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Brussels, 2 June 2010

Commission rewards Europe's best green businesses

Companies from the UK, Belgium, Germany and Spain have won the 2010 European Business Awards for the Environment. The winners were announced by European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik at an awards ceremony during the annual Green Week conference in Brussels. The awards recognise "the best of the best" businesses that have already succeeded in competitions at national level.

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The more we are aware of the real and inherent value of our environment, the more effectively we will combine economic, social and environmental goals. The companies involved in the European Business Awards for the Environment are a key element in this – demonstrating clearly their innovative abilities and the economic sense of applying eco-technologies and processes."

The awards are given in four categories and recognise European businesses that make a particular contribution to sustainable development by combining innovation, economic viability, environmental concern and social responsibility. The winners were chosen from 141 entries from 24 EU and candidate countries. This is the highest number of entries since the European Business Awards for the Environment were launched in 1987 and reflects the growing interest of businesses in sustainability and their understanding of today's environmental challenges.

The results are as follows:

  • Management Award

This award is for companies with outstanding strategic vision and management systems which enable them to continuously improve their contribution to sustainable development.

Winner: The Findus Group, UK

  • Project: ‘Fish for life’: supporting sustainable fisheries.

  • Fish for Life is a programme promoting a long-term sustainable future for seafood. Started by Young’s Seafood, it is now also applied across Europe by Findus, its parent group.

  • Jury comment: This initiative sets a benchmark for responsible fishery management, promoting and sharing best practices both locally and internationally, with strong involvement of employees and other stakeholders.


  • Product Award

This award is for companies that have developed a new product or service that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development.

Winner: EnergyICT, Belgium

  • Project: Implementation of the advanced energy management system, EIServer®, at British retailer Tesco.

  • The sophisticated EIServer® system incorporates all the vital functions necessary for efficient energy management, enabling Tesco to reduce energy consumption by 20% across all its UK stores.

  • Jury comment: This energy monitoring and control system is being used by a major retailer to achieve substantial reductions in energy use. It could and should be copied by others.


  • Process Award

This award is for companies that have developed and applied a new production technology that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development.

Winner: Zenergy Power GmbH and Bültmann GmbH, Germany

  • Project: Cutting energy consumption by 50% using magnetic billet heating based on superconducting technology.

  • This application of superconductor technology allows a significant increase in energy efficiency in one of the most power-intensive processes in metals manufacturing with a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

  • Jury comment: The first use of superconductor technology in an industrial production process enables copper and aluminium billets to be heated using 50% less energy, yielding higher productivity.


  • International Co-operation Award

This award is for companies that have developed an international partnership for the sharing of knowledge and technology leading to sustainable growth in developing countries.

Winner: Ferrovial, Spain

  • Project: ‘Maji ni Uhai’ (Water is life) – water supply and sanitation in the Serengeti district in Tanzania.

  • This project is the result of an innovative collaboration between infrastructure group Ferrovial and the NGO AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) to combat poverty by providing access to safe water for 50 000 people in the Serengeti district, Tanzania.

  • Jury comment: Providing safe drinking water to the people of Tanzania is significantly improving the standard of living, particularly for women and children. This ongoing initiative exhibits a high replication potential with clear indications of how to solve an endemic problem in other developing countries.


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