The working meeting “Market Assessment and Policy Analysis of Eco-innovation Landscape in Georgia” took place virtually on 18 May 2021, 16:00 – 17:30 (Tbilisi time).
Meeting objectives were to:
- gather relevant governmental agencies to discuss the findings of the draft eco-innovation market assessment and policy analysis, and to collect their feedback/suggestions; and
- inform participants about the next steps that UNEP and the GCNG will undertake under the EU4Environment programme to assist Georgian SMEs to develop eco-innovation business strategies/models.
The aim of this working meeting was to consult the findings of the report among key governmental agencies in Georgia. Based on their feedback and recommendations, the report will be validated and finalised. It will then form the basis for UNEP’s and GCNG’s further engagement with Georgian SMEs in assiting them to develop new business strategies/models that are aligned with the eco-innovation approach.
SMEs play a crucial role in the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries’ economies, and their collective environmental footprint often exceeds that of large enterprises. In order to mitigate their socio-environmental impact, while also improving SMEs’ competitiveness and resilience to risk, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Union (EU) have been supporting SMEs across the globe in the development and application of “eco-innovation” – a business model that incorporates sustainability and life-cycle thinking throughout all business operations and value chain partners. Eco-innovation entails a coordinated set of modifications or novel solutions to products (goods / services), processes, market approach and overall organizational structure of a company.
As part of the EU-funded EU4Environment programme, UNEP, the EU, and the Global Compact Network Georgia (GCNG) will be assisting SMEs in Georgia to develop new business strategies/models that are aligned with the eco-innovation approach. In collaboraiton with the Environmental Information and Education Centre (under the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia) UNEP and the GCNG have carried out a market assessment and policy instrument analysis of the eco-innovation landscape in Georgia. The report aims to identify priority sectors for further engagement with the SMEs in the country. Based on the analysis of different public documents and reports, two sectors were identified as most promising to upscale eco-innovation measures among SMEs: a) Agriculture b) Accomodation and food (i.e. hospitality). The report also shows that there are already existing regulations as well as upcoming reforms that will encourage eco-innovative approaches in these sectors.