Riga, Latvia – Young entrepreneurs from Central Asia (CA) – finalists and winners of the International Green Business School (School) competition – visited Latvia for a week-long study tour on “Sustainable business practices: the Latvian experience”. 

The European Union (EU) has been supporting the School established at the Kazakh-German University (DKU) through the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation (WECOOP)” since 2020. The European experts have conducted training for the participants of the School in circular economy, sustainable consumption and production, renewable energy, waste management, water saving, as well as in development of essential business skills. 138 young entrepreneurs from all countries of Central Asia took part in the training during the last three years. 

The WECOOP Project organized this study tour with the aim to share the experience of Latvia on the path towards circular economy and to present successful examples of sustainable practices introduced and implemented by small and medium businesses. Latvia along with other EU countries aims to achieve the targets set in the framework of the European Green Deal. The country strives to transform the economy through increased use of renewable energy and balanced management of natural resources.

Addressing the participants, Mr Valts Vilnitis, WECOOP Team Leader, stated: “More and more young people across the world call for urgent environmental and climate action. To support young people in gaining business experience and developing skills necessary for a green and digital transition is our main purpose in organizing this study tour for the finalists of the Green Business School. We developed the programme in such a way as to meet the interests and needs of each participant. I hope this experience will inspire and motivate you to further develop your business projects and thus contribute to the sustainable future of your respective countries”.

It is noteworthy that the study tour is held during the European Year of Youth. The EU recognizes the importance of youth participation and initiatives in building greener, more inclusive and digital future and will continue sharing its expertise and financial resources to promote social and environmental entrepreneurships, especially among women and the youth.

During the study tour, the participants visited Riga Technical University Science and Innovation Centre, Cesis Municipality, as well as the companies Estonian, Latvian & Lithuanian Environment (ELLE), Balticovo, Getlini EKO, Salaspils Siltums, VEFRESH. They gained new knowledge and insights in eco-innovation, smarter product design, waste prevention and sustainable use and reuse of resources.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to April 2023) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

For additional information, please contact Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova, Senior Communication Expert, WECOOP, e-mail: media@wecoop.eu, mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020, Mrs Nurgul Smagulova-Dulic, Event and Communication Officer, WECOOP, e-mail: nurgul.smagulova@wecoop.eu, mobile/WhatsApp: +77012066760, or EU Delegation to Kazakhstan: delegation-kazakhstan-pic@eeas.europa.eu.