Hundreds of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Central Visayas region have adopted environment-friendly practices under a German-funded project.
The Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED) Project, a three-year project that will end this year, aims to help MSMEs adopt climate-smart and environment-friendly strategies by using the value chain approach.
As of end-2015, the project has benefited 458 enterprises in 78 provinces in seven regions, said Elpe P. Canoog, senior advisor for monitoring and evaluation.
Including the enterprises that have been covered so far this year, Canoog said the number of beneficiaries has increased to about 480.
The target is to cover all 18 regions in the country, but the project will wrap up this year, Canoog said.
To sustain it, she said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has pledged to continue the implementation and expand it to cover other regions during the recent planning session held in Cebu City.
“(Trade) Undersecretary (Zenaida) Maglaya has pledged that DTI will take over the project and integrate all the greening strategies (under the project) in DTI’s advocacy,” Canoog said in an interview.
Before the project ends, however, Canoog said they hope to cover five more regions.
The project helps MSMEs adopt any of seven “greening” strategies to improve their competitiveness, namely energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste management, supply chain management, transport management system, natural resource management and material efficiency.
Among the beneficiaries, Canoog said the top three choices were: energy efficiency, sourcing raw materials locally to minimize carbon footprint, and solid waste management.
“There are low-hanging fruits, mostly behavioral changes like changing regular bulbs to LED lights to conserve energy,” Canoog said.
In Central Visayas, the project was piloted in Cebu and Bohol provinces. It was expanded to include small enterprises in Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
Negros Oriental, which now forms part of Negros Island Region, was still part of Central Visayas region when the project started in January 2013.
Among the Cebu-based enterprises that have adopted “green” strategies under the project are Body & Sole, Cebu Bionic Builders, Cebu White Sands Resort, Dohera Hotel, Harold’s Hotel, Goldberry Suites and Parklane Hotel.
The project is a joint undertaking of the DTI Regional Operations Group and German cooperation agency GIZ.
By the end of October this year, the Cebu office will be closed. The Manila office will shut down a month later, or by end-November.