Title Ecotips 2.0 - Enabling small business to reduce its environmental footprint
Project Number 2010-1-BG1-LEO05-03089
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Ecotips 2.0 is aiming to coach 60 consultants in Bulgaria, Estonia, Belgium and Slovenia to be able to use an innovative, easy to use and attractive online instrument, which will offer environmental advice and assessment for small and medium sized enterprises in 8 sectors (offices, bars and restaurants, auto-repair shops, renovation and home improvements, hotels, events, retail, and hair saloons).
SMEs form the backbone of the European economy, comprising 99% of all businesses (of which, 96% have less than 5 people). However, combined, they cause nearly 2/3 of EU’s industrial pollution. With a changing economic environment and increasing competition, SMEs have recognized that environmental responsibility is a crucial condition to increase their competitiveness. Environmental management systems and approaches are one way to help SMEs to reduce their environmental impact, and become more compliant with environmental legislation.
Vocational training related to the environmental management is almost missing, and where present, it is not practical. As a result, there is the cultural perception that “standard” training packages are not well suited for the needs of specific economic sectors or specific issues (e.g. energy, waste, legislation).
With an increasing demand for persons with vocational training and practical experience who are able to work with environmental issues in SMEs, new approaches towards SME training have become a necessity. Understanding the benefits of environmental improvements is one thing, knowing how to get there is another. It is necessary provide SMEs with a “one stop shop” service, informing them about environmental issues and training them how to solve them.
The main goal of the EcoTips 2.0 project is to transfer an innovative and attractive VET system in conformity with the current need for enhancing the competitiveness of micro businesses. This will be achieved through the adaptation and further development existing VET tools.
The consortium has been developed with an optimum combination of diversified expertise in curriculum development, capacity for implementation & dissemination, technical complementarities, geographical coverage, knowledge of EU standards, extensive experience in transnational projects, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Phare, Interreg, IEE and other direct funding. The partners come from different sectors and parts of the EU, thus bringing a cultural, linguistically diverse and multi-sectoral partnership, which adds value to the various skills and competencies required for an effective project implementation.
The major outcome of the project is the adaptation of an innovative, online VET package (EcoTips 2.0), from Belgium to organizations from Bulgaria, Estonia, and Slovenia. The project’s activities will reach out to 400 SMEs from 8 economic sectors.
The results of the project will provide the target group with an attractive, easy to understand, IT-based training material. It will help reduce the ecological footprint of 400 companies and will contribute to national and EU priorities related to VET and environmental sustainability in the community’s pursuit towards a greener economy.
* To adapt and further develop environmental management-related VET systems and practices for micro companies to improve their environmental performance and legal compliance
* To test the adapted methodology and train consultants in order to improve the environmental performance and plan the environmental investments and savings of 400 micro businesses from 8 economic sectors (offices, bars and restaurants, auto-repair shops, renovation and home improvements, hotels, events, retail, and hair saloons) across the EU.
* To make provisions for the establishment of an enabling environment for up-scaling and multiplication in 8 economic sectors (offices, bars and restaurants, auto-repair shops, renovation and home improvements, hotels, events, retail, and hair saloons) in Bulgaria, Slovenia, Belgium, and Estonia
The results of the project will provide the target group with an attractive, easy to understand, IT-based training material. A total of 60 trained consultants in Belgium, Slovenia, Estonia and Bulgaria will help reduce the ecological footprint of 400 companies and will contribute to national and EU priorities related to VET and environmental sustainability in the community’s pursuit towards a greener economy.
VET providers & Universities
Business support organizations (chambers, intermediaries, etc.)
Small and micro companies from 8 sectors: offices, bars and restaurants, auto-repair shops, renovation and home improvements, hotels, events, retail, and hair saloons
Notranjski Ekoloski Center (Slovenia)
Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre (Estonia)
Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bulgaria)
Groupe One (Belgium)
Eco-Conseil Entreprise scrl. (Belgium)
TIME Foundation (Bulgaria)
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Transportation and Storage
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
Other Service Activities
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
program or curricula
material for open learning
transparency and certification
Web-portal in 5 languages (BG, EE, FR, SI, EN) for SMEs including ecological tips, quiz on legal complience, ecological and carbon footprint calculator.
Vocational Education and Training package for consultants in each partner country
A voluntary two-level recognition system for SMEs who take part in the initiative.