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EU EMAS Award Winners 2015

The European Commission has awarded six organisations using the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) for exceptional performance on eco-innovation. The 10th EMAS Awards ceremony was held in Barcelona last night. EMAS is a voluntary EU programme that businesses use to improve their environmental – and financial – performance.

“The EMAS Award winners demonstrate what the circular economy is all about,” said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. “I salute their vision, commitment and results. They should serve as an example to others looking to do business in a sustainable, low-carbon economy of the future.”

Here you can read about the 2015 winners and their achievements:

Organisations from the private sector

Micro-organisations: La Page Original (Spain) is a graphic design and visual communication studio with just three employees. It stands out for incorporating environmental criteria into all of its projects and therefore greening the buying behavior of its customers.

Small organisations: Seehotel Wiesler GmbH (Germany) is a nature and wellness hotel on Lake Titisee in the southern Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg. For a small business, the extent of its activities and promotion is exceptional. Seehotel has developed a model for eco-tourism that has motivated 32 other hotels (plus a further 12 due this year) to join EMAS. Together, they constitute the “Nature Park Inns and Hotels Schwarzwald” group, co-founded by Seehotel’s owner Mr Wiesler.

Medium-sized organisations: Metallbau Haslinger GmbH (Germany) produces steel constructions and overhead cranes. It is on the way to becoming carbon neutral, despite its energy-intensive processes. Heat for space heating and powder coating is generated from wood chips, the electricity for fabrication comes from solar energy, and transport is partly through electric vehicles. Adjusting operations to match the availability of solar power requires impressive commitment from employees and management.

Large organisations: COMEXI Group Industries S.A.U. (Spain) is a family company whose strategic commitment to eco-innovation led them to develop a new printing machine called COMEXI OFFSET-CI8. This fully eliminates the use of solvent-based inks in the printing process – thus ending the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It also consumes 40 % less energy. Comexi could transform the entire printing sector, especially because it has an outstanding level of engagement with other actors in the supply chain.

Organisations from the public sector

Small organisations: Regional Centre for Water and Wastewater Management Co. (RCGW S.A.) (Poland) is a European leader in the production and use of renewable energy in the water and wastewater sector. It produces 50 % more energy than it needs every month from biogas. RCGW stands out amongst its peers for investment in innovative research and engagement with local communities. This is an outward-looking company with very professional, advanced green management.

Large organisations: Landeskrankenanstalten-Betriebsgesellschaft - KABEG (Austria) owns and manages the five biggest public hospitals in southern Austria. It has radically reduced its environmental impact by cutting back on water consumption, switching to 100 % green energy (including in-house solar power), more energy-efficient processes and buildings, and on-site electromobility. KABEG is impressive for the sheer range of its actions across all five sites, plus two research projects that take the benefits of eco-innovation beyond its core business.

Honourable mentions

In addition to this year’s six winners, two organisations have been given special recognition for their efforts on eco-innovation.

Medium-sized organisations: Schulverein St. Ursula in Österreich (Austria), a school in Vienna, received an honorary mention for its engagement with students on environmental issues.

Large organisations: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG (Germany), a global automotive and industrial supplier, received an honorary mention for its front-runner approach to implementing EMAS at global level: a total of 53 registered sites and the first EMAS registrations in China.