L-R: Claude Turmes, Minister for Energy; Joëlle Welfring, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development; Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy; Lex Delles, Minister for SMEs; Annick Goerens, moderator; Credit: SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen

Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, the Minister for Energy, Claude Turmes, and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Joëlle Welfring, launched the "Climate Pact for Businesses" (Klimapakt fir Betriber) earlier this week.

As part of this government initiative, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, the Ministry of the Economy, the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, with the support of the Klima-Agence and Luxinnovation, have agreed to support businesses in the areas of decarbonisation and the energy transition through a structured and coordinated approach facilitating the recourse to different initiatives, programmes, accompaniments and financial aid.

The Climate Pact for Businesses is designed in the form of a common strategic orientation platform allowing the coordination and coordinated implementation of projects in favour of this common objective. According to the respective ministries, this approach offers businesses attractive and easily accessible support in terms of guidance through advice, the provision of a toolbox, co-financing of investments and contact with key actors and companies.

The particular focus of this programme is on the search for relevant solutions and the establishment of a relationship between companies and suppliers of solutions in the areas of decarbonisation and the ecological transition. These suppliers can be private companies and study offices or even research actors, depending on the specific needs of the company.

In order to respond to the needs expressed particularly by the craft sector to develop and to offer a catalogue of standardised measures, the Klima-Agence and Luxinnovation, together with other actors concerned, will develop innovative solutions and identify good practices taking into account the specific needs relevant to the manufacturing process of certain handicrafts. The main objective is to value the skills available among the different actors involved in a structured and neutral manner allowing companies to be guided towards the relevant contact points.

In order to meet the challenge of the transition to renewable energies for companies located in the same area, pilot projects will be carried out to set up decentralised systems of production, storage and self-consumption of energy in the areas of artisanal and industrial activities taking into account the specific needs of these types of companies.

There is an array of aid instruments and individual advice offers available to support companies working in favour of the common objective of reducing their carbon footprint.

Fit 4 Sustainability programme

Like the other digitalisation and innovation programmes for SMEs ("Fit 4" programmes), the new "Fit 4 Sustainability" programme launched by Luxinnovation allows companies to access external expertise for their projects in the areas of decarbonisation and the ecological transition as well as state co-financing to partially cover the cost of consultancy and possible investment costs.

In practice, this support and co-financing programme offers companies the opportunity to have an assessment of the environmental impact of their activities carried out, which will be supplemented by various recommendations to achieve the reduction of this environmental impact. The "Fit 4 Sustainability" programme is aimed at all companies, regardless of their size and their sector of activity. As each company has its own specificities, there will be a tailored solution for each company.

The "Fit 4 Sustainability" programme is also a gateway for companies to prepare more elaborate projects that may be eligible for state aid for environmental protection measures. The ministry of the Economy and Luxinnovation have published a simplified guide in German, French and English to explain how this aid works and the criteria.

SME Packages

The General Directorate for SMEs, with the support of the House of Entrepreneurship, offers, within the framework of the "SME Packages" scheme, €5,000 vouchers to SMEs in order to support them in terms of energy transition, digital transformation and optimisation of the customer relationship. The "SME Packages - Sustainability" option allows in particular to initiate and support companies in the sustainable transition through the implementation of a concrete solution to reduce the environmental impact around the following axes: energy, water, waste and carbon footprint. Approved energy advisers measure the company's carbon footprint and make recommendations for changes or investments to reduce the energy dependence and carbon footprint of the SME.

National mapping of sustainable transition facilitators

As part of its mission to produce maps of skills of interest to companies, Luxinnovation has produced a national map of the facilitators of sustainable transition. This "sustainability enabler mapping" aims to identify public or private actors in Luxembourg who offer solutions or services to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable economic fabric. Designed to evolve constantly, this mapping will eventually make it possible, on the one hand, to list and categorise these different players and, on the other hand, to assess all the solutions and services available (or missing) on the national market.

Tailor-made support tools from the Klima-Agence

The Klima-Agence, as a national energy and climate partner for individuals, municipalities, professionals and state institutions, manages programmes and makes available to different target groups support tools that are also relevant for businesses. Whether it is the national solar map, the connection tool for charging infrastructure projects pro-charging.lu, the list of planners for photovoltaic projects or the planning guide for charging infrastructure, the Klima-Agence will strengthen its portfolio of tools to facilitate the implementation of climate protection and energy transition projects.

Climate Pact for Businesses on tour

Based on its expertise in the management and continuous development of the Climate Pact for municipalities since 2013, the Klima-Agence facilitates the promotion of the Climate Pact for Businesses at the regional level by promoting synergies between the various initiatives. In consultation with the other partners, the Klima-Agence will organise a "roadshow" for companies in the spring in order to create decentralised discussion forums to promote the various instruments of this climate pact and to listen to the additional needs of companies in connection with the implementation of projects, particularly in terms of photovoltaic installations and charging infrastructures.

A steering committee supports the implementation of the Climate Pact for Businesses in order to carry out a strategic follow-up of the approach as well as to strengthen the collaboration and the close consultation of the partners around the theme of the energy transition and the decarbonisation of companies. In addition to the ministries concerned, this committee is made up of the following organisations: Luxinnovation, the Klima-Agence, the Fédération des Artisans, the FEDIL, the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Luxembourg Trade Confederation (clc).