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IP/04/1087

Brussels, 9 September 2004

LIFE Environment 2004: Commission supports 109 environmental innovation projects with €76 million

The European Commission has approved funding for 109 environmental innovation projects in 18 Member States under the LIFE Environment programme 2004. The projects apply ground-breaking technologies to tackle environmental problems in several areas, thus contributing to improving Europe’s environment. LIFE Environment is one of three funding strands under the EU’s environmental funding programme LIFE whose goal is to support the implementation of EU environmental policies and legislation. Funding under LIFE approved in 2004 totals €160 million.

There are ever more efficient and more creative environmental technologies out there, which greatly minimise negative impacts of our activities”, said Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström. “LIFE Environment supports the development of new methods to implement EU environmental legislation. With that, it contributes to a healthier environment and a better quality of life for us all.

LIFE Environment in 2004

109 projects were selected this year. The €76 million in funding provided by the EU will cover approximately 33% of the project costs. The remaining 67% will be provided by the beneficiaries, partners and co-financiers.

Integrated product policy takes the lead with 29 projects in this area (26% of projects selected). Out of those, 18 projects target integrated environmental management audit systems (i.e. EMAS), while the remaining projects deal with eco-design, eco-efficiency, eco-labelling and green financial products.

Another 24 (21%) projects seek to mitigate the environmental impact of economic activities, covering clean technologies and reduction of greenhouse gases. A further 22 projects (19%) focus on integrated environmental considerations, which includes urban environment, air quality and noise abatement, integrated coastal zone management, land-use development and planning and sustainable tourism.

Sustainable management of water resources follows with 20 projects (18%), which cover river basin management, groundwater protection, wastewater treatment and diffuse and dispersed sources of pollution. Finally, 18 projects (16%) are about prevention, recycling and sound management of waste, dealing with packaging and plastics, hazardous and problematic waste, waste important in volume and management of waste streams.

Background

LIFE Environment is part of the LIFE programme. Established in 1992, LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, in candidate countries and in some neighbouring regions. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the development and implementation of EU environmental policy by financing specific actions. The two other components of LIFE, LIFE Nature and LIFE Third Countries, focus on nature conservation, and environmental protection in a number of neighbouring countries. Since 1992, some 2,400 projects have received EU funding under the LIFE programme, representing an EU contribution of €1,4 billion to the protection of the environment.
For projects approved under LIFE Nature and LIFE Third Countries, see press releases
IP/04/1088 and IP/04/1089.

See annex for a summary of the 109 funded projects under LIFE Environment. More detailed information on each project is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/project/index.htm.

Annex

By country overview of LIFE Environment projects selected in 2004

Austria

Number of projects funded: 3

Three Austrian projects have been approved for grant funding. Two of these will be managed by private SMEs, the other one by a local public authority. Two projects deal with waste (one on waste management, the other on the treatment of hazardous waste) and one focuses on air quality.

Belgium

Number of projects funded: 2

Both Belgian projects approved for funding will be managed by private structures. One project will focus on clean technologies; the other, on air quality and climate change.

Denmark

Number of projects funded: 4

A total of four projects submitted by Danish applicants were approved for funding. Three of the projects were submitted by private bodies (two SMEs, one international enterprise) and one by a local authority. Two of the projects centre on integrated environmental management and one on hazardous or problematic waste management. The fourth project focuses on clean technologies in the potato starch industry.

Finland

Number of projects funded: 5

Five projects submitted by Finnish applicants were approved for funding. Three of the projects will be managed by public institutions (all universities), one by a public authority and the last, by a private structure. Two of the projects focus on integrated environmental management, one is on ground water protection, one on land-use development and planning, and the last, on sustainable tourism.

France

Number of projects funded: 12

Partnership is the keyword for the twelve French projects to receive funding in 2004. Eleven of twelve projects will be carried out in collaboration with public and private enterprises, academic and scientific institutions. Four of these projects go beyond national boundaries and include partnerships with other Member States.

Clean technologies is the main environmental sector addressed by the French projects with five focusing on this area. Waste management is next, with three projects on this topic. Two projects deal with eco-design and labelling in the sustainable tourism sector; one covers the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS); one is on air quality in the housing sector.

Germany

Number of projects funded: 8

Eight German projects have been approved for grant funding. Five of these will be managed by public authorities and three by private companies. Two of the projects deal with management of hazardous waste; two are on clean technologies (wastewater treatment); two tackle air quality (one of these relates to climate change); one focuses on applying the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in the labour protection sector; one explores the European Eco-label as a tool in the European sustainable tourism sector.

Greece

Number of projects funded: 7

A total of seven projects submitted by Greek applicants were approved for funding. Four of the projects will be managed by public institutions; the other three by private structures. The Greek projects span a diversity of sectors and policy areas: three projects are on eco-design, eco-efficiency and green financial products; one on integrated product policy; one on integrated environmental management; one on river basin water management and finally, one project is on building a sustainable tourism model in the Halkidiki area.

Hungary

Number of projects funded: 4

Four Hungarian projects have been approved for grant funding. Of these, three will be managed by private structures (SMEs) and one by a public institution (an intergovernmental body). One project focuses on wastewater treatment and the other on sustainable water management. Another project deals with clean technologies in agriculture, and the fourth is on the management of hazardous or problematic waste.

Italy

Number of projects funded: 28

Twenty-eight projects submitted by Italian applicants have been approved for funding. This is the highest number of projects to receive grants in any one country. Of these, eleven projects will be managed by public authorities (regional and local); eight by public institutions (universities and research bodies); seven by private structures (including two SMEs) and two mixed enterprises. The 28 Italian projects cover a wide range of sectors. Clean technologies takes the largest share, with eight projects in a variety of industrial sectors from tanning to the ceramics. Integration of environmental considerations is next, with seven projects covering the following themes: three on urban environment (two on greenhouse gas emission, one on urban planning); two projects on quality of air and noise abatement; two on land-use development and planning.

Five projects cover ground water protection, with three projects on wastewater treatment and two on management of ground water quality. Three projects are on integrated coastal zone management; two are on eco-labelling; two on management of hazardous and problematic waste. One project is on integrated environmental management (EMAS) in SMEs in Milan.

Latvia

Number of projects funded: 3

Three projects in Latvia have been accepted for funding under the LIFE-Environment scheme. Two of the projects will be run by public institutions and one by a private structure. One project will explore integration of integrated environmental management (EMAS) II in a local authority in this new Member State; one project focuses on reduction of energy consumption; the third project is on ecologically friendly ventilation system design.

Luxembourg

Number of projects funded: 1

The Commission has approved funding for one project from Luxembourg. The project will be managed by a private enterprise and will deal with the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.

The Netherlands

Number of projects funded: 7

A total of seven projects were approved for funding for the Netherlands. Six of the projects will be managed by private structures (two NGOs, two international enterprises, one SME, one mixed enterprise) and one by a public research institute. Three of the projects deal with water management (ground water protection, waste water treatment, diffuse and dispersed sources of pollution), two of the projects are on hazardous waste management, one is on clean technologies and one is on sustainable tourism.

Portugal

Number of projects funded: 2

Two projects in Portugal will receive grants under the 2004 LIFE-Environment scheme. Both projects will be managed by private structures: one, an SME, and the other, a research institution. The SME will tackle wastewater treatment in small communities; the research institution will launch a campaign to promote integrated product policy.

Poland

Number of projects funded: 1

The Commission has approved funding for one Polish project. The project proposes a new integrated environmental management Internet tool developed specifically for application in SMEs.

Slovakia

Number of projects funded: 2

Two projects from Slovakia will receive grants under the LIFE-Environment programme for 2004. One project will be managed by a non-governmental organisation; the other, by a private structure. The urban environment and the impacts of climate change are the focus of one project. The other is on clean technologies and management of hazardous substances.

Spain

Number of projects funded: 9

Nine Spanish projects have been approved for grant funding. Five of the projects were submitted by private structures (two NGOs and three SMEs); four projects were submitted by public institutions (one national and two local authorities, one university). The Spanish projects address a wide range of topics: integrated environmental management, urban environment, clean technologies, integrated coastal zone management and management of waste important in volume.

Sweden

Number of projects funded: 5

Five projects will receive grants for 2004 in Sweden. All five projects will be run by private structures (one of these is an SME). Two of the projects deal with hazardous waste management, one is on an innovative system for handling animal by-products in Europe, one is on the reduction of greenhouse gases and one is on clean technologies in the pulp industry.

United Kingdom

Number of projects funded: 6

Six projects from the UK have been approved for funding. Five of the projects were submitted by public authorities and universities, and one by a private structure. Two projects deal with waste (one on hazardous waste management, the other on treatment for waste for restoring land sustainability); one is on the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS); one on wastewater treatment; one on the application of value-base eco-ratings in financial markets, and one on sustainable river catchments.


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