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Green business solutions awarded 'European Business Awards for the Environment'

The 20th European Forum on Eco-innovation took place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 26-28 October 2016 The forum hosted the 'European Business Awards for the Environment' eco-innovative practices and products in businesses.

The awards recognise companies in the EU and candidate countries, from all sectors that combine competitiveness with respect for the environment in the following categories: management, product and services, process innovation, business and biodiversity, and international business cooperation. The awards target businesses from micro start-ups through to global brands and the 2016 winners are:

The Management Award (micro and small business)

Ladybird Farm in Hungary won this award for showing that tourism can be profitable and sustainable. Attracting 65,000 visitors a year, Ladybird Farm developed a wide-ranging sustainability concept. The centre covers 80% of its energy needs from sustainable sources through photo-voltaic solar panels and biomass. The Jury was also impressed by their social commitment: they introduced the concept of “Pay by Waste”: visitors can pay a part of their entrance fee by household waste, such as paper.

The Management Award (medium and large business)

This award went to CMS Window Systems ­­ in the United Kingdom for developing CMS Innovation Hub – a commercial innovation centre and meeting place for training on energy-efficient, sustainable building products and services. Located in a once derelict warehouse with the lowest G-rating for energy efficiency and facing demolition, the facility became a working model of energy efficiency. It uses “stone wool” insulation, thermally efficient windows and doors, energy-efficient lighting and IT equipment, and a heat recovery climate control system.

The Product and Services Award

This award goes to a company that has developed and applied a new production technology that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. Turkish Hydromx International won the award for their energy-efficient heat transfer fluid for heating and cooling. This innovative solution transfers heat more efficiently than water and reduces energy consumption by up to 35%. It also has a significant replication potential.

The Process Award

M2i Life Sciencesin France won this award for developing a green and efficient solution to protect crops from particular insects and pests by using sexual pheromones. The technology against the pine processionary moth involves placing pheromonal gel into a paintball pellet and firing it into the trees where the moths are found. As a result, the numbers of this pest have been drastically reduced in France.

Business & Biodiversity

HiPP-Werk Georg Hipp OHG won this award for their outstanding achievements in halting biodiversity loss and support to natural ecosystems. During their 20 years of sustainability management, the company incorporated biodiversity into its operations at every level, spanning the entire supply chain.

The International Cooperation Award

This Award goes to a company that actively promotes the sharing of knowledge and technology in international cross-sector partnerships, which contribute to sustainable growth in developing countries. This year's winner is Fairphone, a Dutch social enterprise promoting fairer electronics. As the world's first ethical modular smartphone provider, they source materials that support local economies: conflict-free tin and tantalum in the DRC Congo, and Fairtrade gold from Peru. They are also working to source responsibly mined tungsten.

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Issue 51