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Newsletter June 2019


The hunt for 2020 EBAE applicants is on!

On 18-20 June EBAE was at EU Sustainable Energy Week, the biggest European conference dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe, to promote the winners and runners-up of the 2018 edition competition and reach out to potential entrants for the 2020 edition. Indeed, applications for the 2019 national competitions – a pre-condition to enter the European final – are currently open in many countries. Find out about each country’s key dates on the EBAE website and get in touch with your National Coordinator or the EBAE Secretariat for more information.

Happy reading!


German company Efficient Energy won the Product and Services Award in November 2018 thanks to their revolutionary eChiller. Here is the story behind their success, told by the CEO, Jürgen Süß.

1. What is the vision that led you to set up your company?

The two founders of efficient energy, Holger Sedlak and Oliver Kniffler had the idea to develop an environmentally-friendly refrigeration unit and set out to turn the dream of replacing harmful refrigerants by pure water into reality. The result is the eChiller, the only commercially viable centrifugal chiller worldwide that uses water (R718) as its refrigerant.

This video explains the advantages of the eChiller in a very simple and entertaining way:

2. Did you have a ‘lightbulb moment’ (i.e. something which led to you starting your business, or which triggered a change in the way you did things)

To develop such an innovative product requires a lot of creativity and flexibility. To reach commercial success, it is important to minimise the technical risk and reduce technical complexity. Therefore, we decided at a particular point in time to move forward with industrialised components allowing us to follow our plans for a quick market penetration.

3. Can you tell us a bit more about the characteristics that make your company an eco-innovative business?

The company grew based on the invention of the eChiller and the vision of revolutionising the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry. The idea to build success with environmentally-friendly and economical refrigeration solutions is internalised by every single employee. Moreover, the eChiller is the perfect response to the F-Gas Regulation and the Ecodesign Directive. It anticipated trends in refrigerant and energy costs which are challenging the refrigeration industry to innovate and become more environmentally- friendly.

4. Why did you decide to apply for the EBAE Awards?

Talking to customers but also suppliers in our industry, we have noticed that many are not aware of the regulations that will strongly limit the use of HFC refrigerants and the consequences this will bring. Now, being the winner of the EBAE Award we will be able to raise awareness of this challenge and present the eChiller as an innovative and sustainable solution.

5. What benefits did your company obtain as a result of winning an EBAE Award?

Winning the European Business Award for the Environment increased significantly our visibility and credibility in the National and European market. The award demonstrates our thought leadership for sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions in refrigeration technology. Media coverage and attention was really huge. As a small company it is hard to gain attention, especially on a European level and the EBAE helped us to do so. Outreach through social media, visits on our website and attention for the respective press release was impressive.

6. Complete this sentence: “To truly become an eco-innovation champion, businesses must…”

…not back down but keep informing and educating the market. A well-educated market will appreciate and reward the efforts made.


European Forum on Eco-innovation: Closing the Loop – delivering circularity in the textiles sector

The 22 nd European Forum on Eco-innovation that took place in Vienna on 7-8 May 2019 focused on delivering circularity in the textiles sector. The public and private sector participants agreed on the need to work together towards increased circularity in textiles given the environmental footprint of the sector.  The main areas of action should be encouraging the efficient use of resources for the production process, achieving changes in consumer behaviour, encouraging through incentives the development of new business models such as reuse, repair, leasing, renting, developing enabling environment for waste management, encouraging investment in eco-innovation through providing public funding and through facilitating private financing especially by targeting SMEs. More information is available at: eco-innovation-circularity-textiles-sector-2019-may-07_en


Interview with Franz-Josef von Kempis, Senior Manager for Environment, Technology and Sustainability at the Federation of German Industries

1. The German competition is currently open for applications; can you tell us more about it, and how can German companies enrol?

For the German Innovation Award for Climate and Environment (IKU) industrial companies, business organisations, research institutes or individuals can compete with industrially exploitable innovations that contribute to climate and environmental protection. The applications can be submitted in seven categories until 28 June. See more details below.

2. Germany performed extremely well in the current EBAE cycle, with one Award Winner (Efficient Energy) and two Rising Stars (Baumann Hydrotec and Viessmann Refrigeration Solutions)! Does it suggest that there is a growing attention to the environment in the German way of doing business?

Germany's economy traditionally has a strong industry characterised by medium to small businesses. Increasingly, growing environmental awareness and innovative power are boosting each other in industry. This is also reflected in the successful application projects at the IKU.

3. What advice would you give to a German company thinking about entering EBAE?

I regularly receive inquiries from companies that would like to participate in the EBAE. I then recommend them to apply for one of the IKU prizes first.


CSR Europe White Paper: From Urgency to Action: Business and the Sustainable Development Goals

Four years after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the time to shift from urgency to action has come. However, obstacles in addressing the 17 global goals remain significant. In its 3rd White Paper, CSR Europe together with Globescan, draws on recent publications and studies to provide a detailed overview of the challenges ahead, as well as progress and actions to be undertaken in the framework of CSR Europe’s three priority areas – People, Materials and Markets.  
The conclusions reached by European sustainability experts is not comforting.  Even if some improvements have been made over the past two years, society is overall still far away from meeting the SDGs. There are multiple reasons why. Firstly, the pressure to create value for shareholders is very much in the short term. Secondly, businesses perceive the pressure from governments and civil society as less of a priority. Furthermore, not only stakeholder collaboration is scattered and chaotic, but rewards for finding solutions to complex sustainability problems are also poorly aligned.

A solution to these challenges lies in bringing together different stakeholders via multi- stakeholder partnerships & collaborative platforms; as well as CEO engagement.

CEOs to take the lead on change

Leadership & Engagement of the top management is essential. Business leaders are increasingly asked by the public to be more visible and proactive. Citizens and consumers are looking for CEOs to take a lead on change and to commit to addressing social issues.

What you can find in CSR Europe’s White Paper

  • Expert assessment & indicators; potential actions for business; and case studies addressing progress towards and challenges faced in meeting SDGs.
  • A assessment of the barriers faced by companies that prevent them from acting – and how collaboration and partnership can help in moving forward
  • How CEOs should be responding
  • How CSR Europe is responding

CSR Europe’s White Paper is available here.



Innovation Award Climate and Environment 2020 (IKU) Applications open until 28 June 2019

Every two years, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federation of German Industry awards the German Innovation Award for Climate and Environment (IKU) to ideas that set new paths in the field of climate and environmental protection. Seven categories recognise innovative technologies, techniques, processes, products, services and business models for climate and environmental protection. With the IKU, the organisers acknowledge the commitment of industry and research for climate and environmental protection.

The application for the IKU 2020 is possible until 28 June 2019.

The selection process is scientifically accompanied by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI. The scientifically sound assessment ensures that only the most innovative and environmentally friendly applications are selected and recommended to the jury. The jury, made up of representatives from many areas of society, will decide on the winners on this basis.  
The winners will be honoured at a festive award ceremony on 5 March 2020 at the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Berlin and communicated as part of the IKU Press and Public Relations.  
There is a prize of 25,000 EUR per category.

CitizENV in Brussels, Belgium 19 September 2019, Brussels

EU CITIZENV is an initiative launched by the European Commission - Directorate General for the Environment. It is designed as a citizens' dialogue (an open discussion between citizens and an EC official) and focuses on the environment and young people (18-25 years old) as they are Europe's future.