CONFESS strives to develop a certification system specifically tailored for clean energy SMEs. This system will be build upon the foundation of the EU Taxonomy while also incorporating additional advanced energy-related metrics. The ultimate goal is to accurately assess and determine the environmental sustainability of these SMEs.

Aim & Background

CONFESS - Certification of clean energy SMEs

Financial institutions are increasingly compelled by the evolving regulation in sustainable finance and have a growing demand for easily accessible and reliable information on sustainability-related aspects of companies. To establish a common understanding among companies, investors and policymakers regarding environmentally sustainability, the European Commission has introduced the EU taxonomy – a comprehensive classification system for sustainable economic activities across the EU. Under the Taxonomy Regulation, large companies and financial institutions are required to disclose the proportion of their activities aligned with the taxonomy, if their financial products promote environmental or social characteristics or have sustainable investment as their objective. However, applying the EU taxonomy to sustainable investments involving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) poses a significant challenge for European banks. The available data on SMEs, whether from the companies themselves or from independent sources, is often limited and insufficient for a comprehensive assessment using the EU Taxonomy. Addressing this challenge is the primary objective of the CONFESS (Certification of Clean Energy SMEs) project. By developing a certification system specifically tailored for clean energy SMEs based on the EU Taxonomy, the project aims to enhance access to sustainable financing for these SMEs. The goal is to establish the certification system as a widely adopted tool for financial market participants in the EU, enabling them to assess the sustainability of their energy investments, and fostering the growth of sustainable energy investments. To ensure the affordability and feasibility of the certification system for SMEs while providing investors with the essential information, close collaboration and pilot testing will be conducted with various financial institutions, certification bodies, and relevant SMEs from the pilot regions Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.

CONFESS - clean energy certification for SMEs

Project Activities


We actively engage with clean energy SMEs and stakeholders in the finance sector to gain insights into their specific needs regarding a taxonomy-based sustainability certification. Through this engagement, we aim to identify possible any activities that are not yet aligned with the EU Taxonomy but should be included in the certification.


We conduct an in-depth analysis of the core activities of clean energy SMEs to obtain a comprehensive overview and accurate assessment of their alignment with the EU Taxonomy. Additionally, we evaluate the current status of sustainability reporting of SMEs to develop robust criteria for the certification.


Our research focuses on understanding the requirements of financial institutions when it comes to screening SMEs in the clean energy sector, as well as the needs of SMEs concerning the diclosure of their sustainability information. This baseline research will provide valuable insights to inform our certification framework.

Clean Energy Certification

Our project aims to develop a certification specifically tailored for celan energy SMEs based on the EU Taxonomy. We will outline strategies to expand the coverage of the certification's and assess the feasibility of replicating the scheme in other EU countries, ensuring its relevance and applicability beyond the inital scope.

Our Objectives

The objective is to establish a certification system as a widely adopted tool for financial market participants in the EU, enabling them to assess the sustainability of their energy investments.

Assess the environmental sustainability of SMEs based on the EU Taxonomy, providing a standardized framework for evaluation.

Evaluate the environmental sustainability of SMEs using additional advanced energy-related metrics, ensuring a comprehensive assessment beyond the current EU Taxonomy criteria.

Develop a standardized tool for data collection and verification, streamlining the process and ensuring consistency and reliability in sustainability assessments.

Create a harmonized clean energy certification system that caters to the specific needs of SMEs and financial stakeholders, facilitating accessibility and promoting widespread adoption within the industry.

Participation & Endorsment

Are you interested in participating in this exciting project and supporting us in achieving our objectives?

Take part in facilitating access to sustainable finance for your SME and others by providing your expertise to help us develop the first EU Taxonomy-based sustainability certificate for clean energy SMEs. Your participation will allow you shape the certification process and the certificate according to your specific needs. Additionally, you can also participate in piloting, if you’re interested. By joining us, you will make a valuable contribution to the development of a user-friendly certification process that is particularly suitable for SMEs. This presents a unique opportunity to influence the future of sustainable finance and gain a competitive advantage for your company.

Make a contribution to establish industry standards for EU Taxonomy-enabled financing by lending your expertise. By participating, you can share your knowledge and insights to help develop the first sustainability certificate for clean energy SMEs and actively shape the resulting certification scheme.
This offers a unique opportunity to shape the future of sustainable finance and create a competitive advantage for your institution.

Our endorsers

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