Accelerating Small Business Participation in the Transition to a Carbon Neutral Economy

Defining a Manifesto for Massive Change

ONLINE: Tuesday November 24, 09.00 to 13.00 CEST

SMEs have a crucial role to play to achieve green transition goals.  Energy efficiency is only one of a range of measures that companies need to adopt. Often, it is not the best place for a small company to start its journey to carbon neutrality. For the vast majority of small companies, a business logic for adoption based on cost savings alone, will not provide sufficient motivation to change. Energy auditing is an important part of the adoption process.


These and related ideas were well received by a variety of project leaders who work on energy efficiency projects who insisted on the need to change the narrative around energy audits and re-invent the business of auditing.


The good news is that there are promising ways to move forward, and with the right steps it should be possible to move onto a whole new level of performance in terms of the support that SMEs need  to help them make the transition.


The Webconference

The purpose of this conference is to review the arguments that motivate the need to move beyond business-as-usual and outline a strategy that will enable SME adoption on a massive scale of the behaviors needed for a successful energy transition.



Join Zoom Meeting

09.00 to 09.15

Words of welcome and introduction to the INNOVEAS project


09.15 to 09.30

Lessons learned

by Gabriele QUINTI – K&I

09.30 to 10.00

The need for a new approach

by Patrick CREHAN – CKA

10.00 to 10.30

Seeing the energy transition through the eyes of SME management.

Panel moderated by Patrick CREHAN of CKA. Panel speakers: Clemens ROHDE of Fraunhofer Institute of technology and the Multi-Benefits project, and Mathieu CRIBELLIER of CO2 Logic.

10.30 to 11.00

Coffee Break

11.00 to 11.30

The city as a catalyst for business transformation.

Panel moderated by Bruno DELEPIERRE of Happonomy. Panel speakers: Jan AERTS, Programme facilitator, non-residential buildings for Leuven 2030 and Camille CALLENS, Project Manager of Brussels 30 30 30.

11.30 to 12.00

The challenge as seen by ESCOs, advisors and related service providers.

Panel moderated by Bruno DELEPIERRE of Happonomy. Panel speakers: Saïd EL KHADRAOUI, Special Adviser to the Foundation for European Progressive Studies on the Green Deal, former MEP, and Benjamin DE BRUYN, independent technical and legal expert on energy efficiency. 

12.00 to 12.30

The role of large companies working with their supply chains.

Panel moderated by Giacomo BIRAGHI of Confindustria Bergamo. Panel Speakers: Antonio DENTINI, Head of Global Procurement Governance and Suppliers Management of ENEL, and Paolo PERANI, Sustainability Manger for the ELDS Division of ABB.

12.30 to 12.40

Towards a “Manifesto for Massive Change”

by Patrick CREHAN – CKA

12.40 to 12.50

The need for a dedicated “alliance”

by Ilaria CAIRO – Confindustria Bergamo

12.50 to 13.00

Closing words


Jan Aerts

Jan Aerts holds a master in industrial science and environmental technology and started off his career with a great deal of first-hand experience in project engineering and durable solutions for waste water. After ten years as a sustainability expert and managing partner at Futureproofed, specialized in Life Cycle Assessment, Carbon footprinting and Climate Actions plans, he became staff member at KU Leuven where he continues his research into energy policies in construction.


Today he is the program facilitator for non-residential buildings, including SME’s, for Leuven 2030. Leuven 2030 is the internationally awarded climate initiative of the city of Leuven, selected by the European Commission as Europe’s most innovative city

Giacomo Biraghi

He leads the innovation area of Confindustria Bergamo.

International expert on urban strategies, graduated in Economics of Public Administration at Bocconi University in Milan and City Design and Social Sciences at the London School of Economics in London.

Specialist in the strategic management of projects in Italy and abroad for public administrations and local service companies (Territorial Plan of Milan, Cityprofile of Ciudad de Buenos Aires). For the Chamber of Commerce of Milan coordinates the Thematic Tables in view of Expo 2015. Member of the Commission of the Network of the actors of the Sharing Economy of the City of Milan and consultant to the foundation of the Milan Smart City association. Organizer TEDxPortaNuova and TEDx PiazzaCastelloLive. He writes on Centodieci. He was appointed as Digital media and PR of Expo 2015 S.p.A.

Sergio Bottiglioni

Engineer, expert on building physics and technologies for low-energy buildings. Coordinator of design team working on design simulations and monitoring of energy building performances, mechanical installations and environmental building control. Scientific responsible and Regular teacher in VET courses on Energy Performance of buildings and Experts on Energy management. From 2002 to 2014 he is teaching “energy performance design control” at the University of Bologna. He has covered the role of technical expert of national and international research programmes and projects on sustainability and energy efficiency both at EU and national level. Author of 30+ scientific publications and papers. Regional delegate of AICARR – National association on HVAC, associated of EU REHVA. Member of CIE technical Committee TC3.38 Tubular Daylight Guidance Systems.

Ilaria Cairo

She is a management engineer and works as Operations consultant in Servizi Confindustria Bergamo’s Innovation BU. She operate in various fields: Business process reengineering, Business Organization and layout re-design, New technologies adoption and managerial skills assessment. She took part in several European Projects on Industry 4.0 applications, energy efficiency and circular economy. She is involved in training courses and she lectures to students and SMEs in different engineering themes thanks also to the collaboration with universities, academies and post graduate technical specialization training schools.

Camille Callens

Camille holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and started off her career in the field of Sustainable & Urban Mobility working in Government Affairs for Europcar Mobility Group. She is currently working as an Environmental Advisor for the Brussels Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BECI), with a particular focus on Circular Economy, Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Mobility. She is accompanying start-ups, SME’s and corporate companies in their transition towards sustainable and circular business models in Brussels, while defending their interests at the political regional level through different mandates. In 2020, she became Project Manager of the 303030 – City Climate Challenge, an initiative collectively launched with more than 30 companies to reduce CO2 emissions in Brussels by at least 30% by 2030.

Patrick Crehan

Patrick is of Irish nationality. He lives in Brussels, and before that, in Dublin, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Tunis, and Algiers. He has B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph. D degrees in Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences and Mathematical Physics. After a post-doc career in Europe and Japan he joined the European Commission to manage an international research program in ICT.


In 1999 he founded CKA ( a management consulting company specialized in the management of research and innovation, growth, and development. He has extensive experience working in ICT, food and agriculture, energy, and textiles. He is known as an expert in the use of strategic foresight, primarily as a tool for change management. He has a wide range of experience advising managers and entrepreneurs as well as policy makers at national, regional, and sectorial level, on issues related to research and innovation, science, technology, education, and training. Most recently he is interested in business model innovation based on cooperatives, short food supply chains and the transition to a carbon neutral economy.

Mathieu Cribellier

Mathieu Cribellier is a civil engineer with over seven years of energy consulting experience at companies such as Climat Mundi and Ernst&Young, working on various cases related to energy renewables, climate change and sustainability services. He has worked on behalf of the French Ministry of Sustainable Development and the French Ministry of Economy and Finance to assess the benefits of a national pilot project about products environmental labelling, has managed several collaborative approaches of SMEs to calculate their carbon footprint and was a corporate policy manager for the Eurofins group.


Nowadays he leverages his expertise as a project director at CO2logic to support organisations in their transition to a low carbon economy and lectured on climate/energy and life cycle assessment at renowned engineering schools in France (e.g. Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, AgroParisTech, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles Paris, École Centrale de Lille,…).

Benjamin De Bruyn

Benjamin is a construction engineer with a postgraduate Facility Management. He started to work in 2006 as a Project Manager for Renotec NV and joined the Real Estate department of Decathlon Benelux as Maintenance and Energy Manager in 2009.
In 2013 he started at Factor4 where he was responsible for the (market) facilitation of EPC-projects and R&D for several EU projects regarding innovative business models and quality management. Now he works for the knowledge institution Pixii, which he combines with hiswork for several courts of justice as a judicial expert in construction related conflicts.

Bruno Delepierre

Born and raised in Belgium, living in Leuven he has a triple master degree in corporate law, management and international business economics. Bruno started his career at the United Nations, then transferred to the international management consulting group Accenture, only to start his first own venture, an international digital agency, age 26.


During that period Bruno saw the good, bad and ugly of traditional business. That is why at age 33 he decided he wanted to contribute to a more sustainable, value-driven way of doing business, starting Happonomy, an international network organisation which develops solutions for sustainable transformation in order to improve our quality of life. Today, age 40, Bruno is currently enrolled in the behavioral economics PhD programme at KU Leuven, member of the European Innovation Council and talent scout for MIT. At Happonomy he is working on various projects in the field of monetary innovation, sustainable work and carbon neutrality.

Antonio Dentini

Current position: Enel, Head of Global Procurement Governance and Suppliers Management. Covered several roles of responsibility before the current one, as Head of Health and Safety, and back in power generation and engineering and construction sectors, in the development of large power projects and the evaluation of power investments and industrial assets. He works and lives in Rome with his family.

Said El Khadraoui

Said El Khadraoui holds a Master’s degree in history, international relations and an executive MBA. He has over 20 years of professional and policy experience including more than 15 years at the European level. As a former Member of European Parliament and sustainable development adviser at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the European Commission’s in-house think tank, he builds on extensive knowledge in areas core to the European Green Deal: mobility and its links with energy, sustainable finance, and sustainable development more generally.


Today, At Impact Lab, his start-up, Said provides strategic and policy advice to help organisations navigate amidst ongoing disruptive changs. He is also a Special Adviser to the Foundation for European Progressive Studies on the Green Deal and a Fellow at the KULeuven Institute for Public Governance.

Paolo Perani

Paolo Perani is currently the Sustainability Manager for the ELDS Division of ABB, as well as the responsible of the Italian ABB University Team and one of the members of the Nuclear Experts Team. Paolo joined ABB in 1993 and his career developed in Italy, South Africa and in the Middle East, where he held several managerial positions in Marketing & Sales of low and medium voltage products and systems.

In 2005 he became the responsible of the medium voltage switchgear factory in Dalmine, gaining considerable experience in engineering, project management, production and product development.

In 2015, given his passion for future technological trends, Paolo developed the Smart Lab.  In 2019 Paolo completed the carbon footprint of one ABB factory, and in 2020 completed the carbon footprint of all the ELDS factories around to world and is currently concentrating on products footprint assessments.

Gabriele Quinti

Socio-economist and statistical methodologist; he has carried out, in the last 40 years, numerous activities (especially in Europe, West and Central Africa, Central America and MERCOSUR), involving studies and research, evaluation/assessment and scenarios’ setting, and institutional and capacity building, Team leader or team member in many H2020, FP7 or FP6 projects, among other on societal issues in the energy sector, such as: ENTRANCES (ENergy TRANsitions from Coal and carbon: Effects on Societies); MILESECURE 2050; amd PACT (Pathways to Carbon Transition).


He is currently leading the K&I team for the project SMARTEES -Social innovation ModellingApproaches to Realizing Transition to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability; and for the project INNOVEAS -INNOVating the uptake of Energy Auditing Schemes for SMEs.


He has been working for many years with different research organisations and has collaborated in numerous occasions with different United Nations agencies (UNDP, WMO, WHO, UNOPS, FAO, IFAD, UN-Habitat, ILO, UNV, UN-DESA), international financial institutions (World Bank and IADB) and other international organizations, as well as with the European Union.

Clemens Rohde

Clemens Rohde is head of the Energy Efficiency business unit in the Competence Center Energy Technologies and Energy Systems at Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI since 2012. Since September 2010 he is a researcher and project manager there. Since July 2020 he has also been deputy head of the Competence Center Energy Technologies and Energy Systems. He is a lecturer for Energy and Resource Efficiency at Technical University of Darmstadt. His areas of research include the development and evaluation of instruments for improving energy efficiency in the household, commercial and industrial sectors and the assessment and analysis of energy efficiency measures in these sectors. Questions of financing and evaluation of multiple benefits of energy efficiency are another research focus.He studied civil engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, where he graduated in 2002.


Subsequently, he worked as a researcher in national and international research projects at the Department of Waste Management at the Technical University of Darmstadt until 2007. His work focused on waste management and technology as well as life cycle assessment in product development and waste management. In 2007 he received his doctorate in engineering. He then worked for three years as a dean’s assistant at the Department of Civil Engineering and Geodesy at Technical University of Darmstadt.

Luisa Sileni

Degree in political science in complex business organization. Senior Expert in training activity management and implementation of training courses for specialization and professional development, related to construction sector, energy efficient buildings, sustainable building. Expertise in the development of training activities and enhancing business growth and qualification, extensive experience on the needs of SMEs operating in the building sector.