Why have we chosen to focus on SMEs?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for around 99% of all companies, and account for nearly half of all value creation. SMEs provide jobs for a million people in Norway, and in some communities account for around 60% of local employment opportunities.

What´s the role of SMEs for sustainable development?
SMEs provide a vital bloodline to the Norwegian economy, and are important for local communities and societies across the country. A central principle of Agenda 2030 is that no-one should be left behind, and this includes SMEs. The potential for SME´s to play a key role in realising to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is huge. A good example of this is that SMEs are often more agile, closer to consumers and able to adapt more quickly to an ever-increasingly rapidly changing environment. Social entrepreneurs possess a more disruptive mindset, building their business around, new business models, innovative products and new partnerships. It is this ability to challenge business norms, and harness emerging technology to meet the needs of a new generation of consumers who are increasingly concerned with social and environmental issues, that places SMEs right in the centre of the sustainable development agenda. In the fall of 2019, the Norwegian government will publish its strategy for SMEs, and a central pillar of this strategy is to ensure that SMEs are part of the transition towards sustainable growth and economic development.

Do we see any emerging trends or changes in the industry?
With an increased focus on sustainability and circular economy across all levels of society, this also influences SMEs. The SDGs and sustainability are no longer seen as only challenges but also viewed as a source to opportunities and solutions. There are many possible “drivers” for sustainability in SMEs, such as agility in supply chains, as well as cost savings towards materials and reputation management.

Our expertise
In the Autumn of 2018 Pure conducted a pilot project, with support from the Norwegian Research Council, to better understand issues that can make it easier for SMEs to adopt a more strategic approach to sustainability. A number of issues were identified, including regulatory compliance and access to markets and capital. As part of the research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, Pure developed a simplified version of our work-model in liaison with participating companies. The model combines online tools and face-to-face coaching sessions by our in-house advisors. Our aim is to make sure that the opportunities presented in a low-carbon, green economy are made accessible to all businesses, no matter how small. We want to ensure that sustainable development is integrated at the core for all businesses, making them fit for the future.

Client References:

O. Mustad & Søn
Asker Produkter
Grete Roede
Ikuben (bedriftsklynge i Molde)
7 sterke ( bedriftsklynge i Kongsvinger)
Eyde (Bedriftsklynge Arendal)
Asker Næringsråd