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Best practices

VACO2R: Voluntary Agreements for CO2 Reductions




An efficient tool to reduce energy consumption in companies

The objective of VACO2R is to get local Small and Mediumsized Enterprises involved in energy savings and CO2 reductions. Voluntary Agreements are an efficient tool for businesses to reduce CO2 emissions and to implement agreements between local authorities and business.

An "Empowerment tool" to implement Voluntary Agreements is available on the web, for interested organisations and companies – see contacts below.

The partners have also set up a report of best practices in implementation of public-private Voluntary Agreements.

Training and Voluntary Agreements – a way to reduce costs in companies


The partners have involved a number of companies in training activities that have been developed to match the companies’ needs. They have carried out around 150 energy audits of SMEs and 150 companies have set up their own Action Plan containing measures to optimise its energy use.

Due to the economic crisis, companies in general are less motivated to undertake new initiatives. However, some enterprises became interested in audits as a way to reduce costs.

Following the technical audit, around 60 companies signed up to Voluntary Agreements with their public administration.

The partners have developed “Low Carbon Business Labels” at different levels (Basic, Medium and High) to implement at local level.

Local networks to commit companies

The project has contributed to a Low Carbon Economy by creating a network of local companies committed in reducing their carbon emissions by Voluntary Agreements. The involvement of more than 1.200 persons (employees and SME´s managers) has been one of the key results of the project. A special effort has been put on empowering young entrepreneurs as they have been identified as a crucial target to promote eco-innovation and low carbon business.

Economic development and technical assessments in a joint effort

The results of VACO2R are successful mainly because of the approach at local level: In each local area/ region (except Bologna province) two partners, having complementary profiles, developed joint activities. One participant was in charge of economic and local development (the Chamber of Commerce or the Municipality) to promote the initiative and attract enterprises, and the other participant was in charge of the technical assessment and development (an Energy Agency or similar).


Oviedo Chamber of Commerce, Yolanda Corrochano, ycorrochano@camara-ovi.es

FAEN: Maria Rodriguez, miren@faen.es

Municipality of Odense: Carsten Jespersen, caej@odense.dk

Environmental Forum Fyn: Mogens Michael Møller, mmm@udviklingfyn.dk

Province of Bologna: Valentina Beltrane, valentina.beltrane@provincia.bologna.it

SP Energy Technology Research: www.sp.se

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