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A thousand Basque companies will benefit as a result of the Basque Government’s Eco-efficiency Program

2010 October 29

The program aims to situate the Basque Country as a leading region at European level in terms of eco-efficiency

A reduction of 200,000 tonnes in the consumption of prime materials is envisaged

The Program has been assigned a budget of 15 million euros for the duration of its active period

The application of more efficient technologies, opening a gateway to the green markets that are emerging in Europe and minimising costs and environmental impact are some of the advantages afforded to the thousand Basque companies involved in the "2010-2014 Eco-efficiency Program for Basque Companies", which today was presented in Bilbao by Pilar Unzalu, the Basque Government's Minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning, Agriculture and Fishing, and Fernando Barrenechea, General Director of the public sector company Ihobe.

The initiative, promoted by the Department for the Environment, has been assigned a budget of 15 million euros and aims to bring about a 100,000 tonne reduction of CO2 emission, the recovery of 100,000 tonnes of waste and a 200,000 tonne reduction in the consumption of prime materials.

The "2010-2014 Eco-efficiency Program for Basque Companies" intends to increase environmental activities within Basque companies, affording them a competitive advantage in the markets that are emerging in Europe.

The program was designed with reference to the demands of the Basque industrial network in terms of competitiveness. Both the content and the methods of program admission were the result of consensus between business associations, regional development agencies and numerous Basque companies of various sizes and in various sectors.

The "2010-2014 Eco-efficiency Program for Basque Companies" is a pioneering initiative in terms of its mode of application as it is designed on the basis of joint responsibility of the participating companies and the public administration, wherein both parties are committed to fulfilling a series of objectives over the course of the program's operative life.

More specifically, the Department for the Environment will provide participating bodies with services, methodologies, training and economic aid to implement the most efficient technologies, in both economic and environmental terms, along with guidance to comply with environmental legislation and training in environmental matters, affording the business network the resources they require to occupy a competitive position in the emerging green markets in Europe.

For their part, the companies that participate in the Program will be obliged to execute a certain number of actions for environmental improvement on an annual basis, duly informing the body charged with managing the program, the Public Sector Environmental Management Company Ihobe, which will publish the environmental results on its web site on a regular basis.

The program is open to all nature of organisations within the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country, irrespective of the sector in which they operate or their size.

Pilar Unzalu, Basque Minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning, Agriculture and Fishing, drew attention to the role of companies who are now participating in the program, "turning the current situation of economic crisis into an opportunity and an incentive to improve their efficiency in terms of the use of materials and other resources." In addition, she referred to eco-efficiency as "the ideal tool to promote the competitiveness of the companies via the integration of environmental considerations into their processes."

The series of environmental actions that the companies will execute over the course of the operative life of the program "will consolidate the Basque Country as a reference point at European level in terms of the incorporation of environmental considerations within strategies," the Minister affirmed.

Areas of action

The Eco-efficiency program, which already boasts 28 participating companies, entails three areas of action: Environmental Leadership, Clean Technologies and SME's in Action.
"Environmental Leadership" involves participating companies anticipating the needs of their clients and proposing new green products and services that are recognised and valued as such in the market.

Within "Clean Technologies", support will be provided to demonstration projects and the improvement of industrial processes via the implementation of the Best Available Techniques (BAT).

Finally, "SME's in Action" hopes to mobilise SME's and Micro-SME'S within the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country to ensure that they abide by a plan to reduce CO2 emissions and savings in terms of resource use.

Objectives of the "2010-2014 Eco-efficiency Program for Basque Companies"

Indicator

2014 Objective

Participating companies

1000

New companies within Ecodesign

100

New companies with an Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

100

Companies that introduce cleaner technologies

150

Greenhouse Gas Reduction

100,000 Tonnes

Waste recovery

100,000 Tonnes

Reduction of the consumption of prime materials

200,000 Tonnes

 

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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)
  • Pilar Unzalu
    Consejera de Medio Ambiente, Planificación Territorial, Agricultura y Pesca (IX term)
Other guests
  • Pilar Unzalu