• Print version

Good practices

European Union

  • Resource efficiency lessons from south-east Europe

    04/11/14

    Resource efficiency lessons from south-east Europe
    A recently-concluded project involving partners from Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia has published a library of guidance on resource efficiency policies and implementation for municipalities. The guidance is primarily intended for cities in the 16 countries that participate in the European Union's South East Europe (SEE) Transnational Cooperation Programme 1 , but is also relevant for municipalities outside those countries.

    Read more

  • Social networking for green SMEs  

    21/10/14

    Social networking for green SMEs  
    A new European eco-innovation platform is hoping to create the foundations for what could become an eco social network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project, GreenEcoNet, went live in June 2014 with a website that provides eco-innovation case studies, tools, expert guidance, discussion forums and news. The ultimate aim, however, according to Emily Benson of project partner the Green Economy Coalition, is for the project to be highly interactive, with the website developing into a networking tool that will help SMEs find each other and work together. It could become a “European marketplace for greener products and services and ways of doing things - a LinkedIn for SMEs.”

    Read more

  • GreenITNet examines greening by IT in cities  

    07/10/14

    GreenITNet examines greening by IT in cities  
    A collaborative project that brings together a number of European municipal authorities is actively exploring the transfer of good practice in green information and communications technology. The GreenITNet project has recognised that both greening of IT and greening by IT can help cities meet their sustainability targets. The project runs until the end of 2014 and will hold its final conference on 29 October 2014.

    Read more

  • Sustainable usage practices for sustainable buildings  

    23/09/14

    Sustainable usage practices for sustainable buildings  
    An EU-funded project involving partners from Belgium, France and the United Kingdom has secured a one-year extension to build awareness about how to optimally use highly energy-efficient buildings. The first stage of the REGAIN project involved the construction of demonstration eco-efficient buildings in industrial parks. However, the project partners realised that although buildings can be designed to be green, they are not always used in green ways, and this can reduce their benefits. The project extension will therefore take the next step - identifying measures to encourage the green use of buildings.

    Read more

  • Blue innovation plan

    15/07/14

    Blue innovation plan
    In any discussion about eco-innovation, a vast territory is usually left uncharted: the oceans. The bounty of the seas, including food and valuable minerals, is commonly over-exploited, causing in some cases extensive damage. There is huge scope to make the existing marine economy more resource efficient and less environmentally-damaging.

    Read more

  • INTERREG IVC eco-innovation analysis offers handy hints to regional policymakers  

    18/06/14

    INTERREG IVC eco-innovation analysis offers handy hints to regional policymakers  
    Regional policymakers seeking the best way to boost eco-innovation in the context of the implementation of European Union cohesion policy from 2014-2020 - and the associated European Structural and Investment Funds - could benefit from a recent analysis of eco-innovation projects that were carried out under the auspices of the EU's 2007-2013 INTERREG IVC programme.

    Read more

  • European Commission plan will seek to boost SME resource efficiency  

    18/06/14

    European Commission plan will seek to boost SME resource efficiency  
    A Green action plan for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to be published soon by the European Commission, will set out a series of measures that are proposed to be taken at European level to encourage resource efficiency among SMEs, to promote “green entrepreneurship” and to make it easier for SMEs to access domestic and international markets for eco-innovative products and services.

    Read more

  • Promoting green behaviour: don't mention the environment!

    20/05/14

    Promoting green behaviour: don't mention the environment!
    Every hotel has them: notices in the bathroom informing guests that they can do their bit for the environment by reusing their towels, rather than expecting clean towels every day. Usually the notice contains a standard appeal, something like: Save our planet: every day millions of litres of water are used to wash towels that have been used only once. Researchers, however, have wondered if these appeals make any real difference.

    Read more

  • From rock to paper  

    07/05/14

    From rock to paper  
    People have been making paper in one form or another for at least 2000 years, and the art of paper-making has been through several technological shifts, most notably the switch from cotton and linen fibres as a raw material to wood pulp, a development that took place in the mid-nineteenth century. Recently, another approach has emerged - paper made from stone.

    Read more

  • BEACON puts spotlight on biorefining  

    07/05/14

    BEACON puts spotlight on biorefining  
    A project to explore the possibilities of biorefining - or the processing of biomass into higher value materials - has been recognised by the European Commission's RegioStars 2014 award scheme. The BEACON project, a partnership between three Welsh universities (Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea), was the winner in the “Sustainable Growth” category of the RegioStars Awards, which were presented in a ceremony in Brussels at the end of March.

    Read more

  • Clothing project to explore the circular economy for textiles  

    18/03/14

    Clothing project to explore the circular economy for textiles  
    The garment sector is becoming seriously interested in the recycling of textile fibres to make new clothing. A denim-recycling process was developed as long ago as the mid-1990s by Armani. More recently, the collection of old clothing as a raw material for new products has become highly organised - Switzerland's I:CO (I:Collect AG), for example, has 3,000 employees and processes about 500 tonnes of used items daily, recycling some of the material into collections such as PUMA's recyclable/biodegradeable InCycle range.

    Read more

  • No landfill, no incineration: municipalities commit to zero waste

    04/12/13

    No landfill, no incineration: municipalities commit to zero waste
    A European initiative involving municipalities, companies and citizens' groups is encouraging its members to commit to the elimination of residual waste, thereby ending landfill and incineration as waste management practices.

    Read more

  • Plan Bee creates a buzz

    04/12/13

    Plan Bee creates a buzz
    A small Scottish company is showing that a business can be built on biodiversity, by installing and maintaining bee hives on the premises of corporate customers.

    Read more

  • EU FUSIONS: food for thought

    30/09/13

    EU FUSIONS: food for thought
    A major European Union research project is studying how the environmental problem of food waste can be tackled through agreed definitions, common strategies and social innovation.

    Read more

  • Socks from the sea

    11/06/13

    Socks from the sea
    Humanity faces many thorny environmental challenges, but one of the most difficult is how to clean up the seas, which have long been used as a dumping ground for waste. A pioneering initiative involving organisations in the Netherlands, Italy and Slovenia is showing how one type of waste – abandoned fishing nets – can be recovered from the oceans and turned into useful consumer products.

    Read more

  • Regions test indicators of sustainable development

    11/06/13

    Regions test indicators of sustainable development
    A project backed by the European Union's INTERREG IV C programme has been working to show that an alternative is available. The FRESH project has adopted the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) and has tested it at regional level.

    Read more

  • EcoWater: Modelling the impact of environmental technology on water systems

    11/06/13

    EcoWater: Modelling the impact of environmental technology on water systems
    A European research project led by the Environmental and Energy Management Research Unit of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, is developing complex indicators to measure the impact of eco-innovative technologies on ecosystems.

    Read more

  • Portal aims to help the seeds of innovation to grow

    29/04/13

    Portal aims to help the seeds of innovation to grow
    An online portal is aiming to promote the results of European environmental research and development by providing details of a range of promising eco-innovations, and rating their “technology readiness”.

    Read more

  • Keeping track of WEEE

    26/03/13

    Keeping track of WEEE
    Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags can be used to ensure that waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is correctly processed, and that reuse of components and recycling of materials is maximised, according to a European Union funded project with pilot initiatives in the Czech Republic and Spain.

    Read more

  • 'Concrete' solutions

    11/03/13

    'Concrete' solutions
    The European Union's construction sector faces a testing target. Under the EU Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), it must, by 2020, reuse or recycle at least 70% by weight of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste.

    Read more

  • Island communities explore sustainability

    11/03/13

    Island communities explore sustainability
    A group of North Sea island communities have combined their energies to test a range of sustainability ideas involving water, energy and materials use, in the European Union funded Cradle-to-Cradle Islands project, which finished at the end of 2012.

    Read more

  • SPIRE aims to inspire through resource and energy efficiency  

    11/02/13

    SPIRE aims to inspire through resource and energy efficiency  
    A major cross-sectoral partnership is planning to channel €1.4 billion in private sector research spending to resource and energy efficiency in Europe's process industries – those sectors, such as steel and cement, that transform bulk resources into products that underpin modern economies.

    Read more

  • Recycled footwear products enter the market

    11/02/13

    Recycled footwear products enter the market
    Setting up systems so that consumers can return obsolete products to retailers – whether or not at the time of purchase of a new product – is an effective way of diverting old products from waste streams and encouraging reuse and recycling.

    Read more

  • Washing whiter without water

    28/01/13

    Washing whiter without water
    The future of laundry could be cleaning with plastic beads, rather than with water, according to Xeros, a small company based in the northern English town of Rotherham.

    Read more

  • New land-use planning tool supports ecosystem services

    14/04/12

    New land-use planning tool supports ecosystem services
    Recent advances in land-use modelling techniques may help city planners identify sites for the conservation of urban green space and the development of climate adaptation measures.

    Read more

  • One eco-innovation enables another

    14/04/12

    One eco-innovation enables another
    The scaling-up of sustainable, high-tech dyeing technology is the focus of an ongoing European Commission funded project aimed at strengthening SMEs in the colour textile industry.

    Read more

  • Tram depots: a blueprint for green building

    12/12/11

    Tram depots: a blueprint for green building
    Five European cities define the cutting-edge in sustainable urban building with four innovative new tram depots

    Read more

  • Biodegradable inks enable eco-friendly printing

    24/11/11

    Biodegradable inks enable eco-friendly printing
    A Delhi-based company is at the forefront of eco-innovation in ink production. Its biodegradable inks allow for eco-friendly printing and high-efficiency recycling of printed paper.

    Read more

  • Cutting-edge technology puts glass-recycling company ahead of industry

    12/11/11

    Cutting-edge technology puts glass-recycling company ahead of industry
    An innovative dry cleaning process offers advantages to glass recyclers - and, by extension, glass producers - through waste reduction, energy savings and increased product quality.

    Read more

  • Floating houses for rising seas

    12/11/11

    Floating houses for rising seas
    A recent advance in the technology used to build floating houses could make this a more attractive option for low lying areas seeking to adapt to the effects of climate change.

    Read more

  • Steel supply chain innovations deliver green benefits

    19/09/11

    Steel supply chain innovations deliver green benefits
    A better integrated supply chain and consumption-based accounting would enable more efficient use of steel and less waste, so helping reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

    Read more

  • Reducing surplus sludge in wastewater treatment

    19/09/11

    Reducing surplus sludge in wastewater treatment
    The EU-funded WASTEred project has facilitated the successful market launch of an eco-innovative product to reduce sludge generated during wastewater treatment in the food sector.

    Read more

  • Innovative bioprocesses may offer benefits to a fading colour textile industry

    19/09/11

    Innovative bioprocesses may offer benefits to a fading colour textile industry
    The scaling-up of sustainable, high-tech dyeing technology is the focus of an ongoing European Commission funded project aimed at strengthening SMEs in the colour textile industry.

    Read more

  • Making building materials greener

    04/09/11

    Making building materials greener
    Life-cycle assessment reveals potential for eco-innovation and substitution of traditional materials by natural, local equivalents to cut the environmental footprint of buildings.

    Read more

  • Significant emission reductions possible at a low cost

    28/07/11

    A report from the European Commission Joint Research Centre indicates that environmental improvements in residential buildings could result in overall greenhouse gas emission reductions of 7%.

    Read more

  • Recovering valuable metals from industrial waste

    27/07/11

    Recovering valuable metals from industrial waste
    The rising cost of metals is expected to drive uptake of an ecological metal-recovery system being developed by the EU-funded Ecometre project. It will benefit both surface-engineering and electronics companies.

    Read more

  • End-of-life aircraft recycling offers high grade materials

    24/06/11

    End-of-life aircraft recycling offers high grade materials
    TARMAC Aerosave is exploiting an innovative system for the smart dismantling and recycling of end-of-life aircraft. It targets the 6,000 aircraft due to retire over the next 15 years.

    Read more

  • Natural pest management cuts rice waste

    30/05/11

    Natural pest management cuts rice waste
    A EUREKA project has come up with a novel combination of natural methods to keep rice safe from insects and fungi during storage, providing a welcome substitute for pesticides.

    Read more

  • Cities setting standards in eco-innovation

    02/05/11

    Cities setting standards in eco-innovation
    Curitiba is Brazil’s seventh largest city and ‘green capital’. One of the best examples of green urban planning, it shows a city can minimise its environmental impact and be attractive.

    Read more

  • Nanotechnology and environmental performance: what lies beyond the shiny promises?

    07/02/11

    Nanotechnology and environmental performance: what lies beyond the shiny promises?
    The nanotechnology industry has over-promised and under-delivered according to Friends of the Earth, which proposes taking a precautionary approach to nanotechnology products.

    Read more

  • Reducing the environmental impact of agriculture through biotechnology

    24/01/11

    Reducing the environmental impact of agriculture through biotechnology
    Biotechnology can play a major role in helping farmers overcome challenges such as protecting crops against insects, weeds and disease, as well as battling vagaries of the weather.

    Read more

  • Reducing costs and improving performance of solar cells

    12/12/10

    Reducing costs and improving performance of solar cells
    Belgian manufacturer NovoPolymers has developed an innovative polymer film which will reduce the energy needed to encapsulate solar panels while also improving their performance.

    Read more

  • Waste is food: going all the way on sustainability

    27/10/10

    Waste is food: going all the way on sustainability
    Ten European regions have created a network to share best practice in waste prevention and management by applying the cradle-to-cradle concept for sustainable development.

    Read more

  • EU strategy on track for clean vehicles

    21/10/10

    EU strategy on track for clean vehicles
    The European Commission has proposed a new strategy to address the EU’s fossil-fuel dependency, accelerate development of clean automotive technologies and promote mass-market uptake.

    Read more

  • On the road to sustainable vehicles

    20/07/10

    On the road to sustainable vehicles
    Global carmakers are increasing efforts to improve the sustainability of their vehicles by incorporating recycled materials to meet environmental regulations and consumer demands.

    Read more

  • Green Week 2010 places focus on biodiversity

    01/07/10

    Green Week 2010 places focus on biodiversity
    To coincide with the International Year of Biodiversity, Green Week 2010 – Europe’s largest annual conference on the environment – addressed the current state of biodiversity and nature.

    Read more

  • Laying the foundations for sustainable construction

    28/04/10

    Laying the foundations for sustainable construction
    Reclaimed and sustainable construction materials could lead to a more eco-friendly building sector. By using such materials developers can reduce emissions and save energy.

    Read more

  • Cultivating crops on city rooftops

    09/03/10

    Cultivating crops on city rooftops
    Climate change and population growth mean walls, balconies and roofs across Europe's cities could take on a greener complexion as food production becomes part of the urban landscape.

    Read more

  • Accelerating sustainable industrial production

    14/02/10

    Accelerating sustainable industrial production
    Eco-innovation will be a key driver of industry efforts to tackle climate change in the post-Kyoto era according to new book on green growth published by the OECD in January 2010.

    Read more

  • Pursuit of sustainability drives innovation in the chemical industry

    26/01/10

    Pursuit of sustainability drives innovation in the chemical industry
    The European chemical industry is embracing innovation to ensure sustainability. Moreover, through innovation the industry is providing measures to facilitate a sustainable society.

    Read more

  • Good for your health, the environment and business

    18/12/09

    Good for your health, the environment and business
    Innovations in energy harvesting are set to increase the sustainability of sport and recreation. Through these devices, users will be able to create electricity while they exercise.

    Read more

  • Member States see electric cars as route to lower emissions

    18/12/09

    Member States see electric cars as route to lower emissions
    As the EU takes tougher action on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from vehicles, policies in Denmark, Germany and the UK are favouring the uptake of electric cars.

    Read more

  • Driving Europe towards a greener future

    03/10/09

    Driving Europe towards a greener future
    Major gas company Linde has developed an innovative process to produce hydrogen fuel from biodiesel by-product glycerine. A demonstration plant is under construction in Germany.

    Read more

  • Making mobile phones greener

    03/10/09

    Making mobile phones greener
    As stakeholders and governments are striving to lessen the environmental impact of mobile phones, mobile phone producers are moving to meet the demands of an eco-conscious society.

    Read more

  • Lighting the path to lower energy consumption

    28/07/09

    Lighting the path to lower energy consumption
    The next generation of low consumption lighting systems is set to slash energy consumption in Europe. New developments, such as organic LEDs, could result in huge energy savings.

    Read more

  • The practical contribution of ICTs to sustainable growth

    26/06/09

    The practical contribution of ICTs to sustainable growth
    Application of information and communication technologies (ICT)-based solutions in industry could yield dramatic energy savings, and ultimately lead to a more sustainable society.

    Read more

  • Taking a united approach to battery recycling

    15/02/09

    Taking a united approach to battery recycling
    The new EU Battery Directive came into force in October 2008 and is set to change how spent batteries are processed at national level. Some Member States have already been showing the way.

    Read more

  • Harnessing computer power to revolutionise domestic energy consumption

    05/02/09

    Harnessing computer power to revolutionise domestic energy consumption
    The EU-funded POBICOS project is harnessing innovative computing applications to develop a cutting-edge home-automation platform that could dramatically change energy consumption.

    Read more

  • European Mobility Week calls for Clean Air for All

    22/01/09

    European Mobility Week calls for Clean Air for All

    More than 200 million citizens across Europe and around the world participated in the 7th European Mobility Week. The central theme of this year’s event was ‘Clean Air for All’.

    Read more

  • On the crest of wave-power production

    21/01/09

    On the crest of wave-power production
    National and international organisations worked together to fund, develop and open the world's first commercial wave power plant off the coast of Portugal, as part of ETAP-oriented plans to intensify the exploitation of renewable energy sources

    Read more

  • Solar photovoltaics set to provide 12% of Europe's electricity by 2020

    06/01/09

    Solar photovoltaics set to provide 12% of Europe's electricity by 2020
    The European PV industry has redefined its targets following technological developments and rising energy prices. The sector aims to supply 12% of Europe's electricity by 2020.

    Read more

  • Developing second-generation biofuels for commercial flights

    20/11/08

    Developing second-generation biofuels for commercial flights
    Airbus and Honeywell are working with others to develop biofuels that could satisfy nearly a third of global demand from commercial aircraft by 2030 without affecting food supplies

    Read more

  • Balancing electrical energy supply and demand

    07/11/08

    Balancing electrical energy supply and demand
    Renewable energy presents a challenge: how to meet peak demand with increasing reliance on intermittent sources. A new analysis explores storage options to facilitate use of renewables.

    Read more

  • Integral cylinder pressure sensor cleans up diesel engines

    05/11/08

    Integral cylinder pressure sensor cleans up diesel engines
    The 2008 EUREKA Lillehammer Award went to a glow plug pressure sensor that can cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) and soot particle emissions from car diesel engines by up to 90%.

    Read more

  • Making car recycling more environmentally friendly

    05/11/08

    Making car recycling more environmentally friendly
    Advanced technologies to increase the recovery rate from end-of-life vehicles can help Member States achieve EU targets for resource and energy recovery.

    Read more

  • On-board carbon capture offers emission-free cars

    06/08/08

    On-board carbon capture offers emission-free cars
    US researchers have developed an innovative strategy to capture, store and eventually recycle carbon from vehicles to prevent CO2 from finding its way into the atmosphere.

    Read more

  • Driving the hydrogen way

    06/08/08

    Driving the hydrogen way
    Hydrogen energy could reduce oil consumption by 40% in road transport by 2050 according to the HyWays project, which proposes a roadmap to overcome barriers and boost European competitiveness in this key sector.

    Read more

  • World's cleanest vessel on inland waterway

    06/08/08

    World's cleanest vessel on inland waterway
    An EU-funded research project is currently demonstrating a low-emission, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly tanker, developed to reduce the environmental impact of inland shipping.

    Read more