EBAE 2016-17 shortlist announced, the EBAE jury meeting held in Bratislava, European Forum on Eco-Innovation, catch-up with past finalist PerfoTec, and more.
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European Business Awards for the Environment

In this edition

What’s trending: EBAE 2016-17 Shortlist Announced, and the 20th European Forum on Eco-Innovation
Focus on: the EBAE 2016-17 Jury meeting, Bratislava
Catch-up with an EBAE juror: Ado Lõhmus
Where are they now: PerfoTec BV
National awards ceremony: Greece
Promoter’s Network Corner: European Aluminium
Upcoming events
The main benefits of EBAE

What's Trending

EBAE 2016-17 Shortlist Announced

Following the meeting of the
jury panel, the 2016-17 shortlist has been announced.
The shortlisted finalists are as follows:
International Business Cooperation:
Industrial Solar GmbH (Germany) – ‘Solar Process Heating in Developing and Emerging Economies’
Fairphone B.V. (Netherlands) – ‘Fairphone’
Madinter Trade, S.L. (Spain) – ‘Crelicam: Transforming Cameroonian Ebony’
Management (micro and small entities):
Ladybird Farm Leisure Center (Hungary) – ‘Tourism in a Sustainable Way’
Agrotechnical Services SL (Spain) – ‘Vivencia Dehesa: Conservation, Improvement and Development of Dehesa Landscape’
Ewaste Canarias S.L. (Spain) – ‘Ewaste’
Jessie Macs (United Kingdom) – ‘Jessie Mac’s 10:10:10’
Management (medium and large entities):
BILLA Bulgaria EOOD (Bulgaria) – ‘Utilization of Biodegradable Waste’
Piraeus Bank S.A. (Greece) – ‘The Expandability of a Robust Certified EMS’
Interface Europe BV (Netherlands) – ‘Interface Mission Zero’
CMS Window Systems (United Kingdom) – ‘CMS Innovation Hub’
Product and Services:
Aquarden Technologies ApS (Denmark) – ‘Destruction of Toxic and Environmentally Problematic Substances in Industrial Wastewater with Waterox’
FELOR (France) – ‘ALGO Paint: Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Algae-Based Decorative Paint’
ONYX SOLAR ENERGY S.L. (Spain) – ‘Photovoltaic Building Material for Buildings and Urban Furnishings’
Hydromx International A.S. (Turkey) – ‘Hydromx - Energy Efficient Heat Transfer Fluid for Heating and Cooling’
M2i Life Sciences (France) – ‘Pheromonal Mating Disruption Through Paintball Against the Pine Processionary Moth’
Clariant Produkte GmbH (Germany) – ‘The Sunliquid® Process: Economic Production of Environmentally Sustainable Cellulosic Ethanol and Bio-Based Chemicals from Agricultural Residues’
Direct Current B.V. (Netherlands) – ‘DC Grids: the Missing Link to a Sustainable Future’
VESTEL Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Åž. (Turkey) – ‘Environmentally Friendly Nano Chrome Coating System in LCD TV and Smartphone Manufacturing Industries’
Business and Biodiversity:
HiPP-Werk Georg Hipp OHG (Germany) – ’20 Years of HiPP Sustainability Management’
Wilhelms GmbH (Germany) – 'Seed Treatment with Plant-Associated Soil-Microorganisms to Improve Plant Yield and Resistance in Industrial and Organic Sustainable Agriculture’
Companhia das Lezírias, SA (Portugal) – ‘Forest Management on Behalf of Biodiversity’
Cafeology (United Kingdom) – ‘Cafeology: Bird-Friendly Coffee Initiative’
The winners will be announced at the EBAE Awards ceremony to be held during the Eco-Innovation Forum in Tallinn, Estonia on 27th October. For more details, stay up to date via the
EBAE website.

Financing SME Eco-Innovation: the 20th European Forum on Eco-Innovation, Tallinn, Estonia, 26-28 October, 2016

SMEs, businesses, investors, banks, public authorities, policy makers, associations and innovators interested in the circular economy are invited to the 20th European Forum on Eco-innovation on 26-28 October 2016 in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Forum is organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment and the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Estonia and will examine financing opportunities for eco-innovative companies. The Forum will bring together public and private investors actively investing in eco-innovation and green companies that have been successful in attracting or currently looking for investments to grow their business. 

The transition to a competitive and circular economy depends on ambitious companies to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities by bringing eco-innovative products to the market. Eco-innovation increases circularity and resource efficiency in production and consumption patterns, resulting in greater competitiveness for innovative businesses. The 20th European Forum on Eco-Innovation in Tallinn will highlight how investments from the EU’s financial sector will enable this transition. 

Here are five further reasons for you to participate:
•    The business-to-investors matchmaking session will be an opportunity for the most promising eco-innovative entrepreneurs and cleantech investors to meet;
•    A special event will present innovative technologies with performance claims verified by the EU Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) programme;
•    You will be able to discover the best performing eco-innovative companies at the European Business Awards for the Environment Ceremony;
•    At the Forum you will find out about existing financing opportunities and successful eco-innovative projects funded under different EU funding programmes and financial instruments; and
•    During site visits, you will get to know eco-innovative companies who have successfully turned investments into circular business models.

The European Commission and the Ministry of Environment of Estonia look forward to welcoming you to Tallinn. Would you like to receive more information and register for the conference? Visit the
website or contact the organiser at

Focus On: EBAE 2016-17 Jury Meeting, Bratislava


EBAE shortlist: DG Environment praises strength of finalists across range of countries

From the 26th-28th September, 27 jurors convened in Bratislava, Slovakia to select the winning finalists for the 2016-17 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE). Of 148 finalists from 21 countries, a total of 23 have been shortlisted for six EBAE Awards.

The jurors were put forward by the EBAE National Coordinators, who chose a range of experts in all fields of environmental industry, representing the public sector, private sector and NGOs.  In addition, all finalists from last year’s competition were invited to the jury alongside representatives from DG ENV with responsibility for biodiversity and eco-label. Each juror was allocated to one of four categories - Management, Process, Product, International Business Cooperation, or to judge the Biodiversity entries – according to their field of expertise.
The jurors evaluated the entries remotely and discussed all finalists at the jury meeting, choosing a shortlist of one winner and two or three runners-up in each area. The shortlist of companies has now been published <LINK>. The winner of each category will be announced at the EBAE Awards ceremony to be held during the Eco-AP Forum in Tallinn, Estonia on 27th October.

Peter Czaga, policy officer at DG Environment, noted “this is a fantastic result – I am thrilled to see such a wide range of countries on the shortlist and in particular the strong entries from micro and small companies”

Four of the “micro” sized finalists have been shortlisted for an award. The first of these is Agroservices SL (Management), involved in the environmental conservation of Dehesa landscapes in southern Spain. The integration of biodiversity at the heart of the business was particularly praised.   The jurors were impressed by a micro business tackling such a massive challenge and praised this is much-needed project.  Direct Current B.V. (Process) based in the Netherlands, was commended for its innovative efforts to transform the method of transferring energy from renewable sources to the consumer more efficiently via DC power grids.  Jessie Mac’s (Management), a luxury hostel in Scotland was another inspiring entry, acknowledged for its efforts to cut down energy and water usage, for recycling 90% of all waste and the innovative ways it engages staff and customers. Finally, Wilhelms Gmbh (Biodiversity) a German seed treatment company, was shortlisted for work employing plant-associated soil-microorganisms to improve plant yield and resistance in industrial and organic sustainable agriculture. The Jury was excited by the innovative technology at the heart of this project and the ambition of a micro company, which could have a transformative effect on agricultural systems and biodiversity worldwide.

Pete Czaga concluded: “there were many outstanding entries combining environmental and economic success in an innovative way.  We hope these will act as inspirational examples for the business world.”

The European Commission would like to thank all jurors involved with the awards process, and ASPEK for arranging the jury meetings and the accompanying city tour and traditional Slovakian dancing.


We caught up with Chairman of the 2016-17 jury, Ado Lõhmus, to find out more about the judging process for the European Business Awards for the Environment.

How does the jury process work?
Every jury member has their highlights in the list of nominees – usually those who stand out in your mind as the most innovative and memorable. Of course, there are differences in the evaluation method of every juror. But by sorting out the top three to four candidates of each judge and comparing the common preferences, you soon start to see patterns emerge between the decisions of the various jurors and find common ground.
So even with the variety in the evaluation system for every juror, we can still go back to the evaluation criteria and the highlights for the judges, and discuss the strengths of these candidates to reach agreement on who should make the shortlist.

What do you think has been the main catalyst to the growth of eco-innovative businesses that we have seen in recent years?
The market for eco-innovative businesses is created both by the customers as well as business strategy. Scarcity of primary raw material in Europe has led to more nature-based solutions. We have started to learn more from processes in nature and how to use them in traditional business cases. So if a customer has a clear way to decide for a more environmentally friendly or resource-efficient product or service, this will create the business opportunity for the producer. For example, with the introduction of energy labels, we have seen the rise in energy efficient technology such as the simplest refrigerators with energy efficiency markings developing from A and A+ to A+++; each incremental level carrying a higher price, but also more market opportunities. Each of these developments is both an innovation and a business opportunity.
Also, those businesses with innovative solutions (particularly in relation to resource-scarce products) will lead the market. There isn’t always a need for great innovation in terms of production; sometimes it is just about improving the process or doing something in a more streamlined, innovative way. For example, success can be in the form of a simple but smart e-solution for the customers.

Do you think it is easier for a large, well-established company to focus on green initiatives vs a micro SME? What are the challenges each have to face in this respect?
Both have different challenges. Large companies are able to take more risks and make bigger investments. SMEs can be much more flexible and try out new and innovative ideas in shorter time scales and with less cost. In this respect, it is often easier for smaller companies to be the disruptors and test innovative solutions in the market. As the ideas become more fully realized, bigger companies can feel safer making investments in similar solutions. It takes more time for large company to make changes, but when they do, it can have a major impact on the market.
So this is fully dependent on whether we are talking about eco-innovation in the production method or in the service efficiency. The latter is more suitable for SMEs. In many ways, for SMEs, the challenges are in executing the solution efficiently and successfully against later competition. For larger companies, changes are more complex, so they must be first tested and compatible with existing solutions.

From a policy perspective, what more should the European Commission do to promote eco-innovative practices for new and existing businesses (from micro startups through to large industry leaders)?
I think there are many initiatives and financing opportunities for eco-innovative practices in EU. But the businesses are not finding or creating the market for these. Most of the EU initiatives for eco-innovation are production oriented (i.e. regulations on pollution), but these will not translate in the price or the quality of the product. They also lessen the competitiveness of EU businesses but do not influence non-EU business’ production.
This means, we need more promotion when it comes to customer demand (educating consumers on why they should place a premium on eco-friendly products and services). This is related to clear signals of eco-friendly products in the way of labels, but also environmentally-related price signals. The effect of this will create a market for more eco-innovative solutions indifferent to the production country, and also give the customers information on whether the products they are purchasing and consuming are eco-friendly.

What makes a winning entry?
Innovativeness, an eco-efficient and added-value solution, potential for development across local or global use, and the potential to create a whole new market area. In short, an idea or solution that really differs from what others are already doing.

Finally, what are your recommendations for businesses wanting to apply in future?
Try to highlight what is special about your project. What makes it unique and innovative; how are you ‘changing the world’?

Where Are They Now?


The Dutch company PerfoTec BV was shortlisted in the 2014-2015 EBAE Product and Services Award. PerfoTec received its nomination for its latest innovation, which extends the freshness of fruits and vegetables, reducing waste at companies such as UK retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S).
PerfoTec’s mission is to allow people to enjoy fruits and vegetables while reducing waste. The company’s Respiration Control System extends the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables up to 100%. In order to stay fresh, fruits and vegetables need oxygen but the amount varies by type of product and also changes throughout the year. By controlling the amount of oxygen, the respiration rate and the ageing process can be slowed down.
PerfoTec achieves this by adjusting the permeability of the packaging using micro-perforations invisible to the human eye. It can make the difference between one to three days of extra shelf life. In-store results with grapes and berries show that this product can reduce in-store waste by 50%. And can increase sales by 10% due to better product quality.
The EBAE nomination has given PerfoTec considerable publicity, which has helped to raise the company’s visibility. Since then the company has launched other innovative solutions. While the initial solution focused on in-store retail packaging, PerfoTec has also developed a transport solution: The Flexfresh Liner – smart plastic bags that can be used while transporting fruit and vegetables. The extended freshness results in less weight loss and better preservation of the quality. Additionally, it enables cheaper transportation methods and new export opportunities.
More recently PerfoTec has introduced a Packaging Solution for Flowers. This groundbreaking technology promises to be a game changer in the floral industry. Making it possible to store, sell and send fresh flowers without the use of water whilst maintaining their freshness. This will make the use of water in the supply chain redundant. The company was awarded the innovation award for best new packing/ Processing Equipment at this years’ United Fresh Convention held in Chicago.

For more information, visit PerfoTec BV

Greek National Ceremony of the European Business Awards for the Environment
On the 19th of October, PASEPPE, the Panhellenic Association of Environmental Protection Enterprises will reward nine Greek companies that excelled during the last two years in innovation technology, sustainable development, environmental protection and circular economy. These nine companies will compete with enterprises from other European states in the 2018-19 European Business Awards for the Environment and are listed below in random order (the final ranking will be announced during the Greek ceremony).
Management Award:
METKA is a leading engineering contractor and industrial manufacturing group, active within the Energy, Infrastructure and Defence sectors. The company implemented an interesting system for the Inventory Management and Reporting of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, in compliance with the requirements of the International Standard ISO 14064.
OTE Group of Companies
OTE Group is the leading telecommunications provider in Greece and one of the leading telecommunications providers in South East Europe. It is a member of the Deutsche Telekom Group (DT holds a 40% share) and comprises the parent company OTE SA, and its subsidiaries. The Group presented a very efficient integrated environmental policy and management scheme based on an Environmental Management System (EMS) certified according to ISO 14001:2004.
Piraeus Bank S.A.
For almost 12 years, Piraeus Bank, one of the 4 biggest banks in Greece, has been implementing an integrated environmental approach under the auspices of the Board of Directors. In this context, an Environmental Management System (EMS) has been developed and expanded to cover all its branches and administration buildings.
Product & Services Award:
Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (Eydap)
EYDAP is the largest company of its kind in Greece. It supplies approximately 4,300,000 customers with water through an extensive network of 2,020,000 water meters and a 9,500 km of water pipes. The company has presented an innovative small footprint packaged treatment plant, which allows for sewer mining for urban reuse enabled by Advanced Monitoring Infrastructure (AMI) and Decision Support System (DSS).
Coca Cola 3e S.A.
Coca-Cola HBC Greece is one of the biggest non-alcoholic beverage bottlers in the Greek market, producing and distributing a variety of products, which includes the natural mineral water AVRA. The company developed and produced the new, innovative Eco-Flex 500ml and 1,5l PET bottles for AVRA, which contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions and volume of plastic used, whilst increasing recycling.
Hellenic Petroleum S.A.
EKO ABEE, s subsidiary of Hellenic Petroleum, has successfully completed the launch of an innovative differentiated product, the new “diesel AVIO Double Filtered”, which combines the advantages of two distinctive technologies; the double filter technology of aviation fuels and the newest, cutting edge technology of chemical additives. The final result for the customers is a premium diesel fuel, which increases engine protection and fuel efficiency, while reducing air emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Process Award:
Gastouni SU Unilever - Knorr S.A.
Gastouni SU Unilever is a tomato factory, which acts as one of Knorr’s major suppliers for tomato products. In 2010 the company launched an innovative farming programme to showcase how sustainable farming can change the lives of individuals and communities, while at the same time strongly benefitting the environment. The programme has already made a remarkable difference in the lives of the 100 farmers and their families involved and allowed the company to be one of the main providers of excellent quality tomato pulp to Unilever Knorr’s food factories in Europe. Within the first 4 years of its implementation, impressive progress has been made in delicate environmental issues, such as water and waste management and lower CO2 emissions.
Helector S.A.
HELECTOR S.A. is the environmental branch of the ELLAKTOR Group of Companies that is mainly active in the field of waste management. The company operates the sole integrated hazardous medical waste incinerator in the Athens metropolitan area, with the capacity to treat 30 tons per day. In the operational framework, HELECTOR S.A. designed and applies an innovative hazardous medical waste traceability programme, tailor-made for the incinerator’s operation. The traceability project facilitates the on-line monitoring of the waste produced in the sanitary units, including the stages of production in the sanitary units, collection and transportation, reception, temporary storage, treatment, until the removal of the ashes produced from the facility.
Hellenic Environmental Center S.A.
The company is engaged in the handling of oily waste and residues from shipping, as these are specified and regulated by the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) and its amendments. They have developed an innovative oily waste treatment array for use in a MARPOL PLANT, which allows the separation of low and high flash point ship generated oil-water waste into high flash point recovered oil, cleaned water and solids, which can be operated in an urban environment.
For further details, please contact Antonis Papadakis (EBAE National Coordinator for Greece) at

Promoters Network Corner: European Aluminium

This month, European Aluminium discusses the industry’s sustainability agenda for the next decade  

Responsible production, innovative applications and social dimension: these are the three main axes of the European aluminium industry’s “
Sustainability Roadmap towards 2025”, an ambitious project which sets objectives and targets beyond legislative requirements for the aluminium sector, throughout the next decade.
This initiative, highly welcomed by EU officials and stakeholders, was launched in 2015 by European Aluminium and its 80+ members, driven by the joint conviction that aluminium will be a key enabler of Europe’s transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy, and will respond to tomorrow’s societal needs.
In the context of the ongoing implementation phase of the Sustainability Roadmap, European Aluminium and its members have embarked on a journey to implement concrete action plans and ensure the exchange of best practices. Looking at the environmental performance, one of the key areas covered by the project, special attention is devoted to reduction of water and energy consumption, and better management of industrial waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Progress will be regularly monitored and transparently reported along the way, continuing the long-standing tradition of publishing the sector’s Sustainability Development Indicators. In parallel, a regular dialogue with stakeholders will ensure alignment and recognition of external inputs.

For more information visit or contact Sandro Starita (Director Environment, Health and Safety & Sustainability at European Aluminium) via


Upcoming Events

12th-14th October – Rome
The 1st International Conference on Green Urbanism

The conference will examine practical strategies on increasing sustainability beyond and within the scope of individual buildings.  The conference provides a context for a general debate about the regeneration of the city centre and discusses how urbanism is affected by ecology.
26th-28th October – Tallinn

The 20th European Forum on Eco-innovation
The forum will examine financing opportunities for eco-innovative SMEs and showcase successful companies who have succeeded in attracting investors and growing their business. It will explore the enabling factors and challenges of transitioning to a circular business model – through the lens of business, finance and public sector.
23rd November – The Hague

The 3rd Annual Conference of the EU B@B Platform
This year, the Conference will be held under the theme ‘Taking Stock, Looking Forward’. As in previous years, it will represent a great opportunity for members of the EU B@B Platform and other businesses alike to learn about the work of the Platform and to exchange their views on the critical issues linked to business and biodiversity.
28th-30th November – Atlanta, USA

3rd World Congress & Expo on Recycling
The theme of the conference is “Novel trends in Recycling and Waste management”. The conference focuses on the importance of Recycling and Waste management Techniques.  The event aims to bring together leading Recycling Industries, researchers, Policy Makers, and Academics.

What are the main benefits of the European Business Awards for the Environment?
The top three reasons are:
  • Be recognised on a European level for your economic and environmental achievements
  • Raise your business credibility as a reliable environmental innovator
  • 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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