Generally, companies that adopt an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the ISO 14000 family of international standards, and which is normally designed to help reduce the business’s environmental impact, back this up with sincere, long term investment in environmentally-friendly practices and technologies, as suggested also by a recent review.
Researchers of this latest study found that the adoption of the ISO 14001:2004 requirements for certification was not “greenwash“, but reflected in fact a move towards more sustainable practices in both European and North American companies.
Environmental management systems, such as the international standard ISO 14001:2004 and the European Union’s Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EU EMAS III), provide a holistic approach towards reducing the environmental impacts, and the number of companies that are using these management systems has increased rapidly in the recent years.
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The European Commission proposed a New General Union Environment Action Program (7th EAP) in November 2012 to guide the EU Environment Policy up to 2020.
Entitled “Living Well, Within the Limits of Our Planet“, the proposal sets out a clear vision of where Europe should be in the long term; in particular, it aims to enhance Europe’s ecological resilience and transform the European Union into an inclusive and sustainable green economy.
The EAP has the three-fold aim of achieving an inclusive green economy, whilst protecting the natural capital and the health of European citizens.
Specifically, protecting natural capital, encouraging more resource efficiency and accelerating the transition to the low-carbon economy are key features of the Program, which also seeks to tackle environmental causes of disease.
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According to a recent report of the European Commission, investment in SMEs working in the area of environmentally innovative technologies is producing above-average returns, while all creating valuable jobs and also alleviating relevant environmental impacts.
The performance of young SMEs funded in 2011-2012 under the Eco-Innovation component of the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) have shown very impressive results.
The new report, “Analysing and Reporting the Results Achieved by the CIP Eco-Innovation Market Replication Projects”, has been commissioned by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) on behalf of EU DG Environment and undertaken by ICF GHK.
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