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Environmental innovation award - winners announced

Winners of this year's European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards have been announced by the European Commission. The six winning organisations were selected by an independent jury for innovating to improve their environmental performance.

 Image © Frances Minchiatti

The European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a management tool for organisations aiming to improve their environmental performance and communicate their environmental achievements. The theme of the 2014 Awards is "Effective eco-innovations supporting improvements in environmental performance".

The winning companies showed a wide range of different ideas, from making barbecue briquettes from olive stones (VAS. & EK. KOTTARIDI G.P., Greece) to developing cleaning processes which use minimal water and energy (HR Björkmans Entrémattor AB, Sweden). Sächsische Bildungsgesellschaft Dresden mbH, Germany, won a prize for its use of the EMAS principles as a basis for training students, while Austrian engineering firm Voestalpine VAE was recognised for its energy policy and recycling schemes.

In the public sector, two bodies won awards. Aeropuerto de Menorca, Spain, has cut its environmental impact by reusing waste water and automating its lighting and temperature control systems. German federal environment agency Umweltbundesamt also won an award for building the first zero-energy public building in Germany, which already fulfils legal requirements for new buildings due to come into force in 2019.

The European Environment Agency also uses EMAS to continuously improve its environmental performance.

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