The ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center(ASEIC) was established in 2011 to promote cooperation of green growth in Europe and Asia, with a particular emphasis on enhancing eco-innovation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in both regions. Agreeing on the importance of SMEs as main engines of innovation and growth, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) member countries joined together to establish ASEIC as an international platform for spreading eco-innovation principles and practices among SMEs and assisting them in harnessing the new business opportunities that arise out of such principles and practices.
Eco-Innovation Consulting helps SMEs in developing countries to better respond to environmental impacts by supporting them in their adoption of eco-innovative technologies and management.
The ASEM Inclusive Eco-Innovation Program fosters the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development through transfer of appropriate technology specifically tailored to the actual conditions of rural communities and to the needs of local people.
The ASEM Eco-Innovation Index (ASEI) fosters more in-depth understanding among ASEM member countries of their current eco-innovation status (progress and limitations), knowledge which helps them to implement and promote more effective eco-innovation policies and strategies.
The ASEIC Global Forum provides governments, international organizations and businesses a valuable venue to discuss concrete measures that can be taken in the pursuance of the successful eco-innovation of SMEs in Asia and Europe.
- Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENV Forum)
- ASEM Working Group on the Eco-Innovation Competence of SMEs
The Green Business Center (GBC) provides various supportive mechanisms to the SMEs of ASEM member countries that wish to enter the Indonesian market in the areas of eco-innovative technology and manufacturing, mobilizing the green economy.
Eco-innovation is defined by the European Commission as âany form of innovation aiming at significant and demonstrable progress towards the goal of sustainable development, through reducing impacts on the environment or achieving a more efficient and responsible use of resources including both intended and unintended environmental effects from innovation as well as not only environmental technology but processes, systems and services.â
Likewise, the Eco-Innovation Observatory(EIO), a three-year initiative financed by the European Commission, defines eco-innovation as : âany innovation that reduces the use of natural resources and decreases the release of harmful substances across the whole life-cycle.â EIOâs definition went beyond the traditional notion of innovating to reduce negative environmental effects; it also encompasses the ways and methods of minimizing the use of natural resources in the design, production, use, re-use and recycling of products and materials.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), what makes eco-innovation distinct from any other type of innovation is that it âresults in the mitigation of environmental impact, whether the effect is intended or not. Furthermore, its scope may transcend the traditional structural limitations of the innovating organization, thus involving broader social arrangements that could spur socio-cultural and institutional changes.â
Therefore, ASEIC would like to define eco-innovation as âan idea to achieve environmental improvements, to enhance competitiveness of enterprises and to provide new business opportunities by means of using low cost and non-technology-intensive methods.â
In Europe, SMEs represent 99 percent of all businesses, providing jobs to more than 100 million people. In Asia, SMEs constitute the lifeblood of many industries as they grapple with the present global economic crisis
SME stands for âsmall and medium-sized enterprises.â The category of SMEs is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or and annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.
A legally independent company with no more than 500 employees.
The only way to reduce poverty in a sustainable way is to promote economic growth, through wealth and employment creation. In developing countries, SMEs are the major source of income, a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and a provider of employment.
The definition of an SME is important for access to finance and support programs targeted specifically at these companies. SMEs are not limited to any particular type of industry or service, and can include small manufacturing facilities, small processing units, trading companies, export-import companies, distribution, retailing, rental, service company, etc.