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The EBAE Awards Ceremony – 2014/2015


Winners of the Product, Management and Biodiversity awards meet Commissioner Vella

On December 1, during the 17th Forum on Eco-innovation in Lyon, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, announced the five winners of European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE).

The winners were Eczacibasi Yapi Gerecleri (Turkey) for management; Daimler AG (Germany) for process; EcoNation (Belgium) for product and services; Interface Nederland BV (Netherlands) for international business cooperation; and Red Eléctrica de España (Spain) for business and biodiversity.

During the awards ceremony Commissioner Vella said that:

“To strengthen the European economy, businesses should strive to put eco-innovation at the heart of their business model and the five winners of EBAE are excellent examples of this. These businesses, both large and small, prove that environmental and business performance can go hand in hand.”


Watch the EBAE video playlist

The five winners, selected from a shortlist of 16 candidates from 10 different European countries, successfully combined innovation, competitiveness and outstanding environmental performance. 


Runners up in the International Cooperation and Management awards

The Management Award

VitrA, an Eczacıbaşı company, won the management award which goes to companies with outstanding strategic vision and management systems that enable them to continuously improve their contribution to sustainable development. The jury found that, thanks to the Blue Life Integrated Sustainability Management System project, the company had successfully integrated resource management across all its operations and adopted a sustainable retail practice model with high replication potential. In 2012 and 2013, the company saved 3.7 million m3 of natural gas and 7.2 thousand tons of raw material each year, as well as preventing 118 tons of CO2 emissions, saving the business almost € 4million.

The Process Award

Daimler AG won the process award for developing and applying a new production technology that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. The jury found that Daimler’s twin wire arc spraying (TWAS) technology, which is used to apply a thin iron-carbon coating to the inner surfaces of cylinders in aluminium crankcases, was an innovative contribution to the automotive sector. If TWAS is applied to all passenger vehicle combustion engines worldwide, it would save around 20.8 million litres of fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by 48 million tons.

The Product and Services Award

This award goes to a company that has developed a new product or related service that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development.EcoNation from Belgium was the winner for their Lighten the Energy Bill project, which features the ‘LightCatcher,’ the first active and intelligent daylight system in the world. The jury was impressed with the LightCatcher because it allows light fittings to be switched off for up to 3,650 hours per year. This has an eight times bigger impact on the environment than solar panels.

The International Business Cooperation Award

This award goes to a company that actively promotes the sharing of knowledge and technology in international cross-sector partnerships, which contribute to sustainable growth in developing countries. This year's winner is Interface Nederland BV for its project Net-Works. The jury selected the project because of its ambitious aim to tackle the growing global environmental problem of discarded fishing nets, providing socio-economic benefits to some of the world’s poorest coastal communities.  Every two kilos of nets buys one kilo of rice, providing two meals for a family of up to six people.

The Business and Biodiversity Award

Red Eléctrica de España won this Award by demonstrating their outstanding achievement in halting biodiversity loss and supporting natural ecosystems through its Birds and electricity transmission lines: mapping of flight paths project. This uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to integrate data about bird flight paths. The jury was impressed with the tool’s sensitivity maps that display the most current and relevant information about the bird-life of 44 species.

Download the EBAE 2014/15 Brochure. Watch the finalist videos. View the winner photos.


What’s trending – December 2014

6 top benefits of sustainable manufacturing



Success Paths to Sustainable Manufacturing, a study by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, found that ‘media visibility and sustainable development awards help build consumer trust and brand loyalty’.Researchers interviewed representatives of 12 companies, who talked of the sense of pride they have after their companies receive an award, which often ‘results in a renewed excitement to continue or do more work in sustainable manufacturing’.
 
The study found that companies pursue sustainable manufacturing for six main reasons:

  1. For economic gain.
  2. To show social commitment towards the community and stakeholders.
  3. To meet regulatory requirements and to use fewer resources and hazardous chemicals.
  4. To meet consumer expectations.
  5. To gain media recognition through.
  6. As a recruitment tool.


Water innovation - 3rd call for Action Groups: deadline 31 January 2015

The European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) aims to boost water innovation development in Europe and beyond; at its core are 25 Action Groups (AGs) which were accepted after two calls: http://www.eip-water.eu/working-groups/action-groups

They operate as voluntary multi-stakeholder groups and form the central element of EIP Water's implementation phase. Action Groups work with their partners to develop, test, scale up, disseminate and stimulate the uptake of innovations by the market and society for major water-related challenges.

The EIP Water's 3rd call has a specific focus; please see for full details the Guideline for Application. The deadline of the call is 31 January 2015.

Please find the call here: http://www.eip-water.eu/new-action-group-applications
In case of any questions you might have, please contact Mr. Sören Bauer ats.bauer@pr-audit.com.
 
Scottish businesses rewarded for green credentials

Gillian Bruce, VIBES Chair and Advice and Engagement Manager, SEPA, writes for the EBAE newsletter.

Scotland has secured half the UK entry slots to the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE). All six entries have obtained their places through first winning a Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Award and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Aquamarine Power and Windsave Ltd who won VIBES, then EBAE Awards in 2006 and 2012.

The VIBES Awards are managed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency(SEPA) and run in partnership with Scottish Government and its business support organisations. Scotland’s environmental regulator sees the award scheme as an important mechanism of encouraging business to go beyond compliance requirements, through demonstrating the economic benefits of environmental best practice.  Its robust judging procedure, which involves site visits from experts from the partner organisations, ensures all actions and achievements are verified before winners are selected.  Another important role of VIBES is to provide both advice to entrants on further improvement opportunities; and a signpost to free help that will assist them on their journey to environmental excellence and commitment to sustainable development.  Dissemination through the production of case studies and through showcasing winners’ achievements at the awards ceremony and other events, helps demonstrate the intrinsic links between environment, economy, innovation and the quality of life.

The 2014 VIBES Awards were held on 27th November in Glasgow.  Further information on the scheme can be found at www.vibes.org.uk.  

European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) Secretariat visit to Taipei, China - 1-3 October 2014


Ewa Bloch (centre) in Taipei
 
The EBAE Secretariat, represented by Ewa Bloch, was invited to take part in an expert panel meeting of the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) concerning the “Development of the Green Productivity Excellence Awards Framework”.  APO experts included members from China, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore and the Philippines.  The aim of the meeting was to bring together award administrators and experts to share best practice and lessons learned from their respective award programmes; and to help develop a standard framework for the new Green Productivity Excellence Awards.

The mission of APO, a regional intergovernmental organization, is to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of Asia and the Pacific through enhancing productivity. The organisation’s three strategic objectives are to promote green productivity; generate innovation-led productivity growth; and to strengthen & promote the development of SMEs and communities.

The APO has implemented a number of projects and supporting initiatives in member countries to promote the adoption of Green Productivity (GP) as an approach to achieving sustainable development. In order to enhance awareness, the APO-designated Centre of Excellence on Green Productivity (COE GP) in the Republic of China decided to explore existing award mechanisms (that could be replicated among APO member countries) which recognize outstanding environmental performance and contributions.

The EBAE presentation provided an overview of the European environmental policy background, the key facts, objectives and structure of the awards and the added value the awards offer. Importantly, it was the only multi-country scheme presented to the meeting.  The experts concluded that the EBAE scheme is particularly relevant to APO, as its objectives, structure and implementation aspects are transnational in their nature and provide an excellent model for recognition of green corporate sustainability across sectors and countries.


Focus On: France

France is one of the leading economies in Europe and the world.  Currently it ranks 4th worldwide (and 2nd in Europe) in the eco-industry sector. The French government places considerable importance on the eco-innovation agenda and has launched an ambitious programme aimed at further developing the national eco-industrial potential.  The two most important environmental issues relate are the need to reduce GHG emissions (from households, buildings and vehicles) and energy dependency on non-renewable sources.  Recent environmental advancements have been driven by increased government efforts; technological and innovative advancements; private/public sector cost-reductions; and the significant growth of eco-industries.
 
An example of a government assisted eco-initiative is the entrepreneurs mentoring programme, part of the Eco Innovation Factory, an incubator for innovative companies in the western French départements of Loire Atlantique and Vendée.. Support for the initiative is provided by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME); investment fund managers GO Capital; and the Urban Community of Nantes.
 
The current mentoring programme started in September and will run until February 2015.  Successful candidates were drawn from project creators; start-up companies under two years old; and researchers.  Selected entrepreneurs receive coaching in a number of modules including developing their business plans; mastering legal aspects; intellectual property matters; and financing options.  The ultimate aim is to prepare the entrepreneurs to make a “pitch” for venture financing, which will enable their eco projects to scale-up and (over time) to reach their full potential.

Further information can be found at:http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/about-eco-innovation/good-practices/france/west-frances-eco-innovation-production-line_en.htm


National Awards Ceremony: Portugal

Third Edition of the European Business Awards for the Environment – 27 February 2014, Lisbon

Portugal organised the third edition of the EBAEpis – Innovation Award for Sustainability. This competition aims to select the national candidates for the European Business Awards for the Environment, and was designed to identify, recognise and promote companies that developed innovative projects with relevant contributions to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.

The objective of this national competition is to highlight policies, practices, processes and products developed by companies from all sectors operating in Portugal, which help to promote economic and social development without degrading the environment or over-exploiting natural resources. These initiatives must have shared their societal benefits equitably.
 
The winners were:

Management category: LIPOR
Runner-up: SONAE SIERRA
Product category: ESPORÃO, SA
Runners-up: EPAL, SA; DOCAPESCA, SA; COMPANHIA DAS LEZÍRIAS, SA
Process category: UCASUL, UCRL
Runner-up: WEDOTECH
Biodiversity Award: COMPANHIA DAS LEZÍRIAS, SA
 
The EBAEpis is organised by Portuguese Environment Agency, in cooperation with General Directorate of Economic Activities, BCSD Portugal and Integrated Communication Management (GCI). The targets are micro, and SME enterprises from all business sectors.

This year, for the first time, the awards were presented to the winners at the Green Project Awards (GPA) Conference.


Coordinator Catch Up: Estonia

We caught up with National Coordinator Kadri Tomingas to find out how the national nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment are selected in Estonia.
 
How does your competition work?
In Estonia, the competition is called the ‘Environmental Award for Business’ and is part of an annual competition called ‘Environmental Awards of the Year.’ Together with business awards, we give out an award for the best environmental act.
 
The competition in Estonia is organised according to the rules of European Business Awards for the Environment, comprising three categories:

  • The Management Award
  • The Product and Services Award
  • The Process Award
The jury can also give a special prize for international business cooperation and business & biodiversity. The competition is launched every year in October and culminates in January. We have a dedicated website for the Business Awards for Environment – www.keskkonnaauhind.ee. In 2015, the website will be available in English and in Russian. Enterprises can now enter their awards using an electronic application form on the website.

Who attends the awards ceremony
Co-operation partners, stakeholders on environmental matters, jury members and all the participants of the competition are invited to the award ceremony. Awards will be given out as part of the Estonian Ministry of Environment’s annual reception gala. Last year there were approximately 200 guests at the ceremony.
 
How do you promote the awards in Estonia? 
The Estonian Ministry of the Environment uses the competition as a strategic and efficient tool to promote sustainable development and cleaner manufacturing among the companies.

A specific label for winners was launched in 2007. Winners use this label to show consumers they are an environmentally sustainable company.

In 2013, for the first time ever, we gave the overall winner an investment of €35,000. The investment prize is provided by the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre.

For promotion, we mainly use radio and web banners. For example, professional associations use our web banner on their websites to inform enterprises that we have launched the Business Awards for Environment and how they can apply. If budget allows, we also use promotion on television. Early in 2015, we will air a short television ad. We also promote previous winners and show them as a good example for environmental friendly enterprise. This year, the overall winner from 2013, AS WerroWool, gave an interview on the radio; and at the end of November there was also an article in a business newspaper about their good experience with environmentally friendly production and how they benefit from that.

How were your applicants this year different from last year’s?
In 2013, we introduced a financial reward for the overall winner worth €35,000. This has increased the interest of companies, with up to three times the number of participants; as well as the quality of nominees. compared to 2012. 

In 2014, we introduced electronic applications, which will make it easier for enterprises to apply for Business Award and hopefully increase the number of quality applicants.

And finally, what difference do you think it makes to win a European Business Award for the Environment?
Firstly, I think that winning EBAE enhances the business’s reputation and encourages other businesses to improve their environmental performance. Secondly, it improves their self-confidence and ambition to be the best. AS Ecoprint, one of the nominees in the environmental management category in 2008, said that even being a runner-up gave them a lot of contacts and publicity at the Estonian and European level, which led to  new clients and an increase in exports. 
 

Upcoming events

3-5 March 2015 – London
Ecobuild
This is a sustainable design, construction and energy event for new build, refurbished, commercial and domestic buildings and will showcase innovative products and solutions in the built environment.

11-13 March 2015 – Sofia
South-East European Exhibition on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and 
Waste Management & Recycling Exhibition

Two events which aim to encourage technology transfer to South East Europe, with a focus on waste and recycling technology transfer and promotion of the latest energy developments, to encourage their large-scale implementation.

16-19 March 2015 - Milan
The Global Entrepreneurship Congress
The premier inter-disciplinary gathering of start-up champions from around the world—where entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and policymakers work together to bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and improve human welfare.

27-29 April 2015 – Florence
Cleantech Forum Europe
This annual gathering offers a comprehensive, multi-day programme looks at interesting trends, ideas, lessons and opportunities linked to innovation in the energy and resources sector.

12-14 May 2015 – Copenhagen
European Climate Change Adaptation Conference
This conference offers a platform for researchers, policy makers, and businesses to share new research results, novel policy developments, and practical implementation experiences regarding climate change impacts and adaptation, as well as highlighting opportunities for business innovations aimed at supporting the transition to low carbon societies.


EBAE around Europe

The SME Assembly took place in Naples in October with the theme “Growth Through Enterprise: The Opportunities Ahead”. Bringing together entrepreneurs, SMEs, business organisations, national and regional governments, academia and the media, the Assembly featured a top line up of speakers and panellists from around Europe and further afield.

The European Business Awards for the Environment attended the Assembly and the EBAE Secretariat was on hand to explain the benefits of entering the national awards that feed into the European competition.

Find out more about the Assembly and other European Commission initiatives aimed at promoting and supporting small and medium enterprises.


Five companies win 2014/2015 European Business Awards for the Environment

EU Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella has announced the winners of the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014-2015 at an evening ceremony during the 17th European Forum on Eco-innovation. Full details can be read in the awards brochure.


A summary of the winners is available along with the press release. A list of nominees and the finalist videos, premiered at the awards ceremony in Lyon, are also available, as are photos.


16 companies nominated for the 2014 European Business Awards for the Environment

Rome, 19 September – The shortlist for the 2014 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) has been revealed, following a two-day jury meeting in Rome, Italy. The 16 finalists come from 10 countries. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Lyon on 1st December 2014 at the Pollutec exhibition of environmental technologies in Lyon, France. The European Business Awards for the Environment are awarded to eco-innovation companies that successfully combine innovation, competitiveness and outstanding environmental performance.

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: "The companies shortlisted for the European Business Awards for the Environment have a proven track record in combining business success and respect for the environment. They showcase real-world experience of the fruits of eco-innovation.”

The finalists were selected from 152 submissions, originating from 22 European Member States and candidate countries. The applicants represent the increasing environmental commitment of European businesses and their willingness to adopt eco-innovative practices, despite the current economic climate.

This year’s entries come from a number of fields, including healthcare, financial services, and the food and drink and automotive sectors. The highest number of entries was in the product and services category.

The award submissions showcased the companies’ contribution to resource efficiency in five categories: product and services with 50 entries; process with 49 entries; management with 38 entries; international business cooperation with 15 entries; and business and biodiversity with 33 entries.

The high-level jury, chaired by Professor Marco Frey, was composed of 24 experts from European and national authorities, academia, businesses and the green technology sector.

Background

The European Business Awards for the Environment were established in 1987 by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment. They are presented every two years with the aim of recognising and rewarding European companies that stimulate economic growth by contributing to innovation and competitiveness, while also protecting the environment.

The scheme consists of five awards, rewarding businesses for management practices, eco-friendly products and services, sustainable processes, international business cooperation and – most recently – activities which protect biodiversity.

The competition is open to any company, irrespective of size, from an EU Member State or a candidate country. The submission of entries to the European awards competition is managed by national coordinating bodies.Applicants must first enter one of the national award schemes and be chosen to compete at the European level.This ensures that companies awarded the European prize are 'the best of the best': the most far-sighted, responsible and innovative across Europe.

More information on the awards, the selection procedure and the past EBAE competitions can be found at:http://ec.europa.eu/environment/awards/



Contacts



For the press:

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Andreja Skerl (+32 2 295 14 45)



For the public: 

Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail



The shortlisted projects are listed below.





The 2014 EBAE Finalists

The shortlisted entries per category are as follows:



The Management Award

For outstanding strategic vision and management systems that enable continuous improvements in contributions to sustainable development.



  • WERROWOOL – Micro – Estonia
    Project Title: WerroWool Cellulose Fibre
    Website: http://werrowool.eu/
    The production of construction materials from waste and by-products is a growing environmentally-sound trend in Estonia and in Europe. In response to this, Estonian micro company, WerroWool OÜ, a small cellulose fibre insulation producer, has developed a sustainable management system based on the principles of product quality, as well as resource and energy efficiency. The project, called 'WerroWool cellulose fibre’ reduces waste by using paper rather than plastic packaging. The company has also updated its ventilation system to collect and use the residual heat energy from the production process. As a result its annual energy saving is approximately 80,000 kWh. Since the company’s foundation in 2011, sales turnover has increased from €170,000 in 2012 to an estimated €450,000 in 2014 and now makes up 45% of the blown insulation sold in the Estonian market.
  • University College Cork – Major Corporation – Ireland
    Project Title: The Green Campus Programme
    Website: http://www.ucc.ie/en/build/environment/greencampus/
    University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland is the first higher education institute in the world to be accredited with Green Campus status. The Green Campus Programme is unique because it is the students who are the key decision makers. The programme provides students with the opportunity to voice their opinion, as well as learn the practicalities, difficulties and solutions to real-world environmental issues – the significance being that graduates leave with an understanding of how to create a more environmentally sustainable society. A sustainability module has been developed through the programme, which is available to all students at the university. These skills are taught across all disciplines, not just environmental courses. As a result of the initiative, there was a cumulative savings on waste of €890,000, recycling was up in the university from 21% to 75% and cycling has increased year-on-year, doubling in five years.
  • Eczacibasi Yapi Gerecleri – Major Corporation – Turkey
    Project Title: Blue Life Integrated Sustainability Management System
    Website: http://www.eczacibasi.com.tr/tr/eczacibasi-toplulugu/kuruluslar/yapi-urunleri/eczacibasi-yapi-gerecleri2
    Major Turkish business, Eczacıbaşı Yapı Gereçleri launched an initiative called Blue Life Integrated Sustainability Management System in 2010, which is a sustainability-oriented production, design and management approach. Blue Life is a comprehensive sustainability management system involving methods for measuring, reporting and improving the sustainability credentials of all Eczacıbaşı Building Products (EPB) business processes, from production planning to human resources. Product designs now require fewer resources to produce thanks to the initiative’s promotion of responsible natural resources use. Sustainability training is provided to all 2,500 employees. In 2012 and 2013, the company saved 3.7 million m3 of natural gas and 7.2 thousand tons of raw material each year, as well as preventing 118 tons of CO2 emissions, saving the business almost €4 million.
  • The Bay – SME – United Kingdom
    Project Title: The Bay Fish & Chips, Stonehaven
    Website: http://www.thebayfishandchips.co.uk/
    The Bay Fish & Chips is a takeaway restaurant based in the coastal town of Stonehaven in northeast Scotland, serving traditional fish and chips. Since opening in 2006, owner Calum Richardson and wife Lindsay have made it their aim to create a takeaway that offers quality produce and a business that operates in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, with management systems in place that enable the business to continuously improve its contribution to sustainable development. This approach is reflected in everything from the sourcing of Marine Stewardship Certified haddock for their fish suppers, to the use of chemical-free cleaning products, and the strict recycling policies in place. In 2013, the shop was named in the top two most sustainable restaurants in the UK and was named the number one fish and chip shop at the National Fish and Chip Shop Awards. The business uses 100% renewable electricity and gas, recycles 100% of food waste, sources 89% of its food from within 50 miles of the restaurant. The Bay’s oil waste is recycled into biodiesel and all packaging is 100% compostable.


The Product and Services Award

For companies that have developed a new product or related service that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development.



  • EcoNation – SME – Belgium
    Project Title: Lighten the energy bill
    Website: http://www.econation.be/wat-is-lightcatcher/
    Belgian business EcoNation has developed the ‘LightCatcher,’ the first active and intelligent daylight system in the world. LightCatcher can provide enough light for 100% of the floor with only 1% of the roof of a building opened. The system also allows light fittings to be switched off for up to 3,650 hours per year, which has an eight times bigger impact on the environment than solar panels. This new business model can lower EcoNation’s clients’ energy costs immediately without any upfront investment. LightCatcher is now used in 15 countries in both industrial and public buildings. The ecological footprint of the LightCatcher is 6.17 times smaller than traditional alternatives such as skylights.
  • PerfoTecBV – SME – Netherlands
    Project Title: PerfoTec: Smart solutions for extending the shelf life of fruit and vegetables
    Website: http://perfotec.com/
    PerfoTec BV’s mission is to allow people to enjoy fruits and vegetables while reducing waste. The company’s Respiration Control System extends the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables up to 100%. In order to stay fresh, fruits and vegetables need oxygen but the amount varies by type of product and also changes throughout the year. By controlling the amount of oxygen, the respiration rate and the ageing process can be slowed down. PerfoTec achieves this by adjusting the permeability of the packaging using micro-perforations invisible to the human eye. It can make the difference between one to three days of extra shelf life. Several retail pilots with grapes and berries show that this product can reduce in-store waste by 50%. It can increase sales by 10% due to better product quality.
  • Vegware – SME – United Kingdom
    Project Title: Vegware Vegware – zero waste food packaging
    Website: http://www.vegware.com/
    Founded in 2006, Vegware is the only completely compostable foodservice packaging firm operating globally. The business, based in Edinburgh, makes and distributes a comprehensive range of eco catering disposables made from renewable or recycled materials. All Vegware is compostable within 12 weeks and can be simply recycled together with food waste after use. The business has over 200 completely compostable products, helping it achieve 901% growth over five years. In 2013, Vegware’s UK customers saved 925 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to cancelling the carbon emissions of 578 flights from London to New York.


The Process Award

For companies that have developed and applied a new production technology that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development.



  • Daimler AG – Major Corporation – Germany
    Project Title: CO2 reduction and lightweight construction for combustion engines
    Website: http://www.daimler.com/
    Daimler AG uses a low cost, innovative process to reduce CO2 emissions in its cars. The twin wire arc spraying (TWAS) technology is used to apply a thin iron-carbon coating to the infer surfaces of the cylinders in aluminium crankcases. The very thin coating, called NANOSLIDE replaces heavy cast iron liners in aluminium crankcases used more commonly in the automotive sector. This micro-porosity ensures effective lubrication during operation. Fuel consumption is improved and CO2 emissions are lowered by 3% due to the lighter crankcases and decreased friction loss of up to 50% between piston, piston rings and cylinder running surface. If TWAS is applied to all passenger vehicle combustion engines worldwide, it would save around 20.8 million litres of fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by 48 million tons.
  • Paul Wurth SA – Major Corporation – Luxembourg
    Project Title: Dry Slag Granulation with Energy Recovery
    Website: http://www.paulwurth.com/
    Paul Wurth S.A. has conceptualised and put into operation a dry slag granulation process, which is based on the mixing of steel spheres and liquid slag. This allows transferring almost all of the energy of the liquid slag into a mixture at high temperature, which is then subject to energy recovery. Metallurgical slag, a by-product from any pyrometallurgical process such as iron and steel making or copper smelting, is usually poured into slag pits or water to assure fast cooling rates and specific material properties. However, the huge amount of thermal energy contained in the liquid slag, seen as the highest single source of energy that is wasted in these processes, is lost to the environment. Following the favourable outcome of several reduced scale test series, Paul Wurth tackled the challenge of building the first ever full-scale dry granulation plant at blast furnace 4 of Dillinger Hütte steelworks in Dillingen, Germany. The thermal power given by the slag of a high production blast furnace is around 42MW, which is sufficient to heat houses for 26,000 people.
  • OCI Nitrogen – Major Corporation – Netherlands
    Project Title: COOL
    Website: http://www.ocinitrogen.com/
    Dutch corporation, OCI Nitrogen developed the ‘COOL’ project reduces dust emissions by fertilizer production from 174 tonnes per year to zero. This world first was achieved at the company’s facilities in Geleen, the Netherlands. OCI Nitrogen used a new indirect cooling system in three of its production lines rather than using air coolers. As a result, OCI Nitrogen managed to achieve its zero dust emissions aim and also reduced energy consumption by 75%, while managing to increase production by 20%.


The International Business Cooperation Award

For companies that actively promote the sharing of knowledge and technology in international cross-sector partnerships, which contribute to sustainable growth in developing countries.



  • Umicore NV/SA – Major Corporation – Belgium
    Project Title: WorldLoop & Umicore: Closing the e-Waste Loop
    Website: http://www.umicore.com/
    Umicore has partnered with WorldLoop to provide environmentally sound recycling solutions for complex, hazardous but valuable e-waste from Africa. The project called ‘Closing the e-Waste Loop’ promotes sustainable business practices with local SMEs, engaging in direct dialogue to develop tailor-made solutions adapted to the local context. Umicore played a significant role through its core business activities of appropriate recycling of e-waste wherethe final processing solution that isn’t available in Africa. Since the partnership started, more than 800 tons of e-waste have been collected and processed in developing countries. 90 tons of complex or hazardous fractions have been treated and the first pilot centre, the WEEE Centre, which launched in Kenya in 2011 reached 64% self-sustainability by the end of 2012.
  • AusDesign OU – Micro – Estonia
    Project Title: UpShirt
    Website: http://www.reetaus.com/
    AusDesign OÜ has developed an approach for upcycling in mass production in
    cooperation with its partner and clothing manufacturer Beximco. Upcycling in mass production allows saving enormous amounts of material and avoiding unnecessary pressure to the environment. Given the fast-paced world of fashion and the volume of clothes being produced, manufacturing waste poses serious difficulties in producer countries and strong environmental pressure in countries supplying raw materials. An order of 23,000 T-shirts for the Estonian Song & Dance Festival – all made from waste – shows that Mass production can be scaled flexibly. It has never been done before at this scale and it allows savings of 86% in energy and 91% in water, when compared to a regular product. This equates to a saving of 82,570,000 litres of water and 80,040 kWh of energy. Overall AusDesign's approach can reduce manufacturing waste up to 38.3%.
  • Interface Netherland BV – Major Corporation – Netherlands
    Project Title: Net-Works
    Website: http://www.interface.com
    Interface Nederland BV partnered with the Zoological Society of London to establish an inclusive business partnership called Net-Works. This aims to tackle the growing global environmental problem of discarded fishing nets whilst providing socio-economic benefits to some of the world’s poorest coastal communities. Net-Works, which also serves to improve Interface’s business, demonstrates an advanced level of recycling within local communities. It improves the quality of life and conserves resources. Net-Works has seen beaches cleaned by communities, generated income for local villagers, and promoted marine conservation in the region. Every two kilos of nets buys one kilo of rice, which provides two meals for a family of five to six people.


The Business and Biodiversity Award

A category for companies that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in halting biodiversity loss and supporting natural ecosystems.



  • Andromede Oceanologie – Micro – France
    Project Title: Donia
    Website: http://www.donia.fr/
    Andromede Océanologie has developed DONIA, a smartphone / digital tablet application that allows any boater or yacht captain to position his/her boat in relation to the nature of the seabed so as to avoid anchoring in the seagrass beds of the Mediterranean. DONIA provides an alarm to avoid drifting and collision with other boats, thus increasing safety. It also offers users the ability to acquire high-resolution bathymetric maps. If DONIA is widely used by boaters and captains of yachts, the company expects a significant reduction of chronic destruction of the seagrass beds in the Mediterranean. According to various scenarios in Andromede Océanologie’s business plan, turnover could generate more than €1.2m per year, only for French coasts.
  • SM2 Solutions Marine – Micro – France
    Project Title: "Graines de Mer " / " Sea Seeds"
    Website: http://www.sm2solutionsmarines.com/
    SM²Solutions Marines has developed a three year pilot study called ‘Graines de Mer’ or ‘Sea Seeds.’ The study focuses on seagrass restoration and aims to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) for 2020. Anchoring of boats in the Mediterranean and also pollution is endangering one of the four main species of seagrass – Posidonia oceanica – and therefore in some areas, meadows are decreasing. Seagrass are present on only 1% of the sea bed but contain 20% of marine biodiversity. Meadows’ economic value is 10 times that of a tropical forest. SM²Solutions Marines has created a special greenhouse for sea plants to help solve this problem which impacts on the biodiversity of the region, impacting many ecosystems. Seeds are collected on beaches, then seedlings are grown in a greenhouse before being transplanted on the seagrass bed. The initiative is sustainable; before restoration, the cause of destruction is found and removed. SM²Solutions Marines is ready to apply its process to coastlines outside of France with resulting benefits not just to the marine environment but for local economies that rely on fishing and tourism.
  • Red Electrica de Espana S.A.U. (REE)- Major Corporation - Spain
    Project Title: Birds and electricity transmission lines: mapping of flight paths
    Website: http://www.ree.es/
    A tool created by Red Eléctrica de España, S.A.U. (REE) uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that integrates data about bird flight paths. When transmission lines are planned, electricity suppliers and local authorities can use the tool to avoid common flight paths. Suppliers with existing lines can use the tool to mitigate impact on the avian population. The tool’s sensitivity maps display the most current and relevant information about the bird life of 44 species. It was used by seven of the 17 autonomous communities in Spain in 2013 and by the end of 2014 will be used throughout the whole of the country.



EBAE at the SME Assembly

The SME Assembly took place in Naples in October with the theme “Growth Through Enterprise: The Opportunities Ahead”. Bringing together entrepreneurs, SMEs, business organisations, national and regional governments, academia and the media, the Assembly featured a top line up of speakers and panellists from around Europe and further afield.



The European Business Awards for the Environment attended the Assembly and the EBAE Secretariat was on hand to explain the benefits of entering the national awards that feed into the European competition.



Find out more about the Assembly and other European Commission initatives aimed at promoting and supporting small and medium enterprises at: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/promotingenterprise/




John Mathers from the Design Council meeting members of the EBAE Secretariat




What's Trending

This article originally appeared on Green Growth -The Nordic Way; and has been republished with permission. It has been shortened for the purposes of this newsletter.
 
Circular Economy – the way forward
 
In a resource constrained world, the move from a linear system, in which raw materials are used up, to a circular one in which they are reused, is an imperative. The Nordic Prime Ministers’ green growth projects address this challenge and a number of new reports that present concrete solutions in areas such as plastic and textiles, sustainable building and ecodesign. The latest results from the initiative were presented at Green Week in Brussels in June.
 
The EUs biggest environment event, Green Week in Brussels, this year focused on circular economy. The Nordic Council of Ministers contributed to a number of projects from the Nordic Prime Ministers’ green growth initiative, as well as the new initiative NordBio.
 
“The circular economy is the new order of things and we need to build stronger bridges between industrial and environmental policies,” said European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, in his opening speech at the event on June 3.
 
The Commission  introduced a new circular economy package at the end of June 2014. Two of the core elements are food waste and sustainable building, but the focus is also on creating green jobs and skills while increasing resource efficiency. The Nordic green growth projects all play into this agenda.
 
For the full post please visit, Green Growth the Nordic Way.
 
2030 policy framework for climate and energy

The 2030 policy framework for climate and energy proposed by the European Commission aims to make the European Union's economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable.

While the EU is making good progress towards meeting its climate and energy targets for 2020, an integrated policy framework for the period up to 2030 is needed to ensure regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States.

The framework presented by the European Commission in January 2014 seeks to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy. It aims to build a competitive and secure energy system that ensures affordable energy for all consumers increases the security of the EU's energy supplies; reduces our dependence on energy imports; and creates new opportunities for growth & jobs.
A central piece of the framework is the target to reduce EU domestic greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.  This target will ensure that the EU is on the cost-effective track towards meeting its objective of cutting emissions by at least 80% by 2050. By setting its level of climate ambition for 2030, the EU will also be able to engage actively in the negotiations on a new international climate agreement that should take effect in 2020.

In March 2014 the EU leaders agreed on key issues to address. Having taken stock on progress towards these in June, they are on track to decide on the framework by this October.


Where are they now?

Hadrian Templeon in Rome

Materials technology group, Umicore won the Process Award in 2012 for their project “Recycling of NiMH and Li-ion batteries: a sustainable new business.” This is the story of how winning the EBAE award has impacted on their business.

Over the past few years, Umicore has invested around €25 million in an industrial demonstration plant for battery recycling in their Hoboken (Belgium) plant. The plant has been up-and-running since September 2011 and is by far the largest industrial plant for Li-ion and NiMH batteries recycling. 

The unit processes Li-ion and NiMH batteries of all sizes, such as small cell phone batteries; battery packs for laptops, cordless power tools & electric bikes; and modules from large industrial batteries for electric vehicles. Industrial batteries are first dismantled in Umicore facilities in Hanau (Germany) and Maxton (North Carolina, US).

Li-ion technology is a name for a broad range of battery chemistries, which are optimized for certain applications. The Umicore Battery Recycling plant is designed to process all different Li-ion battery chemistries without prior sorting.
Metals are an essential part of many materials in high tech applications. The technology developed for Umicore’s battery recycling plant may also be used to treat other complex materials containing waste streams to recover these technology metals.

Umicore’s battery recycling plant is a pilot plant, which is offering a solution for one of the world’s biggest challenges – resource scarcity.

Recycling of metals is one of the cornerstones of the European Raw Materials Initiative. Receiving an European Business Award for the Environment is a recognition by the European Commission that Umicore’ s technology is contributing to this Initiative.


Focus On: Italy

Peter Novak

Italy (the fourth largest economy in Europe), is among the four countries in the EU that as a result of environmental legislation and related opportunities for implementing environmental management systems and processes, have major expenditures on the protection of the environment. Innovation in general and eco-innovation processes in particular, have shown a significant growth trend over the last decade, stimulated by public finance and by both EU funding and EU R&D projects. However, many innovative ideas and projects start spontaneously in both existing and new companies, as a result not only of strict environmental legislation but also the opportunities that arise from the awareness of a sustainable lifestyle.

According to the Eco-Innovation Scoreboard Italy’s overall score and relative positioning among the EU countries continues to improve.  The Eco-innovation in Italy report highlights Italy’s progress in energy efficiency; renewable energies; material recycling; greening transport; and eco-innovations in industrial biotechnology. Additional opportunities are seen for second-generation bio-fuels production, green tourism, smart grids and carbon capture & storage. A number of national measures targeting eco-innovation have been implemented to help support this process, such as subsidies in eco-innovation related R&D and tax incentives.  For more information, visit http://www.eco-innovation.eu/

The ‘Italy Cleantech Network’ project was launched in 2013 by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea to help give clean tech SMEs and start-ups access to the international market and so promote eco-innovation.  The ‘Italy Cleantech 10: A Lens on Innovative SMEs’ report provides a general overview of the innovation company ecosystem in Italy and highlights notable examples. For more details, visit http://www.italycleantech.com


National Awards Ceremony: Italy

Hadrian Templeon in Rome

On 16th of April, Italy held its National Awards ceremony at the Hadrian Templeon in Rome. The awards were presented by Italy’s Minister for the Environment, Gian Luca Galletti.  

The winners of the 7th edition of the Italian Enterprise Environment Award were Carlsberg Italia, Eni, Brebey and Ikea. 

Carlsberg Italia Spa, won with its project “DraughtMaster – Innovation and revolution of draught beer” in the best management category.
ENI Spa received an award in the best product category with its “Enjoy car sharing” project.

In the best process/technology innovation category Brebey società Coop. a r.l. won with its “Tecnolana: innovazione ed ecologia per un futuro sostenibile” project for innovation and ecology for a sustainable future.
 
Camilla Masala (Pupulito) won Italy's "Special Young Entrepreneur Award".
 
Presenter of the Enterprise Environment Award, Italy's Minister for the Environment, Gian Luca Galletti, said the prize "shows that the concept of sustainable development is entering the industrial world more and more" and that “a growing number of companies are aware that the environment is not a limit, but a drive toward growth and competitiveness. This is why we are supporting this Award with such conviction, as it draws and enhances a country like Italy that believes in its future economy with optimism and despite the crisis."


Coordinator Catch Up: Slovenia

Peter Novak

We caught up with National Coordinator Peter Novak to find out how the national nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment are selected in Slovenia.


How does your competition work?

The Slovenian competition has been organised for many years by FINANCE, the Slovenian ‘Financial Times’. The competition occurs once a year at the end of November. It is connected with symposia on environmental issues. The themes of the competition change each year.
 
Who attends the awards ceremony?

The awards ceremony is attended by 50-100 participants including the Minister for the Environment and other government officials; members of the symposium; and the general public.
 
How do you promote the awards in Slovenia? 

The Awards are promoted by the newspaper FINANCE, plus other private and social channels.
 
How were your applicants this year different from last year’s?

We usually receive a mixture of applicants from public and private organisations.

And finally, what difference do you think it makes to win a European Business Award for the Environment?

Apart from acknowledging the efforts of the community to improve its environmental performance, it also sends the signal that the awardees have combined profit-making with environmental efficiency/lower emission impact. The EBAE winners are actual proof that environmental sustainability and economic performance go hand to hand.  International recognition of EBAE is very important for the export of Slovenian industrial products. 

Promotors Network Corner: EUROCHAMBRES tells us about its latest report on smart energy for SME growth

Smart Energy For Growth

In business, being efficient paves the way to success. Although this principle applies, more or less, to all areas of running a business, it is particularly true for energy use. However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular need support to unleash their efficiency potential. This is why Chambers of Commerce and Industry across Europe deliver practical services that help SMEs to become more energy efficient.

EUROCHAMBRES recently presented a new publication illustrating examples of Chamber energy efficiency support services and success stories from innovative SMEs across Europe. The best practices don’t just provide evidence that being innovative pays off: they also demonstrate that, with the right guidance and support, SMEs can achieve significant energy efficiency gains thanks to very simple low - or even no cost measures.

The publication’s content underlines the commitment of Chambers across Europe to energy efficiency; and demonstrates that their services respond directly to the needs of SMEs; and shows that they lead to concrete results. Indeed, three out of four EUROCHAMBRES members provide energy efficiency services, including advice on public funding, training and awareness-raising.

EUROCHAMBRES continues to engage actively in the on-going discussions on Europe’s energy strategy for 2030 and beyond. Meanwhile, as the new "Smart Energy for Growth" publication confirms, Chambers are helping businesses in very practical ways to cut their energy costs and contribute to the EU’s climate change response.


When and where will the 2014 European Business Awards for the Environment be presented?

The winners for each of the five EBAE awards will be announced before the start of Pollutec in France.

The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of 1st December at Préfecture du Département du Rhône, 29-31 Cours de la Liberté, FR-69003 Lyon.

EBAE nominees, national coordinators, business officials, news media, political representatives and members of the DG Environment will attend the ceremony, which will be an occasion to reward eco-innovation for jobs and growth.

Further information is expected to be released after the jury meets, 18-19th September, and details of previous winners are available on the EBAE website.


What's Trending

Green Jobs and Skills


One of the key issues discussed during the EU Green Week 2014, which took place from 3rd-5th June in Brussels, is the need for more emphasis on green skills and green jobs. The European commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy is confirmed in the EU2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the 20-20-20 targets for 2020 (20% emissions reduction, 20% renewable energy share and 20% energy efficiency improvement).

The recently-published ‘Greener Skills and Jobs’ report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) draws attention to a number of factors which have a significant impact on the development of the skills, knowledge and competences that are to contribute to resource-efficient, competitive economic growth. 

The public sector holds the key to optimising public policy co-ordination by integrating green skills development into the wider training and skills development policy, matching public policy action while stimulating new markets (by increasing environmental standards and regulations), and by developing strategic capacity within micro, small, medium and large enterprises by helping them to engage with and invest in (often informal) training and skills development. As shown by the example of the Technical Accreditation Scheme led by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, the role of the private sector is also extremely important to help determine labour market needs and green skills gaps, and provide effective solutions.

Over the last few years, investment in research and development activities to help define and respond to industry and evolving market needs has increased, both at the European and national levels, and it is encouraging to see that at the onset of the new European financial perspective 2014-2020, there is increased commitment and also financial support (through the European Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus + programmes) to its continuation. 

A question then springs to mind: Given that the awareness of climate change implications and of the European focus and support on building a circular and prosperous economy are higher than ever before –  can Europe afford to have any jobs which are not ‘green’? Shouldn’t sustainability and greening become as inherent to our jobs and skills as economic prosperity? 

For more information visit www.greenweek2014.eu and www.oecd.org/knowledge-sharing-alliance/  
 

Green Banking


Over the last few years banks and bankers have frequently featured in the mass media – usually for the wrong reasons. However as one example shows – there is a (green) light at the end of the tunnel. Over the last 10 years, the Piraeus Bank, which is the largest Greek bank, has followed a deliberate long-term strategy to become a pioneer in green banking.

In 2004, the bank decided to embark on its green path by defining its Environmental Management Policy and review its own internal procedures, management practices as well as physical facilities to ensure that they were environmentally friendly. The bank soon moved on to supporting green business, by developing green banking products, services and customer support, and assessing and supporting green investments and facilitating the opening of new green markets.

The appetite for green banking has steadily grown even during the recent economic crisis. Today, Piraeus Bank is a leader in environmental banking in South Eastern Europe, with a portfolio of supported projects worth over €3 billion (including €1.58 billion funding provided by Piraeus Bank) and an impressive CO2 emissions savings of over 1 million tonnes in 2013. 

For more information visit www.greenbanking.gr/  

 


Focus On: Poland

Poland is one of the largest European Member States and an important economy in Europe. Its overall economic performance has been impressive over the last decade, allowing living standards to slowly climb towards the EU average.

Since joining the European Union, the country has invested heavily in improving its transport and environmental infrastructure, to help maximise opportunities for industrial development. Despite that, according to the2013 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking, eco-innovation remains one of many elements rather than a driving force for new business opportunities in Poland.

Examples of promising performance are particularly noticeable in water and energy management, hazardous waste treatment, energy efficiency and solar energy, but according to the Eco-innovation in Poland report by the Polish Institute of Structural Studies, the main barriers to eco-innovation are a relatively modest innovation potential, public and in particular business education and awareness, coherent public policies focused on green growth, as well as tools (ICT, business support) and financing.

For more information go to http://www.eco-innovation.eu/  


National Awards Ceremony: Netherlands

On 13th of May, the Netherlands held their National Award ceremony at the DNB (the National Bank of the Netherlands), celebrating both the award ceremony and the 200 year anniversary of the bank.

Mr. Brendan de Graaf (winner of the Prize for Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2014), HRH Queen Maxima and Mr. Klaas Knot (President of the Netherlandse Bank). Photo courtesy of Maarten Huisman.

HRH Queen Maxima handed out the prizes to the winners of the ‘King William I’ Prizes for Excellent Entrepreneurship and the specially dedicated Prize for Sustainable Entrepreneurship. The prize is named after King William I, especially known as the King Entrepreneur.

The winner and runners up for the Plaque for Sustainable Entrepreneurship have been nominated for the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014. The three finalists were Coöperation Texel Energie – a successful small scale fully sustainable energy supplier, Interfase Netherlands B.V. – a company that produces carpeting from redundant fishing nets from the Phillipines  and Unipro a company that very recently built the most sustainable factory in the Netherlands. The winner was Texel Energie, but as the Minister for the Environment, Mrs. Wilma Mansveld said, 'actually they were all winners'.  

There were 40 high quality entries for the Prize for Sustainable Entrepreneurship ranging from micro companies to multinationals, all perfect showcases, demonstrating that sustainability and entrepreneurship match perfectly, even in times of crisis.


Coordinator Catch Up: Malta

We caught up with National Coordinator Anton Pizzuto to find out how the national nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment are selected in Malta

 

Anton Pizzuto

How does your competition work?

The competition is run by the Cleaner Technology Centre (based at the University of Malta). It is held every two years. The awards are judged by an appointed independent jury.

Who attended your national awards ceremony this year?

The awards were presented by the Minister for the Environment and among the 100 + guests were Government officials, leaders of industry, academia, and the media. Coverage in the media was both in print and online.

How do you promote the awards in Malta? 

The promotion of the awards are carried out using an extensive mailshot to potential applicants, adverts in the national papers and dedicated economic papers like Business Weekly and Commercial Courier. We also have the support of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry who alert their members through their newsletters. We also arrange for interviews on national TV as a way to promote the awards.

How were your applicants this year different from last year’s?

The most significant difference this year was that we received applications from the service and hospitality industry rather than the manufacturing industry as in previous years. We felt that this demonstrated that the message for environment protection awareness is spreading to all sectors where economic activity is taking place.

And finally, what difference do you think it makes winning the European Business Awards for the Environment?

Apart from acknowledging the efforts of the economic community to  improve its environmental protection performance, it also sends the signal that the awardees have combined profit-making with environmental responsibility. The EBAE winners are actual proof that environmental sustainability and economic performance are not incompatible.


Promoters Network Corner

EUROCHAMBRES features success stories on energy efficiency


In recent years, rising energy prices and economic hardship have challenged the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. However, building on their capacity to innovate, an increasing number of SMEs has developed pioneering actions, leading to significant cuts in their energy consumption and allowing them to rise to the new challenges of the global economy.

On 24 June, EUROCHAMBRES will present a new publication illustrating energy efficiency support services and impressive success stories from innovative SMEs across Europe. As an official part of the European Sustainable Energy Week 2014, the publication launch in Brussels will be followed by a panel discussion on how to tackle the untapped energy efficiency potential of European businesses. Speakers will include EU officials and Chamber representatives.

More information and registration: www.eusew.eu/...

More information about EBAE

What are the main benefits of applying for the European Business Awards for the Environment? Our top three reasons are here: 

  • Be recognised on a European level for your achievements and raise the morale of your staff 
  • Benefit from widespread media and industry coverage for your company
  • Gain credibility with policy makers who have environmental concerns

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the European Business Awards for the Environment? 
The European Business Awards for the Environment are designed to recognise and promote organisations that make an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. Every two years, the European Commission is pleased to reward successful companies that demonstrate commitment to putting sustainable development into action while maintaining economic viability. The awards highlight policies, practices, processes and products from all sectors of business in the European Union that help to achieve ‘economic and social development without detriment to the environment and natural resources upon the quality of which continued human activity and further development depend’.

Who can apply for a European Business Award for the Environment? 

The European Business Awards for the Environment are open to finalists in national competitions in one of the 27 EU Member States or candidate countries. The awards classify EU companies into two categories: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, or Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Industries; and Major Corporations (or large companies).

How do I get involved in the European Business Awards for the Environment competition? 

Only winners and runners-up of the national competitions and specially commended companies may apply to the European Awards for the Environment.  Direct entries are not possible. Applicants must first have entered one of the national award schemes and be chosen to compete at European level. Submission of entries to the European awards competition is managed by national coordinating bodies.

To find out how to enter your national competition, visit: ec.europa.eu/environment/awards/in_your_country.html 

Who can I contact for further information and advice?

European coordinators 
Janice Mc-Hugh
Tel.: +32 2 990383 
E-mail: Janice.Mc-Hugh@ec.europa.eu 

European Business Awards for the Environment Secretariat and Press Office
Sue Deans and Aimee Bateas
Tel: +44 1223 208 655 and +44 20 7400 8990
E-mail: eu.business.awards.environment@hanovercomms.com


Upcoming events

21-26 June
Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF 2014) ESOF 2014 
Copenhagen is an open platform for debating science and a showcase for European and global research at all levels. The 2014 meeting is entitled “Science Building Bridges.”

23-26 June
22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition 
Highlights progress in research, technological development and production processes and brings together all key specialists to make it the most important international platform for dialogue between research, industry, research and industry, and policy in the biomass sector.

23-27 June
European Sustainable Energy Week 
The premier event dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy in Europe Business

2 July
Green Leader Awards 
Celebrates the leading businesses, executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and campaigners from across the green economy, highlighting how these pioneers are driving the emergence of innovative and sustainable new business models. The theme of this year's awards is inspiring innovation.

11-13 August
ICEPR 2014 - 4th International Conference on Environmental Pollution and Remediation 
Brings together the international community working in the field of environmental sciences, engineering, and technology, and aims to foster an environment conducive to present advances in this field.


What's Trending

Innovation Union Scoreboard

The Innovation Union’s performance scoreboard 2014 report confirms that the European Union’s (EU) overall performance in research and innovation activities is improving steadily, and the gap between the most and least innovative countries is showing a decreasing tendency even if the progress is relatively slow.

The scoreboard framework examines three main types of indicators including:

  • Enablers (the main external drivers of innovation performance, including human resources, open, excellent and attractive research systems, and finance and support)
  • Firm activities (the innovation efforts at a firm level, including firm investments, linkages and entrepreneurship and intellectual assets) and
  • Outputs (innovators and economic effects)

The report divides the EU countries into four performance groups:
  • Innovation Leaders (including Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany)
  • Innovation Followers (including Belgium, Estonia, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK)
  • Moderate Innovators (including Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain) and
  • Modest Innovators (including Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania)


Portugal, Estonia and Latvia are the countries which have improved their performance the most over the last years. At a European level, particular progress has been noted in the openness and attractiveness of the EU research system as well as business innovation collaboration and the commercialisation of knowledge as measured by licence and patent revenues from abroad. However, the growth of public R&D expenditures over the last years was offset by a continuous decline in venture capital investments and non-R&D innovation investments in companies.


Water Innovation

Recently in abundance in many parts of Europe due to heavy rainfalls, water is not only a precondition for human, animal and plant life but also a key resource for the economy. Over the last two decades water has been an important element of European environmental policy and research, and in recent years its prominence and role has significantly increased thanks to a renewed focus on resource efficient economy, climate change mitigation and climate resilient infrastructure. This focus has been emphasised in a number of key policies and initiatives, including the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, Resource Efficient Europe and the European Innovation Partnership on Water.

For more information on water-related EU policies and funding opportunities go to: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/index_en.htm


Full speed ahead for EU funding calls

The biggest EU financial instrument for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, was officially launched in December 2013 and will see its first funding calls close in March 2014. Thousands of organisations across Europe are working on developing competitive projects, and websites such as CORDISEnterprise Europe Network and LinkedIn offer many partnering opportunities.

For more information go to: to:http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=home


Upcoming events

29 March 2014
WWF Earth Hour
The world's biggest call to action on the threats facing our planet. Encourages individuals, businesses and organisations to sign up and switch off all non-essential lighting at 8.30pm.

6 - 7 May 2014
PEF Food Conference 
International conference on Environmental Footprinting in the food & drink sector and beyond. The event focuses on the Environmental Footprint Initiative by the European Commission

12 - 16 May 2014
Green Office Week
Encourages office workers to 'Spring in to Action' to help their office environment work for the natural environment in practical ways.

3 - 6 June 2014
Green Week
The biggest annual conference on European environment policy, will take place at The Egg Conference Centre, Rue Bara, in Brussels. The theme will be Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste.


National Awards Cermony: Germany

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment (IKU). For the fourth time, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the Federal Environment Ministry awarded prizes for outstanding innovation in climate and environmental protection on 3 December 2013 in Berlin.

Winners of the Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment in Berlin where they received their awards © IKU/Kruppa


Chaired by the former German Minister for the Environment, Prof. Klaus Töpfer, the high-level jury selected winners for the five categories from nearly 100 entries.

Joint project Daimler AG and the Gebr, Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH won in the Process Innovations for Climate Protection category for their development of a world novel, patented method of coating cylinder surfaces in aluminium, reducing CO2 emissions.

Product and Service Innovations for Climate Protection was awarded to the Leibinger GmbH for its new method of bottling carbonated and oxygen- sensitive beverages in bottles.

Evonik Industries AG and SEPURAN ® Green both won in the Environmentally Friendly Technologies category.

Saint-Gobain Weber GmbH was awarded the Eco-friendly products and services prize for an innovative finishing coat which protects facades with a moisture balance against fungal and algae growth and groundwater from biocides.

Two entries won in the category of Technology Transfer for their innovative improvements to care in developing countries: The AUTARCON GmbH convinced the jury with the development of SuMeWa | SYSTEMS and OSRAM won with the development of the “Off-Grid Lighting Concepts, ”which allows access to efficient and safe lighting in remote parts of Kenya with the help of rental and recharging stations.

More information about the winners of the IKU 2013 is available on www.iku-innovationspreis.de


Focus On: Greece

Pieterjan RobijnAs Greece continues to work towards economic recovery, its current Presidency of the Council of the European Union focuses on a number of priority areas, including the promotion of policies and actions for achieving growth, combating unemployment, promoting economic and social cohesion and structural reforms.

According to the Greek National Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, expenditure on innovation is expected to account for 8% of the total budget, and research will be primarily focused on selected priority areas, with ‘Environment’ being one of the key sectors, in line with the national strategic objective for Green Growth. It is therefore expected that funding available for eco-innovation and energy investments will see a reasonable increase, stimulated to a large extent by the allocation of European Structural Funds.

As indicated in the recent Eco-innovation Observatory country report, Greece has seen an improvement in company-level eco-innovation activities targeting energy and material efficiency improvements. Other dynamic areas of green investment include the food sector (and in particular olive oil and wine production), chemical industry, waste management and the green tourism industry.

For more information on Greek environmental priorities please refer to http://www.ypeka.gr/Default.aspx?tabid=230&language=en-US


Coordinator Catch Up: Bulgaria

We caught up with National Coordinator Gaby Marinova to find out how the national nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment are selected in Bulgaria.

Pieterjan RobijnCould you set the scene for us a little and explain how your national awards work? 

BBLF’s 2013 Responsible Business Awards were granted at a formal ceremony at Sofia Hotel Balkan on 25 February. Official guests of the ceremony were Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy, Deputy Minister of Education and Science and the Mayor of Sofia.

What kind of companies entered your awards? 

The BBLF awards are a national competition and companies of all sizes or sectors can nominate their projects. The aim of the Annual Responsible Business Awards is to encourage the responsible behaviour of companies by indicating that successful and sustainable companies invest in community projects too as well as to highlight the best practices.

Who attended the awards ceremony? 

Over 300 guests: senior business representatives, public figures, diplomats and media attended the ceremony and were the first to know which projects were deemed the best ones and congratulated the winners.

How do you promote the awards? 

We promoted the awards on our corporate FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter profiles at several stages: upon opening the nomination process, extending the deadline for it and the award ceremony itself. We believe we were thus able to reach audiences that would have remained under our radar. It resulted in an increased awareness of both the contest (manifested in the greater number of participants) and the award ceremony.

How were applicants different from last year’s? 

An all-time high record number of companies entered the 11th edition of this country’s most prestigious CSR contest: 56 companies or 10% more than the previous year submitted their nominations for the awards. We have witnessed a rise of 300% in CSR efforts of businesses ever since the launch of the awards in 2003. An equal number of members and non-members entered the contest this year and projects implemented across the country were nominated.

How do the national awards and ceremony contribute to the business community in Bulgaria?

Corporate responsibility projects are a long-term investment that guarantees sustainability and provides a stable basis for future development. A decade ago there were few companies that implemented CSR projects, whereas today most companies, both international and Bulgarian ones, are involved in community projects in one way or another. Good causes do make waves and are a clear sign of maturity of the entire community.


Where Are They Now? Sotral

Distribution logistics provider for public food services Sotral won the Management category in 2006 for their project “Management for Eco-efficiency in Public Catering.” We found out how it has impacted their business since winning the award.

In 2003 this Italian company identified environmental innovation as a level for competitiveness, leading to the adoption of their Life Cycle Thinking, a philosophy that runs through every business decision they make.

Speaking about the EBAE, Isabelle Lacourt of Sotral said: “The award has given a small company like Sotral the authoritativeness and therefore the legitimacy to pursue its commitment in sustainable development since 2006.

“The company has been able to make synergy between such visibility and a voluntary certification system. As a consequence the company's growth has shown a steady increase in sales from 2005 to 2011 based on the extension of the geographical area of activity. Now this SME is preparing to internationalize its business”.


Promotors Network Corner

A STEEEP increase in energy savings for SMEs

EUROCHAMBRES has launched a training programme to support 630 SMEs across Europe to achieve 10-15% energy savings.

Short for “Support and Training for Excellent Energy Efficiency Programme,” STEEEP will provide tailored training and guidance on effective energy management tools and practices for SMEs from various sectors.

The companies will learn to measure and consequently control energy costs more efficiently. In addition, an experienced academic partner will scientifically evaluate the potential for energy savings, set efficiency targets and monitor progress in reducing energy consumption.

The project is co-financed by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, and EUROCHAMBRES is coordinating it, with Chambers of Commerce and Industry from 10 different countries as partners. As many as 315 thematic workshops for SMEs will take place after the capacity building of national and regional Chambers.

STEEEP will contribute to the EU’s goal of increasing energy efficiency by 2020, while at the same time providing European SMEs with an opportunity to make substantial savings.

For more information, please contact EUROCHAMBRE (Ms Nicoletta Favaretto, favaretto@eurochambres.eu)


European Business Awards for the Environment | Newsletter

Issue #22, March 2014

To view this edition, please click here.

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Coordinator Catch Up

Every national European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) competition is different, so we interviewed Pieterjan Robijn, National Coordinator for Belgium, to find out more about the Belgian competition.

Pieterjan RobijnHow does your competition work?
 
Awarded by an independent jury every two years, the competition is an initiative of Business & Society Belgium. It is also supported by the Federation of Belgian Enterprises (FEB), RoulartaBNP Paribas FortisElia and Siemens.

Who attended the awards ceremony?
 
Our national awards were well attended, with around 100 attendees from the business world, academic centres, government representatives and media coming to champion our companies.
 
How do you promote the awards?
 
We were profiled in the widely read economic weekly Trends and the economic news channel Kanaal Z. In terms of promotion, we use our TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook pages, which enabled our business partners to share information with their contacts via email and their own websites.
 
How were applicants different from last year’s?
 
The jury was struck by the economic maturity of most applications. Sustainable development is no longer only about adaptations of technologies; of existing products or services, but how we see bold innovation, the investigation of new markets where developed projects show themselves as competitive compared to “conventional” equivalents. This is a significant advance over the period of the “green pioneers”.
 
And finally, what difference do you think it makes winning the European Business Awards for the Environment?
 
The national awards are not only a reward of sustainability initiatives, but also show the business community how creativity and willpower lead to new sustainability business models that are particularly competitive. 


Where Are They Now?

Winning a European Business Award for the Environment puts companies in the spotlight for their commitment to environmental sustainability, but it also helps push the business case for social and environmental responsibility. We caught up with the winner of the 2012 Product Award, Aquamarine Power, a company that has grown through its innovative approach and is now setting its sights on internationalising its client base.

Click for YouTube video: Aquamarine Power - Oyster wave farm animation Click for YouTube video: Aquamarine Power - Oyster wave farm animation
Aquamarine Power is a small company with a big ambition to create electricity from ocean waves. Their Oyster wave energy technology has the capability to capture the energy in near shore waves and transform it into clean power.

The Edinburgh-based firm has already succeeded in installing two full-scale Oyster wave energy machines at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland.
 
Their goal is now to commercialise the technology and develop ocean energy farms around the world.
 
“Winning a European Business Award for the Environment was a great highlight for our business,” says company Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam. “We need to ensure policy makers and investors in Europe and around the world understand the incredible potential of ocean energy, and this high-profile award helped increase our impact in Brussels and beyond.” 


National Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Ibec Environment Awards, the national awards for Ireland. With over 50 applications, the chairman of judges released the names of four extraordinary companies in a prestigious awards ceremony on 29 November. They will now go on to represent Ireland in the 2014 European awards programme.

(left to right: Martin Cooney, Arthur Cox; Declan Crosse, Wood Energy Solutions; Danny McCoy, Ibec; Charlie Coakley, Dawn Meats; Minister Phil Hogan, T. D.; Louis Collins, Astellas)(left to right: Martin Cooney, Arthur Cox; Declan Crosse, Wood Energy Solutions; Danny McCoy, Ibec; Charlie Coakley, Dawn Meats; Minister Phil Hogan, T. D.; Louis Collins, Astellas)
The winners were: Astellas Ireland, Winner of the Overall Environmental Excellence Award and Environmental Management Award, Wood Energy Solutions, Winner of the Product and Services Award, Dawn Meats, Winner of the Process Award and finally, Arthur Cox, Winner of the International Business Cooperation Award.

Announcing the winners at the event, Ireland’s Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said: “The Ibec Environment Awards are about acknowledging and championing progressive organisations in Ireland that have demonstrated a commitment to protecting and improving our environment.  I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of all of the participants and thank them for their individual contributions towards a healthy and sustainable environment.”   
 
Connect with Ibec on Twitter or Linkedin.


What's Trending

Horizon 2020

The new European Union (EU) financial instrument for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, will be officially launched in January 2014, but the first funding calls are already being announced today (11 December 2013). Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of €80 billion, Horizon 2020 will focus on securing Europe's global competitiveness and sustainable growth. Built on three pillars – Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges – Horizon 2020 will fund activities ranging from frontier science to close-to-market innovation. The environmental objectives of Horizon 2020 follow the EU's focus on securing sustainable and competitive growth, with a particular emphasis on bioeconomy and circular economy opportunities. Speaking to an audience in Sweden via video message on 3 December 2013, the European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik reiterated that 'Boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon growth will remain one of the Commission's priorities for the next 7 years and we will continue to support this through our policies and funding initiatives'. The EU focus on encouraging and supporting green growth through sustainable and environmentally responsible management approaches, and eco-innovative products and processes is reflected in all three pillars of Horizon 2020, and in particular in the objectives of Societal Challenge 5 - Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials. Funding will be provided to projects helping to achieve resource and water efficiency, sustainable supply and use of raw materials, encouraging protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems, and contributing to building a climate change resilient economy and society. Funding opportunities for renewable energy and energy efficiency feature in the Secure, clean and efficient Energy Societal Challenge. For more information please click here.

The new LIFE

The new Programme for the Environment and Climate Action – LIFE is proposed to have a budget of €3.2 billion over 2014-2020. The new LIFE Programme is the single biggest funding mechanism for biodiversity protection, environment and climate change actions outside Horizon 2020, and it is a successor to the existing LIFE+ Programme. The first funding call is expected to be launched in late Spring 2014. For more information please click here.  

Let's Clean Up Europe

Preparations began following an announcement made by the European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, for a new initiative ‘Let’s Clean Up Europe’, which will take place across Europe on 10th May 2014. The initiative aims to raise awareness and mobilise a wider society, businesses and non-governmental organisations to do something practical for the environment. For more information and to register your clean up initiative please click here.


Focus On: Lithuania

As Lithuania's EU Presidency is coming to an end, the Member State is reflecting on its achievements of the past six months.

One of the key environmental milestones was the new multilateral environmental agreement - Minamata Convention - on mercury, which the Lithuanian Minister of Environment, Valentinas Mazuronis, and the European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, signed on behalf of the EU. The long-awaited agreement will result in subsequent decrease of mercury emissions and the impact thereof on human health and the environment. 

For a country with relatively limited natural resources but a great potential for competitive technology and dynamic manufacturing sector, eco-innovative processes and products can offer a significant advantage and opportunity. According to a study conducted by the European Eco-innovation Observatory, Lithuanian sectors such as renewable energy, construction, waste management, transport and logistics, and oil spill remediation are expected to see growth, both as a result of capable and efficient use of European Structural funding but also the country’s own investment and strategy efforts, and in particular the Cleaner Production Strategy.
 
Lithuania is also an active participant in the European Framework Programme 7, the LIFE programme, and the Eco-innovation Programme. Over the last eight years, Lithuania has participated in a number of LIFE funded projects focusing on nature conservation and biodiversity protection, and some of its Eco-innovation programme funded projects focus on marine litter, and waste reduction in the fish farming and fishing industry.


Upcoming events

22 – 24 January, 2014

Salzburg, Austria

13th International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2014
The IERC is an international platform for discussion of the latest developments and challenges relating to electronics recycling.

26 – 29 January, 2014

Copenhagen, Denmark

FRESH and European Sustainable Events Conference 2014
The European Green Capital 2014 Copenhagen is hosting the FRESH and European Sustainable Events Conference (ESEC) at the beginning of 2014.

20 – 21 February, 2014

Brussels, Belgium

Conference on Products Policy – International Trends in Ecodesign & Energy labelling The EU is organising an international conference on ecodesign and energy labelling featuring keynote speakers from government, industry, civil society and the European Commission.

24 – 25 February, 2014

Bremen, Germany

International Conference on Regional Climate Adaptation and Resilience towards Climate Adapted and Resilient Regions 2014
The two-day event will be hosted by “nordwest2050”, a practice-oriented research project aiming at increasing the ability of the Metropolitan Area Bremen-Oldenburg to deal with climate change in selected fields and to implement measures into regional planning and development processes.

26 – 28 February, 2014

Wels, Austria

World Sustainable Energy Days 2014 International Conference
The international experts and key-note speakers present at WSED 2014 will discuss the latest updates, and challenges that still exist, in tackling issues such as renewable energy; energy efficiency in buildings and transport; pellets; efficient and sustainable buildings; sustainable energy technologies; and policies and programmes.

5 – 7 March, 2014

Sofia, Bulgaria

South-East European Exhibition on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Looking at world trends, the 10th exhibition presents the latest energy efficient solutions, systems for energy storage, technologies for the production of bio-, hydro, solar, geothermal and wind energy, energy from waste and electric vehicle innovation.


European Business Awards for the Environment | Newsletter

Issue #21, December 2013

To view this edition, please click here.

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