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Environmental Incentives and Nordic SMEs

Impact on Performance and Competitiveness

image of Environmental Incentives and Nordic SMEs

This report identifies and investigates environmental incentives available for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Nordic countries. These comprise grants and loans for environmental management, environmental technology, environmental employment and sectoral competitiveness, and energy efficiency and renewables. From a total of 15 currently or recently available schemes, seven incentives are selected and 23 beneficiaries interviewed to explore impacts on environmental performance and economic competitiveness. The survey allows the ranking of environmental impacts in order of significance, based on information provided by the SMEs. It also highlights economic effects and environmental learning, and it draws conclusions relating to the practical value of Nordic environmental incentives, administrative procedures, company experiences and future expectations.

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Environmental Technology Loan, Norway

An environmental technology loan known as the Norwegian Environment Fund was administered by the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (SND) for two years during 1998–2000. The former Minister for Foreign Affairs – who was also a former Prime Minister – originally proposed the loan, and it was perceived as a demonstration that government was taking action to meet the Kyoto target, supporting technology that reduced emissions. NOK 250 million was the total allocation for the two-year period. All of this money was marked for company use, and some loans have already been paid back and returned to the Ministry of Finance, which re-allocates it to other tasks of government. If projects are cancelled and the money is not claimed, SND may reallocate it to new projects.

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