The 2019 edition of the EMAS Awards will reward the achievements of EMAS registered organisations that implemented EMAS as a driver of change towards sustainable transition through a long-term holistic vision for a positive impact on sustainable development as a whole.
Member States had until July 15 to review applications and nominate EMAS organisations in 5 categories: private micro and small, private medium-sized organisations, private large organisations, public micro and small organisations and public large organisations.
In this series of articles, the EMAS Helpdesk will introduce the winners of the national preselection who are the nominees of the 2019 article.
This fifth article will introduce the category public medium-sized and large organisations. This year, we have six nominees from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain.
1. Austria: ebswien hauptkläranlage is in charge of cleaning the city's entire wastewater flow. The plant receives approximately 6,000 litres of wastewater per second. These effluents initially pass through a mechanical treatment stage which is followed by two biological treatment stages modelled on nature. The Danube River leaves Vienna in the same (water) quality it has when it enters the city area. Wastewater treatment at such a high level is an energy-devouring process. As of 2020, ebswien will generate more renewable energy on site than it actually needs for its own wastewater treatment operations. In other words, the wastewater treatment plant will become an "eco-power plant".
2. Belgium: Flanders Environmental Agency (VMM) is an agency of the Flemish government working towards a better environment in Flanders. As a Flemish government agency, we help organise the Flemish Environmental Policy objectives. Our core activities focus on clean water, pure air and in-depth environmental reporting. A key driver for many of our employees is having the chance to make a contribution to a better environment and do useful work for our society.
3. Germany: The University of Bremen integrates the topic of sustainability in the management and development of its locations as well as in research and teaching. At the Sustainability Research Center and lecture series, the University's questions on the social and ecological transformation and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are answered. With the "Virtual Academy Sustainability", the University of Bremen is providing freely available, video-based courses that students can incorporate in their curriculum in order to rise awareness and support dealing with questions of sustainability.
4. Luxembourg: The European Investment Bank is the lending arm of the European Union, owned by the EU Member States. We are the biggest multilateral financial institution in the world and one of the largest providers of climate finance. The EIB is financially autonomous. We help the economy, create jobs, promote equality and improve lives for EU citizens and for people in developing countries. The EIB focuses on innovation and skills, SMEs, Infrastructure and Climate and environment. By the end of 2018 the EIB had mobilised EUR 375.5 billion in investment.
5. Poland: Wodociągi Częstochowskie is a company wholly owned by the Communal Utility Council of 10 Communes for Water and Sewage Systems, with registered office in Częstochowa. The Company operates within an area of 1,000 km2 and 59 deep water wells. The wells are grouped in four main and 15 auxiliary water intakes. Every day up to 330,000 residents of the region are supplied with healthy and safe water through a water supply network with a total length of over 2,455 km. From 2008, our active registration in the EMAS eco-management and audit scheme guarantees that we manage the most basic and simultaneously the most important natural resource—water—in a responsible and sustainable manner.
6. Spain: Barcelona Port Authority administers, manages and operates the port of Barcelona, under the coordination of the state-owned company Puertos del Estado (‘Ports of the State’). The port authority seeks to lessen environmental impacts and act sustainably through its environmental policy and the implementation of an Environmental Management System. In particular, its air quality improvement plan commits to the promotion of cleaner fuels within the port logistics chain and, especially, the use of liquefied natural gas.
Illustrating EMAS as driver of change in various sectors, the nominees of the 2019 edition prove that a wide range of actions can be taken to support a sustainable transition. Their initiatives have been reviewed by a jury composed of EMAS experts.
To know the name of the winner in the category public medium-sized and large organisations, we will have to wait till November 25, where the Awards Ceremony will take place in Bilbao. To know more about the event, please consult the EMAS Awards section. We wish the nominees the best of luck!