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On 3 November 2020, during the Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, the go-to event on the circular economy in Europe, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2020-2021 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE).
While presenting the awards, Gilles Gantelet, Director at the European Commission's DG Environment, said: "This year's EBAE Winners prove once again that whatever the size of the company, and wherever it is based, economic growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand. These innovative businesses are Europe's pride, and our allies in transforming the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by the year 2050."
The jury also acknowledged 10 Silver Medallists and 12 Rising Stars.
For those who were unable to watch the EBAE Awards Ceremony live, a recording is available here. (from minute 03:00 indicatively)
The Awards Ceremony for the 2020-2021 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) will take place on 3 November 2020, as part of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, in Brussels.
In compliance with the COVID-19 health and safety measures in Brussels, the Ceremony will be livestreamed, giving everyone across Europe – and the world – a chance to follow the announcement of this year’s eco-innovation winners as it happens.
To follow the EBAE Ceremony livestream simply click on this link at 12:30 CET on 3 November.
16 companies from nine European countries have been shortlisted for the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) in the 2020-2021 cycle. You can learn more about this year’s EBAE Finalists and their contribution to eco-innovation HERE.
Briefly explain what the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) work is.
WWF has teams of experts working in over 100 countries to protect the natural resources that sustain and inspire us: our forests, rivers, ocean, climate, food and wildlife. But we've known from the start that this isn't a job for one organization. WWF harnesses the collective power of supporters around the world, communities, companies and governments to create real solutions for people and the planet. Together, we bridge cutting edge conservation science and traditional knowledge.
The 2020 EBAE competition welcomed six Bulgarian nominees; how do you think such competition can influence the green transition nationally?
A green transition, now being also a green recovery to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic challenge, would offer economic returns on government investments, generate growth and create jobs. It would also put us on track to a more healthy and sustainable future, reduce the risks of future pandemics, improve our public health and environmental outcomes and put the world on a much-needed pathway towards net-zero emissions. Bulgarian business can have a strong leading role in these processes. Bulgarian initiatives, reaching prestigious contests and receiving deserved recognition, provide inspiration and example to multiply and follow. It is through sharing, joining forces, exchange, networking and cooperation that impact at scale will be achieved.
What are your local and national authorities doing to support eco-innovation? What could they do better?
Bulgaria is still to increase efforts for introducing, boosting and scaling up eco-innovation and circular economy, as some previous editions of EC’s Eco-innovation scoreboard show. EU cooperation, including through initiatives such as the EBAE awards, play a strong role in the process. An eco-innovative community of start-ups, small and medium-size enterprises is shaping in Bulgaria and it needs enabling conditions and the support of authorities, partners and the Bulgarian public.
This year’s European Commission’s focus is on the conservation and protection of our biodiversity. What is WWF Bulgaria’s agenda for the year ahead? What are your main battles?
In these unprecedented times of challenge towards economies and societies, brought by the global Covid-19 pandemic, it is even more important to align recovery packages with social and environmental objectives, ensure climate change, the protection of natural ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources remain high up on the public agenda. A green, just, inclusive economic recovery and the European Green Deal will dominate our work over the next period, serving as a basis to incorporate our conservation work and achievements, boost communications and outreach, and cultivate new allies. We will continue our work on old growth forest protection, responsible forest management, rare forest habitat restoration, species conservation, freshwater governance, Just transition from coal, transition to a carbon neutral economy. This we will achieve together with a wide range of partners from all spheres, by reaching out to Bulgarian public and through youth mobilization. We will seek to incorporate innovation in all our operations, test and apply new models to achieve our ambitious objectives.
If you had one advice for the EBAE Finalists?
As market demand for food and fiber increases in the coming decades, so will the impact on our planet’s natural resources. As great as these challenges are, there is enormous potential to change and improve business practices, products and services to fit within planetary limits. Continue your bold leadership towards a sustainable future for us and for the next generations to come.
Are you in business with your brains, heart and soul contributing to a more sustainable world? Then, the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) are the ones you should apply for…and win!
In a changing world, sustainability seems to finally be making sense in all spheres of society. From business to politics, but especially amongst young citizens who will shape the future, the EBAE are a window of fresh air, where you find opportunity, vision and hope.
As a juror, I am enlightened to see how this transformation, in which I firmly believe, is actually happening. The EBAE candidates are at the forefront in the environmental field. Their initiatives are often paving the way for the future.
Having the chance to see this intelligent set of innovations brings me confidence that something is really blooming. Change is happening. That is why I am always looking forward to the EBAE evaluation process: to get a peak view into what’s coming.
I am particularly keen on the Award for Business and Biodiversity: it proves that companies who work with nature can not only make sense, but actually bring profit in a win-win-win manner. We need nature, for life and for business, so let’s face it: we need to work hand in hand!
The business community is already stating that the economy needs to be sustainable. This means taking into account nature, climate change adaptation and mitigation and the circular economy. The European Business Awards for the Environment add value to those innovations and recognise inspiring game changers. Thank you all for your commitment!
Sonia Castañeda Rial
EBAE Juror and Director of Fundación Biodiversidad, Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition.