Mobilising SMEs in the face of the Climate and Energy Crisis: Analysis and Best Practices in Spain

  • Mobilising SMEs in the face of the Climate and Energy Crisis: Analysis and Best Practices in Spain

    Peter Sweatman, Author

    The climate and energy transition cannot take place without the input of SMEs
    Published in November 2022

    Spanish SMEs generate 65% of employment and represent 99.8% of the Spanish business fabric (a total of 2,926,484 companies), hence their active engagement is essential to guarantee a green, effective and fair transition.

    However, a study by the Joint Research Center of the European Union finds there are knowledge and action gap barriers in assisting SMEs during their decarbonisation. While the SMEs Climate Hub is one of the few international initiatives that seeks to mobilise the climate ambition of SMEs, as of the date of the publication of this report there are only 68 Spanish SMEs that have signed up.As legislative pressure from Europe and at the national level is increasing due to the climate crisis and the energy price shock aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, developing a climate action plan that responds to these regulatory changes is now more essential than ever.

    In order to address this issue, this report by Climate Strategy & Partners reflects the results of a 1 year consultation process with more than 300 SMEs and their regional platforms, including case studies of SMEs that are leading the transition, and examines the current progress in climate action of Spanish SMEs, the challenges and benefits of the current ecological transition in the context of the energy crisis. Furthermore, this report offers a guide of best practices adapted to the singular situation of SMEs to prepare climate action plans towards net zero emissions. These best practices have been divided into three pillars: 1. emission reduction targets, 2. climate action, and 3. climate governance.

Report’s key recommendations include:

  • Offer support with a more structural approach for SMEs in key sectors.
  • Incentivize SMEs to develop a decarbonisation framework with key result indicators.
  • Promote the offer of accounting services on the calculation of the carbon footprint.
  • Create sustainability networks on best climate practices segmented and focused on providing regional and sectoral mutual support.
  • Elaborate best practice guides on compensation of residual emissions in line with science.
  • Focus more collaboration and research initiatives on deepening the knowledge of climate adaptation in SMEs.
  • Public funds should be directed to SME sectors with a significant contribution to climate change.
  • A green tax reform that encourages ecological practices among SMEs.
  • Establish more national structures to give recognition and visibility to leading SMEs in climate action and innovation.

Milestones include:

  • On October 20th 2022, Climate Strategy hosted the webinar “Mobilising Spanish SMEs in the face of the climate and energy crisis”, during which Climate Strategy’s CEO Peter Sweatman presented the results of the report and featured a discussion including: Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, President of the Spanish Green Growth Group (GECV), Olga Rucián, SME Director at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, as well as representatives of leading SMEs carrying out climate actions. *See launch webinar in full in the tab above.
  • On November 11th 2022, Climate Strategy’s Climate Policy Researcher Adriana Rodríguez, presented the report in the SDG Pavilion at the United Nation’s COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Read more here.
  • On November 15th 2022, Climate Strategy launched the English version of this report as part of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Make Climate Action Everyone’s Business Forum, a hybrid event broadcasted from the COP27 Blue Zone featuring Valvanera Ulargui, Director of the Spanish Climate Change Office, Jordi Sellarés, Secretary General of ICC Spain, and Pamela Jouven, Director of the SME Climate Hub. *See ICC webinar in full in the tab above.

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