While all businesses must adapt to their political, social and economic context and operate within regulatory and institutional constraints, green and circular economy businesses often face additional challenges such as establishing a secure foothold in the market, staying competitive with other businesses that do not internalize the costs of environmental and social responsibility, limited opportunities for building capacity on sustainable business practices, and access to financing.
Enhancing the enabling environment for green and circular businesses in the Mediterranean
One of the main action lines of MedWaves in SwitchMed is a process to formulate a set of regional measures to support the development of green and circular businesses and strengthen the demand for more sustainable products in the Mediterranean. It started at the end of 2019 (COP21) with an official request from the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to prepare such proposal.
In order to prepare the proposal of Regional Measures to be adopted at COP22 of the Barcelona Convention at the end of 2021, an in-depth analysis of the current situation in the region was conducted as well as a wide consultation process. As a result, MedWaves has made available a series of publications.
As a starting point for the stakeholder consultations, MedWaves has developed a set of preliminary regional policy recommendations. These are informed by the knowledge assets generated in the first phase of SwitchMed (available at the SwitchMed e-library), including lessons from the national events and consultations conducted (e.g. Synergy Workshops, Switchers Meet Investors,…), and by the priorities of the National Action Plans for SCP. The preliminary measures are also based on the results of two key MedWaves studies: a baseline assessment on enabling environments for green and circular economy businesses in the Mediterranean; and a selection of best practices from around the world on policy measures that foster the creation and development of these businesses.
As a complement to these measures, MedWaves also articulated criteria for the definition of green and circular businesses in the Mediterranean, to build a common understanding of the attributes that distinguish these businesses from traditional enterprises.
The preliminary regional summary of policy recommendations was the basis of the virtual stakeholder consultation that was organized during 2020 and 2021. The consultation targeted a broad set of stakeholders in the region representing businesses, governments, consumers and other civil society groups, regional institutions, the financial sector and academia, amongst others. The outcome of this consultation fed into the priority regional measures that will support the development of green and circular economy businesses and strengthen demand for more sustainable products.