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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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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How much is relevant the effective involvement of local government, policy makers, industry, research and development programs, financing and communications plans for a really cost-competitive and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels?
A first answer to this question has been given by the Chief Executive Officers of seven Leading European biofuel producers and European airlines, who gathered in Bruxelles on the 4th February 2013 to launch a new industry led initiative in order to speed up the deployment of advanced sustainable biofuels in Europe.
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According to a recent survey, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the 27 EU Member States should focus on and develop more specific policies and strategies related to three core themes, such as “resource efficiency“, “green markets” and “environmental jobs” to meet the European Sustainability Targets up to 2020.
The survey, requested by the European Commission Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, and coordinated by the Directorate General for Communication, was carried out between the 24th of January and the 10th of February 2012, and covered businesses employing one or more persons in the manufacturing, retail, services and industry sectors within the European Union.
The results of the survey could be considered a test about the European SMEs’ attitudes towards the environment. But, why SMEs are so important for the economic, social and political future of the European Community? Let’s give few numbers: there are 20,8 million SMEs in the European Union, representing 99% of all businesses and providing around 90 million jobs in the internal market.
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