“We need to ensure that all schemes and incentives being proposed are attractive enough for effective take-up. There are a number of good schemes and incentives, but like in everything else, there is always room for improvement. I believe that it is time to revisit the model, the frame of mind, certain thinking and certain practices opted for to date,” continued the CEO.
Key Recommendations for More Effective Sustainability Funding Schemes & Incentives:
1. A simplified application process
2. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork
3. Move away from one size fits all schemes to schemes which are more sector specific
4. Implement a faster disbursement process is implemented
5. Introduce pro rata disbursements tied to clear milestones and/or deliverables
6. Appoint a reference/contact person who is well versed and easily accessible
7. More cash grants as opposed to tax credits where possible
8. Increase in % support particularly on initial capital outlay
9. More support schemes that address the limitations imposed by de minimis criteria
10. More support schemes for large companies employing over 250 employees
11. Move away from tying the amount of aid solely to increase in turnover and employee take-in in the first year's post investment, particularly in projects focusing on digitalisation and sustainability
12. Focus on environmental systems/solutions and their overall net environmental benefit rather than standalone products.
Dr Portelli concluded by congratulating all those businesses that took a proactive approach and invested in sustainable efforts, particularly those that invested during peak Covid times.