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Shaping a sustainable industry: conclusions from round table meetings

Panel: 1. Policies and Programmes to drive transformation

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Erwin Cornelis, (Privé), Belgium
Karlis Goldstein, European Commission, Belgium


At the 2018 European Sustainable Energy Week, the European Commission announced the launch of a series of round table meetings with the industry. Their purpose was to identify barriers to energy efficiency and renewable technology uptake in the EU in terms of policy, finance, sector coupling and awareness, and the solutions needed at the local, national and EU level.

The food and beverage sector was targeted due to its relevance for all EU Member States, diversity in size and composition, and share of SMEs that are less often targeted by energy efficiency and renewable energy policies.

A series of four meetings were organised in 2018–2019 and discussed 1) barriers to energy efficiency and renewable energy investments experienced by companies; 2) key success factors of national policies to overcome these barriers; 3) the motivation of some corporate companies to commit to sustainable and climate action, and 4) how their work relates to the EU strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050.

These discussions revealed that a common denominator: the commitment of the top management to climate action is a key driver to overcome the various barriers within the company. Policies and measures are effective to stimulate less committed companies to action and create the necessary context. Companies see themselves as a step in a broader value chain for de- 1. Disclaimer: All views in this article reflect the views of the author(s) and do not represent the views of the European Commission. carbonisation where energy efficiency and renewable energy must be a part of product and process redesign. Hence, policy makers must consider supportive, prescriptive and economic measures when designing policies stimulating the decarbonisation of the industry. The paper concludes with policy recommendations at EU level.

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