Companies wishing to finance projects through Spanish recovery plans linked to Next Generation EU funds may be required to validate that such projects comply with the DNSH principle through an ENAC accredited entity.

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What is the DNSH principle


DNSH stands for "do not significant harm", and gives its name to a principle that, if required by the grant applicant, must be complied with by projects that aspire to be financed with European funds earmarked for recovery after COVID-19.  

The DNSH principle obliges companies to carry out a self-assessment to ensure that the projects submitted do not negatively affect any of the 6 environmental objectives defined in Regulation 852/2020: 

  • Climate change mitigation. 
  • Adaptation to climate change. 
  • Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources. 
  • Circular economy, including waste prevention and recycling. 
  • Prevention and control of pollution to air, water or soil. 
  • Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. 




When applying for aid that requires validation of the self-assessment of compliance with the DNSH principle, companies must prepare, for each project: 

  • The descriptive report explaining the nature of the project, its objectives, the investments required.... 
  • The self-assessment of compliance with the DNSH principle for each of the environmental objectives included in the project. 

Occasionally, public administrations may require the self-assessment carried out by the company to be third party validated, in order to verify the conclusions of the self-assessment and guarantee that these have a solid technical basis and are reasonable. 


Applus+ Certification has been accredited by ENAC to carry out the validation of the DNSH self-assessment of the activities of any project, helping companies to obtain public funding.  





The validation of the self-assessment of the DNSH principle may be a requirement when applying for funds articulated through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), which is Spain's strategy for channelling Next Generation EU funds earmarked by Europe to repair the damage caused by COVID-19.  

It may also be required for other lines of aid to companies where the administration, state agency or aid management body requires applicants to demonstrate that their projects will not cause significant harm to the environment: 

  • Aid from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 
  • Support from CDTI funding lines, such as LCA or LIC. 

Spain will receive a total of approximately 140 billion € until 2026, of which 60 billion € will correspond to non-refundable transfers and 80 billion € to loans. 

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