Short-term positive environmental impacts of the pandemic should be followed by long-term systemic changes in economic habits.
On April 22, people around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year. In a year that is marked by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the close relationship between the health of people and planet has become more and more obvious. As stated in UN’s message for the day, “climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.” 
As several countries have enforced social-distancing measures and closure of non-essential businesses due to the pandemic, news about the positive impact of the coronavirus on the environment spread. Clearer air in China’s skies, cleaner water in Venice’s canals have made people hopeful. But, as stated by the head of the UN Environment Program, Inger Andersen, “visible, positive impacts are but temporary, because they come on the back of tragic economic slowdown and human distress.” 
For a long-term positive environmental change, a systemic shift towards green economy should be aimed at and all types of businesses, including SMEs, should be included in the movement. The European Green Deal, ‘roadmap for making EU’s economy sustainable’, appears to be a good practice example that is to provide people and organizations with information and various support tools [Read More].
In our project, GT4SME, one of our objectives is to learn more about the European Green Deal and to contribute to the support of SMEs in getting engaged with it.