Financial Institutions and Financial Intermediaries in ACP countries. 

The Training Program on Environmental Management will cover the following main aspects on Environmental Management during a 3 - 4 Days Seminar:

  • Policy trends and market trends
  • Understanding norms, standards, labels and working with supply chains;
  • Environmental services in emerging economies
  • Role of environmental consultants, auditors, certifiers and Bureau of Standards;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • How to draft EIA for international institutions;
  • Costs of Implementation of Environmental Management System and Certification;
  • Practical and sector related case studies to explain benefits and cost savings for enterprises with certified EMS;
  • Integrating systems - ISO 9000, ISO 14001, HACCP, OHSAS, Eco-labels;
  • Developing new investment opportunities in environmental sector and carbon market;
  • Eco-industries, testing laboratories, waste recycling, renewable energy and Kyoto protocol Flexible Mechanisms. 

The proposed seminar will focus on small and medium sized enterprises in emerging economies and the trends in imposed environmental management system standards. It will look into strategies to empower companies to live up to future pressures for sustainable production and environmental, social and ethical preferences of European consumers.

A training toolkit with a manual for best practices and resources on Environmental Management Systems for Financial Institutions can be produced for the SMART Training Program for ACP Financial Institutions.

The direct beneficiaries of this program are the employees dealing with small and medium sized enterprises from local Development Banks, Financial Institutions working with the EIB and other Financial Intermediaries:

  • Credit & loan Officers for SMEs
  • Program Managers for SME in Development Banks
  • Investment Analysts;
  • Employees of Capital Risk Department;