The European Commission's Circular Economy delegation to South Africa, Focus on EU Ecolabel, Catch-Up with 2016 Winner Hydromx, an update from our national competitions and more.
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European Business Awards for the Environment

What’s trending: EU Circular Economy Mission to South Africa
Focus on: 25 Years of EU Ecolabel
Where are they now: Hydromx
Coordinator catch-up: Jean-Paul Ventere (France)
National awards ceremony: Bulgaria
National awards ceremony: Spain
Upcoming events
The main benefits of EBAE

What's Trending

The Directorate-General (DG) for the Environment of the European Commission is organising a Circular Economy Mission to South Africa on 2-5 May 2017. Representatives of private companies and of industry associations who are interested in fostering circular economy in South Africa are invited to join.
The Mission will pursue three main objectives: (1) to promote circular economy, innovation and sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU and in South Africa; (2) to help EU green business and in particular SMEs to operate internationally, and (3) to promote green business partnerships in targeted sectors.
The EU delegation will participate in a number of high level meetings with the South African government and also at business-to business and matchmaking events. They will also attend the World Economic Forum on Africa, which will take place on 4-5 May 2017 in Pretoria.
Meetings will take place with the EU Chamber, South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), Black Management Forum (BMF), National Business Initiative (NBI), Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA). The delegation will also meet representatives of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Science & technology (DST).
In particular, the focus will be on eco-innovation, chemicals and plastic, waste, water management, marine pollution and urban environmental best practices. Participating entrepreneurs and associations will be able to network with EU and local companies and institutions active in the above areas.
The Circular Economy Missions are a series of high-level political and business meetings in third countries to communicate and promote sustainable and resource-efficient policies. The first Mission took place to Chile in April 2016 and the second one to China in November 2016. The Mission to China included 79 representatives of 34 companies; 15 European business associations and 6 national business associations.
For more information or to register (until 31 March), please visit:

Focus On: EU Ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary eco-labelling scheme launched in 1992 to encourage the production and consumption of green goods and services across the European Union. It distinguishes environmentally friendly products by awarding them a distinctive and easily recognisable symbol of environmental quality – the EU Ecolabel logo. Today, more than 38,000 products and services carry the logo.
For its 25th year anniversary, the EU Ecolabel remains a key driver in promoting circular economy. From the beginning, its strict product group criteria were already based on the main principles of the circular economy supporting both sustainable production and consumption: products that have a lower environmental impact and contribute to sustainable development along its life cycle, in addition to energy efficiency, durability and reparability. Thanks to transparent ecological criteria, consumers can make conscious choices, without compromising on the quality of the products.
The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, based in Seville, has been responsible for developing the technical criteria sets for each of the 29 product groups, to which the licence holders must comply to in order to obtain an EU Ecolabel licence. Each product and service group criteria document has concrete parallels with the objectives of the Circular Economy Package as well as the
Global Sustainable Development Goal 12.
A perfect example of the innovative quality of EU Ecolabel products is ALGO PAINTS by FELOR, a company shortlisted for the 2016-17 European Business Awards for the Environment and which produces environmentally friendly paint using algae. FELOR have successfully brought eco-innovation as well as a consideration for the environment and health front and centre within its manufacturing process through compliance to its EU Ecolabel award.
The EU Ecolabel criteria for paint products sets forth a guarantee of superior longevity in relation to conventional products through its requirement to increase the efficiency of paint in order to reduce the number of coats of paint needed for optimal paint coverage, quick drying time, and durability. EU Ecolabel ALGO PAINTS, which are composed of 98% of bio-based raw materials including algae and other natural components, consequently reduce VOCs emissions, thus improving indoor air quality. Furthermore, as result of its high-covering properties upon application, the thermal efficiency of buildings is increased. By exploiting the opportunities of plant-based chemistry, FELOR has created a quality EU Ecolabel product line that is better for the environment and better for you.
For more details, please visit:


Where Are They Now?


Turkish company Hydromx won the Product and Services Award in 2016 for their energy-efficient heat transfer fluid. This is the story, told by the company, of how winning the EBAE award has impacted on their business.
Although our care for the environment is fundamental to our business and not just to receive awards or recognition, it was nonetheless a tremendous honour to receive such a meaningful award in the 2016-17 European Business Awards for the Environment.
At Hydromx we always aim to leave a better world for the next generations. For the past decade, we have been able to make a reality the idea of using a better heat transfer fluid, rather than water itself. We feel so proud that we created the very first product capable of achieving a better and more effective heat transfer product.
If only 5% of the world used Hydromx® today, 86.5 tons of Co2 emissions would be saved, equalling yearly energy savings in excess of 50 Billion USD. These figures equal roughly to 231 million trees.
We know this is not an easy goal to achieve! There is a commercial component to it, which is central to our whole business: Sales, Distribution, Installation, Service, Monitoring, and Verification.
We have trying to achieve market success locally for almost ten years, and internationally for the last four years. Being part of the European Business Awards for the Environment has afforded us significant publicity we would not otherwise been able to achieve on our own; not only within Europe, but also internationally.
In addition to the valuable coverage we gained from the promotion of the awards at EU-level, we were also able to promote the win regularly through our web site and social media channels, and asked our business partners in the USA, India, Czech Republic, UK, Ireland, Israel, Benelux, and Turkey to do the same.
After receiving the award, we signed an agreement with our newest business partner from Israel. We are discussing new business opportunities with United Arab Emirates, Australia, Germany and Austria, and since the awards we have been inundated by emails from all around world, asking for more information and possible partnerships.
In short, no amount of investment in PR could have bought us the attention we gained from being a winner of a prestigious EBAE award.
Today we are working hard on Research & Development for more environmentally focused products in energy industry, as well as two different industries. We are looking for further opportunities to produce all of our products locally together with our partners, in order to cut transportation costs. This translates into a reduction in Co2 emissions and more job opportunities.
We are working very hard towards a better future, and EBAE has supported us in this mission in an invaluable way.
To learn more about Hydromx, please visit:


We caught up with Jean-Paul Ventere, EBAE’s French National Coordinator, to find out how the national nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment are selected in France.

How does your competition work?

In France, the National Environmental Awards (the "Prix Entreprises et Environnement") have been organized by the Ministry of Environment since 1987. It is an annual competition, which gives us the opportunity to select our very best national winners who should be nominated to represent France at the European level.

For 2017, we have five award categories:
  • Circular Economy
  • Climate Change (reduction or adaptation)
  • Best Environmental Reporting from Companies
  • Biodiversity
  • Innovation in Technologies and Economical Models.
As these categories differ from the European categories, we consider which companies have the best chance to compete in the EBAE categories at the European level. It means also that we ask our national winners to complete (in English) the European nominations forms with a fresh outlook.
Tell us about the awards ceremony?

Our annual ceremony takes place in a great exhibition hall either during Salon Pollutec in the city of Lyon, or World Efficiency in Paris (it alternates each year). The awards are usually presented to the winners by the Minister of the Environment (there have been only a few exceptions in 30 years).
Who can apply to the awards in France?

We encourage companies of all types to apply. The idea is to be self-confident and to apply, regardless of the size of the company. In each category, the jury is sensitive to whatever efforts have been made by any company. Their efforts are judged in the context of their industry, but innovation is always the keyword.
And finally, what difference do you think it makes to win a European Business Award for the Environment?

Winning an award at the European level represents a great recognition for any company of their hard work, efforts and innovation. But the element of ‘surprise’ (not knowing if you are the winner until the last moment) can be harder to manage emotionally!

At a formal ceremony on 14 March 2017 the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF) announced the winners of its 2016 Responsible Business Awards.
The Annual Responsible Business Awards champion the private sector’s considerable support for community projects in the fields of education; protection of the environment; employee development; motivating more companies to embrace corporate responsibility and sustainability; and many more. 84 four entries from 57 companies ran in the 14th edition of this country’s most prominent CSR competition.
Over 300 guests from BBLF member-companies, companies and organizations that nominated their entries, supporters of BBLF from the NGO sector, diplomats and the media attended the awards ceremony.
The prizes in six categories were handed out by Prime Minister Prof. Ognyan Gerdzhikov, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, Education Minister Prof. Nikolay Denkov, Economy Minister Teodor Sedlarski, Labour and Social Policy Minister Galab Donev, Deputy Minister of the Environment Reneta Koleva and British Ambassador Emma Hopkins.
Winners of the Investor in Environment category, which saw 8 entries, received their prizes from Deputy Minister of the Environment Reneta Koleva. The big prize went to telecom operator Mtel for their Mtel Eco Grant 2016, an annual programme that funds small yet valuable projects in the field of environmental protection. BTV Media Group and their Let’s Clean Up Bulgaria Together campaign ranked second and Lidl Bulgaria ranked third with their Efficient Waste Management programme.
In addition to the recognition from the BBLF Awards, the three finalists in the environment category are also eligible to be nominated for the 2018-19 European Business Awards for the Environment.
For more details, please visit:

The Spanish national competition for the European Business Awards for the Environment has been held in Spain since 1997. Fundación Biodiversidad, from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, has been Spain’s EBAE National Coordinator since 2013.

In the 2015-2016 edition of the awards, Fundación Biodiversidad received 184 applications from successful and innovative businesses. 12 companies excelled in the different categories and were considered winners or runner-up eligible for the European competition. Specific presentations for each were prepared (in Spanish):
Management award:
Product and services award:
IRIZAR Sociedad Cooperativa
ONYX SOLAR ENERGY, S.L. (runner-up)
Process award:
ENDESA, S.A. (runner-up)
GLEN BIOTECH S.L. (runner-up)
International Business Cooperation Award:
Special Mention: Business and Biodiversity
In addition to the European Business Awards for the Environment, Fundación Biodiversidad has a strong focus in helping companies be more competitive and lead the way in environmental issues. As national managers of the European Social Fund, Fundación Biodiversidad has supported the creation and consolidation of more than 2,600 companies or new lines of business in economic sectors related to the environment and has also created a specific network for green entrepreneurs with more than 8.000 operational users since 2011. This has been the first specialized green business network in Spain, fostering green entrepreneurship, helping to provide feasibility to business plans, offering tailored services to entrepreneurs and SMEs and serving as a link with potential investors.
Also, Fundación Biodiversidad coordinates the
Spanish Business and Biodiversity Initiative, helping big companies to integrate biodiversity in their business models and helping to channel funding to conservation initiatives in the field of nature conservation.
A more sustainable economy is needed to ensure the conservation of our natural heritage and the wellbeing of our society. At Fundación Biodiversidad we understand that companies are one of our natural allies for this objective and that we need to go hand-in-hand.
For more information, please contact Victoria Pérez:

Upcoming Events

27th April – Brussels, Belgium
Driving Mobility to a Low Carbon Future

Interested in mobility and sustainable cities? Following transport policy and CO2 emissions? European Aluminium invites participants to discover the potential of lightweighting in enabling low carbon mobility. On top of panel discussions with experts from political, business and academic spheres, our interactive aluminium playground will bring the future of mobility to life.
29th May – 2nd June 2017 – Brussels, Belgium

EU Green Week
Organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment, this key event in the environment policy calendar attracts policymakers, leading environmentalists, stakeholders and other interested parties from across Europe and the globe.
5th-6th June 2017 – Helsinki, Finland

World Circular Economy Forum
The ground-breaking event of the year gathers together the most recognised experts and decision makers in the field and presents the world’s best circular economy solutions.

What are the main benefits of the European Business Awards for the Environment?

The top three reasons are:
  • To be recognised on a European level for your economic and environmental achievements;
  • To raise your business credibility as a reliable environmental innovator;
  • To increase your company’s staff morale;
  • To benefit from widespread media coverage and marketing for your company.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the European Business Awards for the Environment?
The European Business Awards for the Environment are designed to recognise and promote organisations that make an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. Every two years, the European Commission rewards successful companies that demonstrate commitment to putting sustainable development into action while maintaining economic viability. The awards highlight policies, practices, processes and products from all sectors of business in the European Union that help to achieve ‘economic and social development without detriment to the environment and natural resources upon the quality of which continued human activity and further development depend’.
Who can apply for a European Business Award for the Environment?
The European Business Awards for the Environment are open to finalists in national competitions in one of the EU Member States or candidate countries. The awards classify EU companies into two categories: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises/Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Industries; and Major Corporations.
How do I get involved in the European Business Awards for the Environment competition?
Only winners and runners-up of the national competitions and specially commended companies may apply to the European Business Awards for the Environment.  Direct entries are not possible. Applicants must first have entered one of the national award schemes and be chosen to compete at European level. Submission of entries to the European awards competition is managed by national coordinating bodies.
To find out how to enter your national competition,
click here
Who can I contact for further information and advice?
European Business Awards for the Environment Secretariat and Press Office
Kerry Young or Letitia Florea
Tel: +32 (0) 2 286 1141


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