Changing Behaviours – small business and climate change. Work Package 4

Part of work package four concentrated on how to change the behaviour of small businesses in the way they understand and respond to climate change.

There were three main areas of work which are described in much greater detail in the report you can download here.   In summary they are:

1  A seminar in Sevilla which had a special focus on the climate change and possible action that small businesses can do in order to build a more sustainable economy.

Beatriz Real Heredia work for the local development agency in Sevilla and has a responsibility for encouraging business to make better use of science. They ran a session which introduced small business to different choices for using electric vehicles and found that the business also wanted to know where the electricty came from, was it generated in a sustainable way.

Beatriz says it is important to communicate with business in different ways from the wider public, their motivations are different and they are more demanding in the help they expect.  Here she talks a little more about their work:

2 Online interactivity to change behaviours: developing strategies for sustainability (Birmingham City University Interactive Cultures). This part of the project produced a blog of it’s own Changing Behaviours

The videos presented on this website aim to raise awareness, offer clear suggestions for changing SME behaviour around environmental impact, and create and inter-organisational culture to encourage sustained commitment to new behaviour.

Paul Hanna of the Birmingham Chamber of commerce outlined the work in this video:

3 Energoexpo 2010 International Exhibition and Conference for Energy – Innova.

The overall conclusion from these three area of work was:

In our opinion, it was real challenge for the partners to develop a pilot action which met with all the criteria we identified earlier. This task was even more difficult that we had to take into consideration the negative impact of the economic crisis on the SME’s. Despite of this, the participating partners suggested a surprisingly similar pilot action, which implies that the SME’s facing with similar problems in the UK and in Hungary as well.

Report on Changing Behaviour WP4SP2Regarding the partner reports of the pilot action we should say these events were more successful than expected, and reached a number of SME’s with these issues. But as has been mentioned above we had to face with same problems.

Despite the fact that the SME’s seems to think that they gained several useful knowledge, it is not enough to be engaged in climate and energy conscious operation, and sustainability. In this current situation the decision making process of the SME’s is determined by the survival of the crisis. They thought the instead of the theoretical findings they need real initiatives and new innovative solutions – regarding energy-, environment-, climate conscious green technologies – which are easily implementable, requires low investment, and resulting revenue increase. No matter how open the SME’s are to these types of initiatives, the main question is capital requirement, and the acceptable revenue.

We think that we definitely have to continue this activity. With the active participation of the already engaged SME’s, by the end of the crisis we have to provide the necessary knowledge base and collection of good practices and opportunities, to involve SME’s into the process of “Changing Behaviour”.

For the final report on this section please click here.

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