SME initiative sets new priorities on improving energy efficiency in companies; source: BMWi/Maria Parussel

© BMWi/Maria Parussel

Support remains available in Germany for companies wishing to mitigate climate change and improve their energy efficiency. This was underlined at today's Berlin Energy Days by the partners in the "SME Initiative for the Energy Transition and Climate Change Mitigation", who also announced the extension of their joint programme. In future, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts wish to focus more on "operational mobility management" in companies. Companies are to be encouraged to consider the use of low-consumption and environmentally friendly alternatives, e.g. in their vehicle fleet.

Other key projects up to the end of 2018 include efforts to bring higher education institutions closer together with businesses by deploying students as innovation assistants, and the development of an "Energy Book" for the skilled craft sector as an instrument for the systematic recording and compilation of operational energy data. Successful employee motivation services and the energy scout training courses are to be expanded.

Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks said: "In addition to its familiar roadshows and service office, the SME Initiative now offers increased support with employee motivation. This is an important and correct new focus. After all, companies will only be able to improve their climate footprint if the workforce is on board."

Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, said: "The SME Initiative for the Energy Transition and Climate Change Mitigation targets companies - in particular SMEs - and helps to make them more aware of the issue of energy efficiency. During the first phase of the project, we reached out to a large number of companies and were able to gain valuable experience. This is a good basis upon which to roll out this initiative to the vast majority of skilled crafts businesses and companies and tell them about the wide range of measures the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is offering to support them as they go about implementing the energy transition".

Thomas Zimmer, Vice-President of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, said: "The SME Initiative helps to motivate managers of skilled craft businesses to improve their operational energy efficiency. I particularly welcome the fact that we are continuing and expanding the skilled-crafts-related concept of efficiency and transfer workshops. It is also important to include the issue of mobility as we continue this successful project. We want to raise awareness of this in the companies so that they will invest in technologies that conserve resources and save costs. Energy efficiency is not only good for the climate, but also good for corporate finances."

Further information about the initiative is available online at