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SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets survey exposes growth potential

3 April 2012

A recent Eurobarometer survey has identified areas of untapped potential for SMEs, revealing that less than a quarter take advantage of the single market for green products or service. Bureaucracy is cited as a major factor in this, with 20 percent of respondents stating that the complexity of administrative and legal procedures is a barrier to cross-border green investment.

At the launch of the survey, European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani praised SMEs but said: “there is still a lot of work to do... Knowing that the EU makes up roughly one third of the world market for environmental industries reveals a huge potential for SMEs to grow." Data also indicates that SMEs lag behind larger companies in terms of green public procurement, with only 11 percent of EU SMEs having bid for a public procurement tender that included environmental requirements, compared with 16 percent of large companies.

Three in five SMEs (61 percent) selling green products or services have been active in green markets for more than three years, compared to 52 percent in the US, the survey revealed. The most commonly sold green products and services by SMEs in the EU are food and beverages at 25 percent and electronic and mechanical machinery and equipment at 23 percent.

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