HYDERABAD / AHMADABAD, India (1 December 2017) – In the first two of seven planned Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) financing training events, UNIDO, in collaboration with Ernst & Young (EY), delivered training for members of the Global Network for RECP (RECPnet) and industry stakeholders, to arm them with a keen understanding of – and the tools to address – the financial obstacles that Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and financial institutions face when looking to raise investments for RECP projects.
The interactive training took place over three days as part of the RECP Finance Work Stream of the Joint UNIDO-UNEP Programme on RECP in Developing and Transition Countries, which aims to promote innovative financing instruments for mainstreaming RECP into enterprise strategy planning by supporting government to develop policy and to create attractive financial investment conditions for the benefit of all stakeholders.
RECP is defined by UNIDO as promoting the efficient use of materials, water and energy by industries, commercial enterprises and other organizations, in addition to the minimization of their wastes, effluents and emissions, including greenhouse gases (GHG), while fostering the safe and responsible production of goods and services.
The first two workshops were held from 16 to 18 November 2017 in Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry, and from 20 to 22 November 2017 in Ahmadabad, in collaboration with the Gujarat Cleaner Production Centre.
The training brought together multiple national stakeholders including the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and more than 20 innovative Indian SMEs. Key players from the Indian finance and banking world also played a pivotal role in helping to deliver the training, with representatives from the Small Industries Development Bank of India and the State Bank of India conveying their expertise and perspectives to further enrich the event’s outcomes.
Over the course of three days, participants were given the tools to sharpen their financial literacy, with an emphasis placed on helping them to develop strong project proposals, improve the bankability of their work and interpret financial jargon. Participants were also given the skills to confidently engage in constructive dialogue with financial institutions and to identify the main sources of potential funding for their RECP projects.
The training was structured to also serve as an opportunity to showcase to finance-industry representatives the clear economic, environmental and social benefits of RECP projects. This was demonstrated through site visits to three companies implementing RECP solutions. Here, participants learned first-hand how the companies had evolved their activities from the conceptual stage through to implementation, as well as the various financial and logistical obstacles that they had to solve along the way.
Participants also used the event as a platform to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge, as well as network with a diverse range of representatives from different sectors. As such, numerous and specific collaboration opportunities were identified, with participants seizing the opportunity to secure assurances from government representatives, that the necessary policy frameworks would be put in place to engender industry confidence and correspondingly catalyze investment in RECP projects, and green industry innovation at large.
An additional outcome of the workshops, resulting from participant feedback on the critical need for detailed guidance on developing bankable project proposals with basic, yet rigorous data, is that UNIDO plans to develop a finance toolkit for use by RECPnet members and government ministries to help mobilize funding for local RECP projects.
Going into the near future, the outcomes from the training events in India will serve as a template which will be deployed in other countries around the world, to help bring finance and small-industry stakeholders together more frequently in the developing- and transition-country context. A planned global roll-out of the training will reach Colombia, China, South Africa and Tunisia in 2018.
RECPnet is a global network of leading RECP service providers launched by UNIDO and UN Environment dedicated to creating resilient manufacturing sectors in developing and transition economies through industrial upgrading based on RECP assessments.