The PRE-SME Project

In many developing countries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of economic and industrial activity, contributing to approximately 75% to industrial activity. With increasing resource prices, it is becoming difficult for SMEs to sustain the high costs of energy, water, and material resources for production while remaining competitive in the market. In numerous developing countries, SMEs are often high polluters due to obsolete technology in their small-scale operations and/or the lack of efficient end-of-pipe pollution control systems. Further, most countries lack the necessary institutional structures and capacity to provide the required technical support services to industries. When limited institutional capacities exist, SMEs often suffer the most. These factors are the major drivers for the urgent need of a consolidated intervention to improve the resource efficiency of industrial production in many of the world’s regions.

In order to address these needs, UNEP has launched a one-year pilot project on Promoting Resource Efficiency in SMEs (PRE-SME) in developing countries which is currently being implemented in the broader context of the Joint UNIDO-UNEP Programme on Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) in Developing and Transition Economies. The goal of this project to establish the basis for building capacities in developing countries to support SMEs develop and implement resource efficient and cleaner production programmes that enable them to improve their competitiveness and reduce their environmental impacts.

The main objective of PRE-SME is to build national capacity that supports small and medium sized enterprises to develop and implement resource efficient production programmes that enable them to improve their competitiveness and reduce their environmental impact. It specifically works to advance:

- Production efficiency through improved productive use of natural resources by enterprises

- Environmental conservation through minimization of the impact on nature by enterprises

- Human development through reduction of risks to people and communities from enterprises and supporting their development.

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