European Business Awards for the Environment: Rewarding Eco-Innovation for Jobs and Growth

Every two years, the European Commission presents the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE). Since its launch under the name ‘European Better Environment Awards for Industry’ in 1987, the Awards have recognised and rewarded those companies that demonstrate their commitment to eco-innovation, or put sustainable development and respect for the environment at the very core of their business principles.

The Awards celebrate companies and projects throughout Europe and across all sectors of business. To be eligible for consideration, companies must first have succeeded in their national award schemes (organised throughout Europe each year), and then be nominated by their respective national coordinating bodies. This means that the companies recognised in the pan-European Awards are truly ‘the best of the best’; the most innovative, environmentally responsible and far-sighted across Europe.

This year the competition saw 148 entries from 21 EU Member States and candidate countries. In September, an independent panel of 27 jurors from across Europe – representing industry, NGOs, academia, public authorities and past EBAE finalists – met in Bratislava to assess the entrants, and to determine the winners in each category.

The 2016–17 competition has four award categories: Management (with separate awards for micro/small and medium/large entities), Product and Services, Process, and International Business Cooperation. In addition, there is an Award for Business and Biodiversity, the winner of which is selected from companies applying for any of the other four categories. For each Award, the winners are those who are setting an example for others to follow, and who best demonstrate progress through a combination of innovation, environmental benefit, economic viability, social responsibility, and commitment to the cause.