The V convening for the Green Growth Program, an initiative of the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) in conjunction with strategic partners such as the Costa Rica Foundation – United States of America for Cooperation (CRUSA), and the Inter-American Bank Development (IDB); selected 36 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that have already started a process of green productive transformation.
This program promotes the development of projects such as environmental certifications and innovations of processes and products that seek energy efficiency, promotion of renewable energies, the reduction of emissions, and the use of water and integrated waste management. The winning companies will obtain financing of up to 80% of non-reimbursable funds for the development of their project, thanks to the support of the CRUSA Foundation and the IDB.
Of the 36 companies chosen, 44% are in rural areas of the country, 58% are exporters and 42% have export potential. Also, 53% of SMEs are led by women, and by the sector, they are segmented as follows: 53% from the food industry, 28% from the agricultural sector, 14% from specialized industry, and 5% from the service sector.
Duayner Salas, Minister in the office of Foreign Trade and President a.i. PROCOMER noted: “through Green Growth we seek to make national companies more productive and sustainable, which reinforces the country’s position as a benchmark in the highly diversified exportable offer, differentiated, moreover, friendly to the environment and in line with trends in international markets. I celebrate the program that allows new opportunities for Costa Rican companies that will continue to position the country and demonstrate that in Costa Rica business is generated with a positive purpose”.
For his part, Pedro Beirute, General Manager of PROCOMER, added that the Green Growth Program is a fundamental tool for small and medium-sized companies in the country to have a differentiator in their products. “Consumers are being increasingly demanding, sophisticated, and have preferences for goods that have a positive impact on the environment, for this reason, we must give them products that meet these standards and show those differentiating aspects of our country and our exportable offer” he commented.
“The Green Growth Platform is an extraordinary opportunity for our SMEs. In times of so much uncertainty and economic crisis, innovation and productive reconversion are not easy, therefore, we celebrate that a new generation of companies joins the program so that it can continue to grow, innovate and reach international markets”, stated Flora Montealegre, Executive Delegate of the CRUSA Foundation.
The head of the IDB’s Trade and Investment Division, Jaime Granados, highlighted the positive impact that this type of project has on the country’s economic development. “Through the Green Growth project, the IDB rewards and recognizes the innovative and creative ideas of Costa Rican SMEs, whose solutions impact the competitiveness and sustainability of the companies themselves and the country. We want to continue supporting Costa Rica on an issue that we consider key: the sustainable and green development of the productive sector”, he said.
The projects that these SMEs raised in the announcement dealt with the following categories:
1. Obtaining certifications, in which up to $ 10,000 of support in non-reimbursable funds will be provided.
2. Environmental innovation in processes or products, where SMEs will obtain up to $ 12 thousand of support in non-reimbursable funds.
3. Obtaining environmental certification and innovation in processes or products, which will grant up to $ 15 thousand in support of non-reimbursable funds?
After five editions, the Green Growth program has already chosen 188 companies that have been awarded nearly $ 2.4 million in non-reimbursable funds. Specifically in the first two editions of the contest, the companies have had savings associated with their improvement in productivity of $ 147 thousand, an environmental impact of 571 tons CO2 equivalent, and an increase in their exports of 31% on average.