European Business Awards for the Environment 2012 Winners Announced

24 May 2012: The EU Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik presented the European Business Awards for the Environment 2012 to winners who have made achievements in sustainable development in the areas of management, products and process innovation, international business cooperation, and business and biodiversity. Potočnik lauded the companies for being “green growth in action.”

The award for management was won by Marks & Spencer, UK, for integrating resource management across operations and adopting a sustainable retail practice model. Aquamarine Power, UK, won the product award for their Oyster wave energy technology, which produces tidal power and could be used to low-cost desalinization. The award for process was won by Umicore, Belgium, for a process to recycle lithium-ion batteries that reduces environmental and health impacts. INENSUS GmbH, Germany, won the international business cooperation award for the project “MicroPowerEconomy - a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for comprehensive island-grid village electrification with renewable energy,” the business model will be replicated to provide off-grid micropower to other Senegalese villages. The European Commission notes that the use of renewable sources for energy production reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and local pollution. Slovenské elektrárne, Slovakia, won the business and biodiversity award for supporting Natura 2000 and sustainable PPPs under the project “Energy for Nature: Saving most precious animal species in Slovak mountains.” [EU Press Release]