Results from the EU-project NetworkNatureSteinbeis Europa Zentrum publishes business information package for companies with a focus on nature-based solutions

28. August 2023

Green roofs and façades in cities to regulate the climate through air purification and rainwater storage; protection and regeneration of soils and peatlands as carbon reservoirs to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or reforestation measures to protect and restore forests; these are all examples of nature-based solutions. There is a great diversity of ideas and topics, but there is still a lack of ways and measures to introduce them to the market.

A report by the European Commission - Investing in Nature based Solutions (June 2023) - sheds light on the financing of nature-based projects. It emphasizes that the majority of financing comes from European funds (62%), while the share of private financing is low (3%). Most projects are small, both in terms of the area converted and the investment costs. Four out of five projects require less than ten million euros, almost half even less than one million euros. In addition, nature-based solutions are still being implemented very slowly. The report sees the greatest investment potential for green solutions in the areas of water management, urban development, forestry and agriculture.

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is currently involved in three European projects to ensure that these solutions reach the market more quickly: NetworkNature, NetworkNature+ and Invest4Nature.

NetworkNature presents results

The NetworkNature project partners celebrated its conclusion with a conference in Brussels in June 2023. As one of the results, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has published an business information package for companies on nature-based solutions. The brochure introduces the different concepts of nature-based solutions and companies, presents business models and two examples of successful companies and outlines the business opportunities that exist for nature-based solutions. Finally, there are recommendations and tips on financing options, networks, policy and legislation.

As one of five project partners in NetworkNature, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum was responsible for supporting SMEs and Nature-Based Enterprises, among other things. In addition, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supported the collaboration of Horizon NbS projects in the area of financing and business models.

In order to stimulate processes of co-creation and internationalisation, training courses on business models were designed specifically for NbS and carried out with interested parties.

To the Brochure: Nature-based solutions Business information package | NetworkNature

Nature-based solutions a definition

The European Commission characterises nature-based solutions as initiatives inspired and reinforced by nature, offering cost-effectiveness, environmental, social, and economic advantages, and enhancing resilience. These solutions are tailored to local needs and resource-efficient, they integrate natural elements and processes into urban, landscape, and seascape environments, thereby promoting biodiversity.

They serve as measures for the protection and sustainable management and restoration of natural and modified ecosystems that effectively and adaptively address societal challenges while benefiting human well-being and biodiversity. (Source: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources)

Opportunities for social cohesion

Nature-based solutions (NbS) offer answers not only to environmental and climate challenges, but also to social cohesion and ultimately to the economy. One example of social cohesion is the design of green spaces in densely populated areas with community gardens where neighbours meet and get involved together. NbS can also make a major contribution to a nature-friendly economy. An economy that values and promotes nature is resilient and sustainable, for example in the field of tourism. damaged nature, on the other hand, results in losses, tourists stay away and revenue is lost.

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum will be involved in two further projects over the next four years


Steinbeis Europa Zentrum and the project partners have been continuing their efforts with the follow-up project to NetworkNature since the beginning of August 2023. The focus is on nature-based solutions that are in line with the EU's 2030 policy goals and EU missions. The project partners want to accelerate the implementation of nature-based solutions in science, business, policy and practice through up-scaling measures. Among other things, they will develop an interactive "map" of the NbS project landscape that provides an overview of topics, results and interrelationships. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum will take care of the exploitation of project results and further support KMUS and Nature-Based Enterprises and Horizon NbS project collaboration in the area of financing and business models.

NetworkNature+ - Scaling up nature-based solutions to achieve 2030 policy goals | NetworkNaturePLUS | Project | Fact sheet | HORIZON | CORDIS | European Commission (


The EU project INVEST4NATURE aims to contribute to the development of a market for nature-based solutions (NBS). 15 European partners from industry, academia, civil society and the public sector are working together to better understand the many benefits that nature-based solutions offer. The project focuses in particular on the economic valuation of nature-based solutions. This will facilitate the development of business models, which is important for both companies and, especially, investors.

As a project partner, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum coordinates the communication activities, the dissemination and exploitation of the project results and is responsible for the financial management of the whole project.

Attracting investments in nature-based solutions (INVEST4NATURE) - Steinbeis EN (

Brochure: Nature-based solutions Business information package | NetworkNature

EU Report: Investing in nature-based solutions (

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Dr. Victoria Blessing
Dr. Bettina Remmele
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Contact us!

Dr. Victoria Blessing
Dr. Bettina Remmele

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