OECD Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum

Session 3: Digital technologies for the green transition of SMEs

Nov 21, 2023 | 3:15 PM - 4:30 PM


The green digital transition creates both opportunities and challenges for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Digitalisation can open-up new business opportunities by enabling low-carbon and circular business models, such as a sharing economy and online markets for second-hand or repaired products, and improving product life-cycle traceability. However, SMEs often face barriers to the adoption of green and digital technologies, such as lack of skills and access to finance. Furthermore, while the administrative burden of sustainability reporting requirements imposed on larger firms often trickle down supply chains to SMEs, digital technologies may help to automatise some of the reporting. This session discussed the role that digital technologies can play in driving a circular, low-carbon economy transition in SMEs, key challenges that hinder their adoption and possible policy solutions. The role of innovative start-ups in the green and digital areas, and how to promote their scale-up, was also discussed.

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Session 3 - Key resources


Financing SMEs for Sustainability: Drivers, Constraints and Policies

Digitalisation is having a profound impact on social and economic activity. While often benefiting from a very long history of public investment in R&D, digitalisation has been largely driven by the private sector. However, the combined adoption of new digital technologies, increased reliance upon new data sources, and use of advanced analytic methods hold significant potential to: i) improve the effectiveness and enforcement of public policies; ii) enable innovative policy design and impact evaluation, and; iii) expand citizen and stakeholder engagement in policy making and implementation.
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No Net Zero without SMEs: Exploring the Key Issues for Greening SMEs and Green Entrepreneurship

This paper discusses the importance of taking entrepreneurs and SMEs into account in climate and environmental policies. It analyses the drivers and barriers of green entrepreneurship and the greening of SMEs, and discusses policy options to support these objectives.
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