EU project bids to boost sustainability in packaging and processing SMEs

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainability Environment Recycling

EU project bids to boost sustainability in packaging and processing SMEs
A free online course that aims to increase environmental awareness in the food and drink sectors could help processing and packaging SMEs save money and boost their green credentials, said the body championing the initiative.

The UK’s Environmental Academy is leading the European Union-funded project, which is bidding to produce a step-change in behavior by food and drink players in their approach to environmental issues.

Financial and reputational benefits

The six-hour course, which can be completed from the workplace, is being rolled out in the UK, Germany, Spain and Slovenia.

The EA is coordinating the scheme in conjunction with partner organisations across Europe - including Spanish body Ainia, the isw Institut and Bildungsinstitut Pscherer, both in Germany, along with the Slovenia-based Center razvoja človeških virov Slov.

The aims of the project include helping small and medium enterprises (SME) improve their business resource efficiency, create a more environmentally aware workforce as well as build a more sustainable industry, environmental consultant Sian Hepworth told

“The course examines such issues as resource and waste management, as well as looking at water use and life cycle topics,”​ she added: “It provides tips and techniques for environmental management that can not only improve good practice but also lead to financial benefits for the company.”

The material covers a raft of topics ranging from fundamentals such as basic switch-off practices to looking at waste management policies and thinking about what can be done in individual firms to eliminate waste and recycle.

“Firms can save money by implementing the principles covered in the course but it also shows that a company is prepared to invest in its workforce on environmental issues,”​ said Hepworth. "Demonstrating such a commitment can have reputational benefits and may even lead to new business.”

Multi-lingual course

The course has been developed in English, Spanish, German and Slovenian and is now being trialled by food and drink companies in each of the partner countries. EA said it was looking for more companies to trial the course and provide feedback on the content and format.

Any company in the food and drink industry that employs between 2-249 staff can take part in this project. Learners that complete the course will obtain a nationally recognised qualification and a certificate upon completion.

To find out more contact Sian Hepworth at the Environmental Academy on +44(0)191 495 6248 or email before the 24 February 2012.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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1 comment

Course Trial

Posted by Brenda Sambrook,

This course sounds incredibly interesting. I note the course is done online. Is it possible for a small table olive and oil producer company located in Australia to participate.

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