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Experts interviews

  • REDISA: South Africa’s model for a circular economy

    22/05/15

    REDISA: South Africa’s model for a circular economy
    A South African scheme, introduced as part of a drive to improve waste management, could provide some useful lessons to countries, regions and municipalities that are seeking to establish more integrated approaches to recycling in the move towards a circular economy.

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  • Interview with Andrew Prag, speaker at the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation

    04/05/15

    Interview with Andrew Prag, speaker at the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation
    The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been analysing the evolution of environmental labels for more than 15 years. Currently, a project is underway to ascertain whether and how the recent rapid growth in labelling schemes might affect the overall environmental effectiveness of schemes and their implications for international trade.

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  • Building on eco-innovative excellence in the regions of Europe

    07/04/15

    Building on eco-innovative excellence in the regions of Europe
    The ReNEW project (Resource Innovation Network for European Waste) has brought together a number of universities and research institutes, business development agencies and government departments, to study how links between researchers, business and public authorities can be improved to stimulate the take-up of innovation.

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  • Facilitating innovation to underpin low-carbon transformation

    24/03/15

    Facilitating innovation to underpin low-carbon transformation
    The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate is an international initiative, chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and backed by the governments of Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It was established to examine questions related to the economic impact of measures to tackle climate change. The commission consists of former prime ministers and ministers, company CEOs, bankers, academics and mayors.

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  • Overcoming resistance in the transition to sustainability

    24/02/15

    Overcoming resistance in the transition to sustainability
    Frank Geels is a professor of system innovation and sustainability at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and the Sustainable Consumption Institute, Manchester University, UK. He is also chairman of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (www.transitionsnetwork.org). His work focuses on “socio-technical transitions,” in particular the conditions that are needed for a true societal shift to sustainable production and consumption within planetary limits. He argues that eco-innovation is part of such a transition, but transition will not be a question of technology alone.

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  • The circular economy is making good progress in the regions of France

    27/11/14

    The circular economy is making good progress in the regions of France
    François-Michel Lambert has been a member of the French National Assembly since 2012 and an environmental activist since 1992. He is a member of the Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) political party and he chairs the Circular Economy Institute (Institut de l'économie circulaire). He also founded with four other French parliamentarians the “Club of parliamentarians for the circular economy”. His goal is to advance the implementation in practice of circular economy principles among the French public and private sectors, and to promote the adoption by 2017 of a law to promote the circular economy.

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  • Innovative funding: climate bonds and decarbonisation

    17/11/14

    Innovative funding: climate bonds and decarbonisation
    The Climate Bonds Initiative seeks to channel the bond markets to support green infrastructure and decarbonisation. The initiative is developing standards for “climate bonds,” which are meant to help investors such as pension funds distinguish between investments that contribute to decarbonisation and those that don't. Currently, the “climate-themed bond universe” amounts to more than US$500 billion, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative. Most bond finance classified as contributing to decarbonisation is spent on transport, primarily railways in China. Huge sums are also being raised for renewable energy. Other investments, such as in water infrastructure, or waste management and pollution control, are currently at much lower levels.

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  • Understanding bio-based value chains: the case of green gas

    04/11/14

    Understanding bio-based value chains: the case of green gas
    GroenGas-GrünesGas is a major European Union backed Interreg IVA project in Germany and the Netherlands that looks at the whole cycle of green gas production and use. The project has 18 sub-projects, one of which, ‘Integrated Assessment and Management of Green Gas Supply Chains’, is examining how green-gas supply chains can be optimised. Michiel van Galen of LEI Wageningen UR, the socio-economic research institute of Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) in the Netherlands, explains what lessons the project has learned, and how these might be applied in other bio-based supply chains in which non-renewable inputs, such as fossil fuels, could be replaced by renewable bio-based inputs.

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  • Lessons on eco-innovation: Portugal and ECOPOL  

    07/10/14

    Lessons on eco-innovation: Portugal and ECOPOL  
    ECOPOL was a European Union-backed project to identify and analyse promising eco-innovation policies with the potential for transfer between countries. The project concentrated in particular on green public procurement, the internationalisation strategies for eco-innovative small and medium companies and resource efficiency. One of the key conclusions of the project, outlined at a final conference in October 2013, was that transfer of eco-innovation is “impossible” - what is required is “smart translation” to adapt effective policies to new contexts.

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  • Interview with Gerhard Hrebicek of iconVienna

    23/09/14

    Interview with Gerhard Hrebicek of iconVienna
    iconVienna is an annual business and investment summit that aims to encourage business connections and explore investment opportunities between east and west Europe. The summit was first held in 2005, and is organised by the Vienna-based European Brand Institute, an independent organisation that specialises in intellectual property issues. IconVienna 2014 was held in April 2014, and focused on innovation for Smart Cities - including urban sustainability through eco-innovation. The president of the event, Gerhard Hrebicek, explains the roll of the forum and gives his views on eco-innovation in smart cities.

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  • Reuse is the key to the circular economy  

    10/09/14

    Reuse is the key to the circular economy  
    Professor Walter Stahel is a longstanding advocate of adoption of circular economy ideas as the basis for a more sustainable society. His 1976 research report for the European Commission, “The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy,” found that energy consumption in manufacturing is mainly related to extraction and processing of resources, rather than actual manufacturing processes, and that by reusing products rather than producing new ones, labour would replace energy, leading to energy savings combined with job creation. The report was subsequently republished as a book, and Professor Stahel has since authored many publications on the circular economy.

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  • Interview with Gunter Pauli: next generation innovation and the Blue Economy  

    07/05/14

    Interview with Gunter Pauli: next generation innovation and the Blue Economy  
    Business as usual? Not for Gunter Pauli, advocate for the Blue Economy, former CEO of Ecover, children’s author, father of six and ‘world citizen’.  In an interview at the recent EcoAP forum at the Hannover-Messe, Mr Pauli shares his vision for a better world through doing better business.

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  • Eco-innovation, EMAS and ETV: the EU's environmental technology toolbox

    03/04/14

    Eco-innovation, EMAS and ETV: the EU's environmental technology toolbox
    Ahead of the 16th European Forum on Eco-Innovation and the 2nd ETV (Environmental Technology Verification) Stakeholder Forum, Pavel Misiga, head of the Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy in the European Commission's Environment Directorate-General, discussed three European Union policy initiatives that could help companies in the quest for greater sustainability.

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  • EcoAP speaks with Alan AtKisson of the Balaton Group

    11/02/14

    EcoAP speaks with Alan AtKisson of the Balaton Group
    Alan AtKisson is a Stockhom-based consultant and author who is recognised for his two decades of work on sustainability management and policy. He is an advisor to, and a former president of, the Balaton Group, a global network that focuses on sustainability and systems thinking.

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  • Industrial symbiosis: realising the circular economy  

    27/01/14

    Industrial symbiosis: realising the circular economy  
    Industrial symbiosis is the use by one company or sector of by-products, including energy, water, logistics and materials, from another. Simple examples include the use of food waste from the catering sector to feed farm animals, or the use of non-toxic industrial waste to produce energy through incineration. However, in a developed economy with many industrial activities, many different by-products are generated, and the range of potential uses for them can be equally diverse.

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  • Interview: the benefits of behavioural change

    16/09/13

    Interview: the benefits of behavioural change
    Jerome Simpson, a green transport expert with the Regional Environment Centre in Budapest, Hungary, and coordinator of CIVITAS VANGUARD, part of the CIVITAS initiative, talks about the idea of behavioural change as a means to bring about positive environmental benefits, especially in relation to mobility in cities.

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  • Achieving a steady state: an interview with ecological economics pioneer Herman Daly

    02/09/13

    Achieving a steady state: an interview with ecological economics pioneer Herman Daly
    Europe is presently in the midst of an economic growth crisis. Economists are working hard to put forward recommendations that politicians can turn into policies that will restore growth, bringing with it the promise of more jobs and greater prosperity. But growth in much of the world has been based on exploitation of resources, an unsustainable practice in a world with an expanding population and resource limitations. Eco-innovation is one response to this – eco-innovation is defined as “any form of innovation aiming at significant and demonstrable progress towards the goal of sustainable development. This can be achieved either by reducing the environmental impact or achieving a more efficient and responsible use of resources.”

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  • Eco-innovation in the European Semester

    17/06/13

    Eco-innovation in the European Semester
    The European Semester was established in 2010 as a mechanism to better coordinate economic policies in European Union countries. It was one of the EU's responses to the financial and economic crisis, which has resulted in economic contraction and rising unemployment in many EU countries. The European Semester is based on the idea that, because EU economies are highly integrated, enhanced policy coordination can help prevent discrepancies and will boost economic development in the EU generally.

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  • Eco-innovation as a solution for the Mediterranean countries  

    14/05/13

    Eco-innovation as a solution for the Mediterranean countries  
    The European Union's Mediterranean countries are generally perceived to be lagging behind northern Europe in economic and innovation terms. The MEDOSSIC project (Mediterranean organisation structure and strengthening of innovation capacities for sustainable development) looked at the Med region's eco-innovation infrastructure to see if improvements could be made.

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  • Innovative wastewater treatment promises energy recovery  

    02/04/13

    Innovative wastewater treatment promises energy recovery  
    The BioFatRecovery project addresses a sticky problem: treatment of wastewater that contains fat, for example from dairy or meat processing. Project partner Ambisys has developed the Inverted Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (IASB) reactor, which makes it possible to efficiently remove fat from wastewater and convert it into useful bioenergy in the form of biogas. The treatment process is ideal for small-scale facilities and is a good example of a project that targets SMEs. Through BioFatRecovery, an IASB reactor is being installed and tested at a fish processing plant in Póvoa de Varzim, northern Portugal.

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  • ENWORKS: effective eco-efficiency advice

    19/02/13

    ENWORKS: effective eco-efficiency advice
    ENWORKS, a Manchester, England based eco-efficiency advisory service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been recognised by the European Commission's RegioStars Awards 2013 for the quality of its environmental support to businesses. ENWORKS “exemplifies effective public/private cooperation in the field of information sharing, and guidance in the area of SMEs transition to a low carbon economy,” according to the RegioStars jury.

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  • Promotion of eco-innovation in Portugal  

    15/01/13

    Promotion of eco-innovation in Portugal  
    To coincide with the 13th European Forum on Eco-Innovation, which took place in Lisbon on 26-27 November 2012, the Portuguese government published the first Catalogue of Portuguese Eco-Innovation Competencies. Luis Florindo, Advisor to the Board of Directors of AICEP, explained the thinking behind the catalogue; and Paulo Lemos, member of the Board of Directors of APA and member of the Eco-Innovation Action Plan High-level Working Group, discussed the broader issues relating to eco-innovation in Portugal.

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  • Dutch delegates to the EcoAP HLWG share their vision on systems thinking

    15/10/12

    Dutch delegates to the EcoAP HLWG share their vision on systems thinking
    Robbert Droop and Just van Lidth de Jeude, Dutch delegates to the Eco-innovation Action Plan High Level Working Group, share their views on promoting a vision for eco-innovation and systems thinking. Robbert Droop works for the sustainability department of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, and Just van Lidth de Jeude works for the climate, air and noise department.

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  • Desso uses Cradle to Cradle® principle in carpet manufacturing

    01/10/12

    Desso uses Cradle to Cradle® principle in carpet manufacturing
    Rudi Daelmans has been Director of Sustainability at Dutch carpet manufacturer DESSO since 2007. DESSO produces carpets for commercial use, for the hospitality, marine and aviation sectors and for consumers. In 2008, DESSO embraced the Cradle to Cradle® principle. This is a design concept, formulated by chemist Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, under which products are made from components that are easy to disassemble, in order to create new products.

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  • Eco-innovation Action Plan offers new opportunities for business

    23/01/12

    Eco-innovation Action Plan offers new opportunities for business
    The Commission has launched an Eco-innovation Action Plan to expand the EU's focus from green technologies to all aspects of eco-innovation.

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  • Getting European clean-tech into India

    14/12/11

    Getting European clean-tech into India
    Micol Martinelli, Senior Advisor at Eurochambres, explains how the European Business and Technology Centre helps European SMEs transfer their innovations to India

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  • Poland planning for EU environment and eco-innovation

    24/11/11

    Poland planning for EU environment and eco-innovation
    As holder of the EU presidency for the second half of 2011, Poland sees eco-innovation as crucial for many of the environmental goals it puts at the top of the European agenda.

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  • Next stop, the bio-based economy

    03/10/11

    Next stop, the bio-based economy
    Lars Hansen, Regional President Europe at enzyme maker Novozymes, sets out a vision for a bio-based future, with products from detergents to advanced biofuels mimicking nature to protect it.

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  • Unlocking the potential of eco-innovation in the regions

    05/09/11

    Unlocking the potential of eco-innovation in the regions
    Richard Tuffs is Director of the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN) which assists and connects up regional representatives to eco-innovate.

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  • Political guidelines essential for eco-innovation development

    28/07/11

    Politicians must establish clear operating rules and ensure economic technology transfer for the benefits of eco-innovation to be shared worldwide according to Jean-Claude Steffens of SUEZ.

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  • NOVAMONT - Christophe Doukhi-de Boissoudy - a world leader in bioplastics from biodegradable, renewable and compostable sources

    28/07/11

    Christophe Doukhi-de Boissoudy, General Manager of Novamont France, answers our questions about his company, a European leader in the field of bio plastic. The Head of Novamont, Catia Bastioli, was recently named the 2007 European Inventor of the Year.

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  • Mr Jack Huttner, from Genencor International (Danisco) and Chair of Europabio. - Industrial Biotechnologies, a Catalyser for Eco-innovation in Europe

    28/07/11

    Mr Jack Huttner, from Genencor International (Danisco) and Chair of Europabio (European Association for Bioindustries), emphases the great potential expected of White biotechnologies, to create a “knowledge based sustainable bioeconomy”.

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  • Novamex - French leader of eco-friendly cleaning products for home and personal care

    28/07/11

    Michel Leuthy, Executive Director of Novamex, tells us about the key to success of this company of eco-labelled products.

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  • Call for integrated approach to road transport research

    28/07/11

    EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik has called for greater co-operation in road transport research and a more integrated approach to developing a cleaner, safer and smarter road transport system.

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  • Moving to a sustainable economy requires lifestyle change

    12/07/11

    Moving to a sustainable economy requires lifestyle change
    Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, believes strongly that policymakers must lead a change in lifestyles and values to save the planet.

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  • Europe ‘must provide green norms and standards’

    24/06/11

    Europe ‘must provide green norms and standards’
    French businessman Hugues-Arnaud Mayer highlights the challenges and opportunities for eco-innovation from a grass roots viewpoint as a self-made eco-entrepreneur now advising others.

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  • Rolling out bioplastics in Europe

    19/03/11

    Rolling out bioplastics in Europe
    European Bioplastics is the trade body set up to promote full deployment of these eco-innovative and resource-efficient materials, as managing director Hasso von Pogrell explains.

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  • Eco-innovation key to meeting 2020 targets

    24/01/11

    Eco-innovation key to meeting 2020 targets
    Resources for eco-innovative research must be reinforced to provide the green technologies to meet EU 2020 targets, says Roland Moreau of the Belgian federal Directorate-General for Environment

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  • Resource efficiency drives eco-innovation

    12/12/10

    Resource efficiency drives eco-innovation
    Marc Grynberg, chief executive officer of the materials technology company Umicore, talks about how resource efficiency policies are driving forward his global business.

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  • Pinning down eco-innovation

    21/11/10

    Pinning down eco-innovation
    Michal Miedzinski of Technopolis Group is leading an initiative to analyse trends and opportunities in eco-innovation to enhance EU competitiveness and environmental performance.

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  • Venture capital investor sees profit in the environment

    27/10/10

    Venture capital investor sees profit in the environment
    The European Environmental Technologies Fund is a venture capital investor in major growth companies making a big environmental impact, as managing partner Henrik Olsén explains.

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  • ECO WORLD STYRIA: the world’s leading cleantech cluster

    03/10/10

    ECO WORLD STYRIA: the world’s leading cleantech cluster
    Managing director Bernhard Puttinger explains the thinking behind ECO WORLD STYRIA, recognised as the world’s leading cleantech cluster for 2010 by the international Cleantech Group.

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  • Green skills vital to EU future

    20/09/10

    Green skills vital to EU future
    Peter Szovics of Cedefop believes many of the skills required for eco-innovation should come from improving current competences but green skills will become important to all jobs.

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  • City of the Sun: illuminating sustainable cities

    31/05/10

    City of the Sun: illuminating sustainable cities
    Architect Ashok Bhalotra developed a concept for a truly sustainable city. Through his perseverance, this idea has been realised in the form of Heerhugowaard’s City of the Sun.

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  • Interviews

    14/02/10

    Interviews
    Dutch scientist Dr Gatze Lettinga has developed a wastewater treatment that uses less water and produces biogas. The freely-available process has received worldwide recognition.

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  • Global brewer strongly committed to sustainable development

    27/01/10

    Global brewer strongly committed to sustainable development
    SABMiller is one of the world’s largest brewers, operating on six continents in 75 countries. The company has a strong commitment to sustainable development as Andy Wales explains.

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  • Sweden committed to strengthening eco-innovation

    26/10/09

    Sweden committed to strengthening eco-innovation
    The Swedish government is committed to strengthening eco-innovation, according to Elisabet Falemo, State Secretary Ministry of the Environment, and Ola Alterå, State Secretary Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.

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  • Taking a practical approach to technology transfer

    03/10/09

    Taking a practical approach to technology transfer
    Steven Hunt, International Projects Manager for Practical Action Consulting and the PISCES consortium, believes in adapting technologies to individual needs of developing countries.

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  • Innovative solutions to high emissions from the ICT sector

    09/06/09

    Innovative solutions to high emissions from the ICT sector
    Emissions from the information and communications technology sector are set to rise, but ICT could be the solution to and not the source of high emissions according to Marc Benowitz, Director of Eco-Environmental Engineering at Alcatel-Lucent.

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  • Eco-innovation, Europe in the regions

    06/05/09

    Eco-innovation, Europe in the regions
    Hélène Blanchard is vice-president of the Rhône-Alpes region with responsibility for the environment and risk prevention. She is working especially on the development of eco-technologies in the eight départements in her Region. At the European level, she is involved in the European Clusters and Regions for Eco-Innovation and Eco-Investments Network (ECREIN) project.

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  • Strong foundation for bio-based materials in Europe

    06/01/09

    Strong foundation for bio-based materials in Europe
    Bio-based product sales have grown rapidly in the past five years. Europe has an excellent research base, the world’s largest chemical industry infrastructure and solid development of bio-specialties

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  • Ensuring good research gets to market

    04/11/08

    Ensuring good research gets to market
    Building a good business case is key to translating successful research results into marketable products and services according to a new and unusual European eco-innovation expert group: Greenovate! Europe.

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  • Working together to boost industrial sustainability

    30/10/08

    Working together to boost industrial sustainability
    A UK initiative encouraging companies to look beyond traditional physical and sector boundaries to create an environmentally sustainable economy offers an example for the whole of Europe

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  • AXT inc. - Germanium solar cells fuel greener future

    21/08/08

    AXT inc. - Germanium solar cells fuel greener future
    Use of germanium substrates for photovoltaic solar cells offers higher efficiency than with silicon substrates according Dr Philip Yin of US semiconductor substrate specialist AXT.

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  • PIUS: Supporting SMEs into Cleaner Productions. Part II

    09/08/08

    Bernd Jücher, Managing Director of a German electroplating company (C+C Cours GmbH) illustrates the PIUS initiative through a practical example – a successful case of environmental process improvement coupled with cost benefits.

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  • Noki - Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities. The world s leading mobile phone supplier with environmental objectives

    01/08/08

    Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities, describes Nokia's sustainable development objectives and achievements. In June 2007, Nokia regained the top ranking in the Greenpeace Electronics Guide. This ranking takes into account both the chemical content of products and the producer’s policy and practices.

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  • Noki - Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities. The world s leading mobile phone supplier with environmental objectives

    01/08/08

    Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities, describes Nokia's sustainable development objectives and achievements. In June 2007, Nokia regained the top ranking in the Greenpeace Electronics Guide. This ranking takes into account both the chemical content of products and the producer’s policy and practices.

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  • Vestas - Mr. Aidan Cronin. Wind a Template for Eco-innovation in Europe?

    01/08/08

    International Policy Advisor at VESTAS Wind System, gives his views on Wind Power business and on the trends and key drivers in eco-innovation.

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  • The Sun Factory: "building the sustainable solar future"

    01/08/08

    Mr Klaas Jetze Hoekstra, CEO and managing director of a small fast growing Dutch company, explains how solar energy can be competitive and contribute to more sustainable initiatives, such as a water purification unit for southern countries.

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  • PIUS: Supporting SMEs into Cleaner Productions. Part I

    01/08/08

    Dr. Peter Jahns, Managing Director of the EFA (Efficiency Agency of the German State North Rhine-Westphalia), presents the PIUS initiative, a successful programme stimulating Small and Medium Enterprises to progress in the field of cleaner production processes.

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  • A successful Financing Scheme for Eco Innovation: the example of Finland

    01/08/08

    Jukka Noponen is the Executive Director of the Environmental programme for Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. He explains what makes Finland's financing scheme so successful.

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  • London Recycling Limited - Specialist recycling and waste management provider for businesses in London

    01/08/08

    Karen Thake, Marketing Manager of London Recycling Ltd, describes the motivation behind a successful and innovative waste management company.

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  • TRADEMARK Color&Cloth - Plant Dyes for the Austrian Textile Industry

    01/08/08

    From an idea to a trade product ready for marketing - plant dyes for the textile industry. A project supported by the Austrian "Factory of Tomorrow" programme.

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  • Nokia - The world s leading mobile phone supplier with environmental objectives

    01/08/08

    Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities, describes Nokia's sustainable development objectives and achievements. In June 2007, Nokia regained the top ranking in the Greenpeace Electronics Guide. This ranking takes into account both the chemical content of products and the producer’s policy and practices.

    Read more

  • Novamex – French leader of eco-friendly cleaning products for home and personal care

    01/08/08

    Michel Leuthy, Executive Director of Novamex, tells us about the key to success of this company of eco-labelled products.

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  • Mrs. Livia Tirone, architect and co-founder of the Portuguese architectural practice and real estate promotion company Tirone Nunes

    28/07/08

    Following her participation in the second Eco-Innovation forum on “Markets for Sustainable Construction”, Mrs. Livia Tirone speaks to us about sustainable construction, eco-design and relevant legislation.

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  • Political guidelines essential for eco-innovation development

    18/07/08

    Political guidelines essential for eco-innovation development
    Politicians must establish clear operating rules and ensure economic technology transfer for the benefits of eco-innovation to be shared worldwide according to Jean-Claude Steffens of SUEZ.

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