Improving SME Competitiveness: Resource Efficiency

Partners: Department for Communities and Local Government and International Synergies


International Synergies successfully delivered a five-year project in the West Midlands region of the UK helping SME businesses to cut costs and emissions by making better use of their resources.

Investment for the project came from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund and was administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government. International Synergies worked closely with over 235 SMEs in the region during the lifespan of the project; reducing costs and improving commercial competitiveness by identifying resource efficient practices and opportunities to recover and reuse or trade underused or undervalued resource streams (often referred to as industrial symbiosis).

Throughout the project International Synergies provided a range of business support services to West Midlands based SMEs, including:

  • Site visits to identify and characterise waste resources generated, raw material inputs required and to understand where significant cost savings could be achieved;
  • Setting up and facilitating opportunities to recover and reuse materials arising from operating sites and projects;
  • Running resource efficiency seminars to demonstrate the benefits of process mapping and other advanced waste auditing techniques;
  • Identifying new business opportunities for SMEs at Resources Matching Workshop so underused or discarded resource streams from one company can be reused elsewhere in the industrial network of companies.


Number of businesses assisted: 239

Jobs created: 122

Jobs Safeguarded: 229

CO2 reduction: 738,000 tonnes equivalent