About the awards
Winners & Runners-up
Media & promotion
The countdown to the Awards Ceremony of the European Business Awards for the Environment has begun!
On 14 November 2018, at the EBAE award ceremony in Vienna, high-level European Commission officials, members of the Austrian Government and members of the EBAE Jury will reveal the winners of the 2018-2019 EBAE.
Besides offering the opportunity to meeting all finalists in person, this special event will also be an opportunity to network with high-level Commission officials, experts from various organisations working on environmental issues and stakeholder organisations from across the EU.
Those wishing to attend the Ceremony should register via the website of the Growth in Transition conference. Due to limited places, participation is on a first-come first-served basis and subject to confirmation. The deadline for registration is 31 October 2018.
Those who cannot come to Vienna will be able to follow the Ceremony live on Twitter with the hashtag #EuGreenBiz. So watch this space to discover the next European champions of eco-innovation!
Out of the 161 entries received for the 2018-2019 edition of the EBAE, only 22 companies were shortlisted for an Award. But the other 139 still deserve to be celebrated in their own right for excelling in their respective national competitions! Who are these nominees? Why did they apply for EBAE and what makes them stand out as eco-innovative warriors?
Read some of their stories here!
The EU Circular Economy Mission to India which took place on 4-7 September 2018 focused on supporting sustainable innovation and the drive towards new business opportunities, particularly for SMEs. The EU delegation was led by EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, with around 80 EU business participants. The delegation met with the ministries of the Indian government and over 300 businesses, entrepreneurs and NGOs.
With the Indian economy projected to grow at close to 7.5% in the coming years, the country realised the urgent need to develop circular economy models that will allow decoupling economic growth from resource security issues and negative environmental impact. Business-to-business collaboration, across industries and across value chains, and new collaborative networks with the participation of public and academic actors will need to play a crucial role in the transition.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is already active in the area of circular economy and engaged with EU policy makers and businesses during this mission. The EU-funded Resource Efficiency Initiative (REI) project aims to foster business partnerships for knowledge and technology transfer between European and Indian industry, and raise awareness of best practices in resource efficiency among businesses and government.
The European Commission also launched a call for applications (business, NGOs, public organisations) to join a mission on the circular economy to Japan and Indonesia on 22-26 October 2018.
Scaling Circular Business Platform
This platform highlights promising solutions that might help businesses to become more circular. They have all been selected out of hundreds of applicants by the European Commission and are looking for ways to improve their impact and uptake across Europe. Support is offered to the interested parties and the circular solutions to set up effective collaborations across Europe.
In this edition we are meeting with Heinz Felsner who has led the Jury assessing applications for the 2018-2019 cycle of the European Business Awards for the Environment. Heinz will be sharing what he has been looking for when judging the EBAE entries, and some advice as one of EBAE’s most enthusiastic supporters.
We, the jury, have the opportunity to award applications that can be used to promote a message to all businesses across Europe: that their efforts towards sustainability have a resounding impact on business and society. Sustainable business cannot exist when society is itself unsustainable, failing, or indeed when the environment is destroyed.
Reading, discussing and assessing the applications gave me a lot of confidence for the future. It confirmed my experience gathered over more than 20 years: if business does not take the lead in implementing actions to achieve the ambitious goals of Global Sustainable Development – who else will do it?
Is it a real innovation? Status of development – does it show measurable results? Magnitude of potential impact?
If a company will answer self critically the questions above then go ahead, with full speed and persistence!
Read Heinz Felsner’s opening address at the 2018 Jury Meeting here.
Heinz Felsner is CEO of KPI Consult GmbH, Switzerland; Founding board member of the Austrian Business Council for Sustainable Development; President of Schweiz-Österreich-Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the 2006 EBAE Jury and Member of the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 EBAE Juries.
Provided companies have entered one of the four EBAE categories, they can also apply for the Business and Biodiversity Award. What exactly is this Award about?
Biodiversity — the extraordinary variety of ecosystems, species and genes that surround us — is our life insurance, providing us with food, fresh water, clean air and medicine. It also provides the natural capital, or stock of renewable and non-renewable resources to deliver ecosystem services that underpin our economy. This includes the raw materials, plants, animals, air, water, soils and minerals we use to create products – from houses to life-saving medicine. Biodiversity also provides less obvious benefits, such as flood defence, climate regulation and pollination and helps mitigate natural disasters, pests and diseases. Biodiversity loss, the most critical global environmental threat alongside climate change, is addressed in the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, which aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Every business impacts and depends on natural capital and biodiversity and will experience risks and/or opportunities associated with these relationships. These impacts and dependencies create costs and benefits, not only for the business, but also for society. Understanding the connections between business and society and the associated risks and opportunities supports better, more timely decision-making.
Biodiversity was mainstreamed into EBAE in 2018 – any business applying to win an environmental award should have addressed biodiversity in a systematic way, it is a key element of environment performance for leading companies. Many businesses still struggle to recognise their dependency on natural capital, e.g. the need for water in production processes. All entries were asked how their business addressed biodiversity at a management level and how biodiversity protection was included in the company’s business policy or strategy. Companies were asked about mechanisms to systematically assess and/or value and account for the impacts and dependencies on biodiversity.
Inspiring entries in 2018 evidenced the wide range of commitment to biodiversity across Europe – from sustainable production and manufacturing to protection of animal species; recovery of seagrass meadows to solar powered boats; and from water treatment plants to leading edge media with strong environmental content. The entries in 2016 covered a similar wide range of activity. The last winner of the Business and Biodiversity Award, the baby food manufacturer HiPP-Werk Georg Hipp OHG, demonstrated how their sustainability management had incorporated biodiversity throughout the company’s operations. Shortlisted Cafeology were commended for their bird-friendly coffee initiative and Wilhelms GmbH for their natural seed treatment, which helps produce more food while protecting biodiversity. Finally, Companhia das Lezirias, also shortlisted in 2016, clearly demonstrated how investment in their forest management system had increased the effectiveness of ecosystem services.
For further background biodiversity and ecosystem services see this short video on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
We are delighted to introduce European Energy Innovation, one of the Media Partners of this year’s EBAE Awards Ceremony. Would you like to become our next Media Partner? Please get in touch!
European Energy Innovation is a communication platform designed to put energy and transport stakeholders in touch with each other.
Their free quarterly publication provides an authoritative stream of articles on the latest thinking on Energy and Transport in Europe. It has an estimated readership of 20,000 opinion leaders in industry, research, academia, the European Parliament, European Commission and National Governments. The aim is to highlight innovative solutions to combat climate change and provide a better environment.
The magazine is available free of charge online or as a printed magazine.
Take a look at the Autumn edition of the magazine, featuring an announcement for the EBAE Ceremony.
(26 September 2018, 12.30–14.00 Central European Time)
You do not need to be a financier or a banker to participate - the presentations will not be geared to finance specialists.
(28 September 2018, Brussels, Belgium)
In the context of the third anniversary of the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda, the European Economic and Social Committee invites you to a public debate to explore how the EESC is working towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in practice – both with civil society, and within the Committee itself.
(16 October 2018, London, United Kingdom)
Growth Innovation Summit forms part of the BEIS-led Green Great Britain Week. The week will include high profile policy announcements, events and media activity across the UK designed to highlight the scale of the opportunities to reduce emissions, grow a low-carbon economy and improve quality of life as part of the Industrial Strategy. The event will bring together over 300 delegates from government, small and medium sized businesses, civil society, investors and media to discuss the future of innovation and the UK’s economy. The event also comprises a showcase of the best of UK clean-tech innovations.
(14-15 November 2018, Vienna, Austria)
During the two-day event, plenary and parallel sessions will feature inspiring speakers from politics, science, civil-society and the private sector who will address the transformation towards a sustainable society from very different perspectives. Topics will range from social and distributional aspects of a fair society to the role of the financial sector enabling a sustainability transformation. A special focus will be put on the sustainable management of natural resources use and the mitigation of climate change. Confirmed speakers include: Ban Ki Moon | Elisabeth Köstinger | Frans Timmermans and many more.