SMEs and entrepreneurship

Engaging SMEs in Sustainability: Tools and Approaches


OECD Platform on Financing SMEs for Sustainabiltiy Webinar Series

"Engaging SMEs in sustainability: Tools and approaches"


 17 June 2022  13:00-14:30 CEST Remote  


As countries around the world work to mitigate the impacts of climate change and meet ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions, governments are making increasing use of regulation, standards and climate-related disclosure requirements, with important impacts for businesses. Although only a small share of SMEs are currently directly impacted by these requirements, they are likely to face increased pressures from financial insitutions and larger businesses in their value chains to measure, report on and improve their environmental performance. This means that SMEs will increasingly need to integrate sustainability considerations in their operations and obtain suitable finance for investments in greening. Currently, most SMEs are only at the beginning of their journey to net zero, having taken only limited steps to reduce their carbon footprint. This largely reflects significant outstanding gaps in their knowledge and awareness about the green transition and the business case for greening.

This webinar explored approaches and tools that can increase SME awareness and incite SMEs to take actions and invest in sustainability. It provided an overview of the landscape for sustainability performance disclosure and how this is likely to impact SMEs going forward. It identified ways for financial institutions and other actors in the ecosystem to engage SMEs in a dialogue on sustainability and incentivise them to undertake investments in greening. In particular, it explored different approaches, including through sustainability-related certifications, to strengthen SME awareness of their environmental footprint and the potential they have to contribute to solutions. It brought together various actors in the SME finance ecosystem, including sustainability certification organisations, public financial institutions and SMEs to answer the following key questions:

  • How are governments seeking to incentivise the private sector through regulations, standards and disclosure requirements, and what are the likely impacts on SMEs? 
  • How can public and private financial institutions and other actors engage with SMEs, in particular through non-financial services and tools?  
  • What are the key issues and messages that resonate with SMEs and can effectively incite them to take action towards greening?
  • What role can voluntary reporting and certification play in helping SMEs advance on the journey to net zero?




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Event Video





For more information, please contact Miriam Koreen 


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