UK/NI: Ards Borough Council; Armagh City & District Council; Antrim Borough Council; Banbridge District Council; Craigavon Borough Council; Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council; Down District Council; Newry & Mourne District Council; North Down Borough Council
IE: Cavan County Council; Louth County Council; Meath County Council; Monaghan County Council
Type of project partners
Regional government units
Size (total budget including EU grants)
Over € 500,000
Competitiveness, business and SME development, trade and investment
Environmental protection, climate change and risk prevention
Keywords (Types of Activities)
Marketing, promotional activities, awareness campaigns
Keywords (Aspects of Good Practice)
Genuine cross-border dimension
Genuine cross-border impact
The project engages with businesses across 13 local authority areas in the border regions between Ireland (IE) and Northern Ireland (UK) with the aim of helping them to identify and achieve cost savings in energy, waste and water.
The project invites businesses to join the STEM project. These must meet criteria such as to be located within the boundaries of one of the 13 participating local authority areas and be an SME with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50 million.
Businesses who sign up to the STEM Project can choose one of two options – Savings or Systems:
under the Savings option each business is assigned a designated Environmental Officer who helps identify cost savings in the areas of energy, waste and water consumption.
under the Systems option the process of implementing an Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is project managed by the STEM Team right through to the audit stage. The STEM Project have appointed an independent audit company to audit the system – whether it is ISO 14001, BS8 555, Origin Green and Envirocert – and will also support the financial cost of the audit in the first year.
Regardless of which option a business chooses it will receive up to 5 days site specific support from a dedicated Environmental Officer, as well as access to a range of networking events.
The STEM Project has assisted over 300 local businesses in the cross-border region, greatly exceeding the original estimate of 220, and collectively saving them €664,000 per annum. Eighty percent of these businesses stated that they were now more competitive as a result of participating in the STEM Project and 35% were now able to access new markets.
The project’s support for the implementation of a quality management system, including the adoption of an environmental management system (EMS), has fostered an environmentally and economically sustainable enterprise culture in the cross-border region. As a result:
trade barriers that existed due to lack of such quality systems have now been significantly reduced, and
savings have been achieved in monetary terms as well as in environmental costs.
Aspects of good practice
This project (STEM II) built on the success of its predecessor (STEM I) which attracted a large number of distinctions and awards in the 2004-2008 period.
The STEM project has demostrated cross-border good practice of an examplary nature being a wholly integrated cross-border operation, and has achieved tangible benefits which are sustainable in the longer term, in both the economic and environmental spheres.
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