The aim of the GEAR@SME project is to put energy efficiency on the map for SMEs, by working together with the local tractor. This party, for example an employers’ association or park management organization, is the listening ear of their members. That is why they can build a bridge from the entrepreneurs to energy saving.
The GEAR@SME project aims to support these local leaders in this process. We provide the tools to map out where the greatest potential lies and how this potential can be used efficiently: namely by acting as a collective. In addition, it is important that, in addition to the energetic aspects of the measures, we also look at the additional benefits that the measures entail. For example, by changing the lighting to LED, you not only save energy. When you adjust the color and intensity of the light to the function of the room, you can also increase productivity or stimulate a quiet lunch break.
Pilot in Meierijstad
GEAR@SME is an international project with a strong Dutch branch. This also includes a pilot in which the methods are put into practice. In Platform Ondernemend Meierijstad (POM) we have found a very suitable partner to test our approach on the industrial estates in the municipality of Meierijstad (with Veghel, Schijndel and Sint-Oedenrode as the largest municipal centers). Jos van Asten, project manager partnerships at POM, shows how diverse their supporters are: “We work for the 900 members of four business associations in the municipality of Meierijstad. The 900 affiliated entrepreneurs are mainly located on business parks and have a total of 27,000 employees within the municipal boundaries and about 100,000 in total. The differences in size, industry, maturity and housing between the companies are enormous. For example, the head offices of several large players are located in Meierijstad, but we also work for freelancers and small SMEs such as contractors, machine builders and service providers. ”So there is no lack of variation, which is a positive thing for a pilot for a large project like GEAR@SME!
The added value of a trusted partner is immediately clear to Van Asten. He is enthusiastic about the GEAR@SME approach: “Apart from methods, knowledge and existing ‘tools’, personal contact, trust and a common interest in this is a great added value. These things all come together in the approach described by GEAR@SME. Both in time and in method, this approach is in line with the sustainability objectives that we recently set together with the municipality. I am therefore confident that we will jointly take great steps within this project towards a sustainable, enterprising and energetic Meierijstad.”
GEAR@SME hopes to be able to support other local hikers in addition to POM. Currently, two other park management organizations are already involved in the project. They monitor progress closely and are enthusiastic about putting the developed method into practice. Moreover, we can use their experiences to further refine our approach. After all, together we learn the most! Ultimately, the aim is to apply this to as many industrial estates as possible, so that maximum benefit is obtained from the developed approach.
Do you want to follow the progress of the project or make use of our useful toolbox? Please contact us.