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Yanez Potocnik
Janez Potočnik
Commissioner for the

Preserving our environment makes enormous economic, social and business sense and is essential for the future wellbeing of our planet. While environmental protection may sometimes appear to cost more in the short term, it pays dividends by improving our quality of life, stimulating our economies and creating jobs. The finalists in this year’s European Business Awards for the Environment clearly demonstrate that taking a green approach can make a major difference to their profitability and to our common good through innovative and sustainable eco-technologies and processes.

I am strongly committed to turning environmental protection into environmental value.
The Europe 2020 Strategy recently adopted by the Commission follows the same line of thought, recognizing that a better environment matters not only for the quality of life of citizens, but also for the economy. The strategy will help prepare businesses for the long-term challenges of resource efficiency and sustainable growth, and it will do this with economic incentives that promote true innovation and creativity.

Forty years of environmental legislation has brought Europe predictability and a level playing field for businesses. These same laws have boosted the uptake of new technologies in our homes and transport, increased the use of renewable energy, and made recycling part of our daily life. The challenge we face now is to manage our resources throughout their life cycle, in a sustainable fashion, and to reduce the environmental impact of their use.

The more we are aware of the real and inherent value of our environment, the more effectively we will combine economic, social and environmental goals. The companies involved in the EBAE are a key element in this – demonstrating clearly their innovative abilities and the economic sense of applying eco-technologies and processes.