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Five Companies Win European Business Awards

Karmenu Vella, the European Union's Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries commissioner, has announced the winners of the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014-15, awards that recognize companies that combine competitiveness with respect for the environment in five categories: management, product and services, process innovation, business and biodiversity, and international business cooperation.

"Growing numbers of businesses realize that protecting the environment is vital for maintaining Europe's competitiveness. The Commission's European Business Awards for the Environment recognize the best of these pioneers, singling out leaders and companies at the forefront of eco-innovation. My warm congratulations to all these winners," Vella said.

Eczacıbaşı Yapı Gereçleri (Turkey), a leading producer of ceramic bathroom products and tiles, received the Management Award for the Blue Life Integrated Sustainability Management System the company has implemented in its Building Products division. It measures and reports the sustainability credentials of all business processes so that the environmental impact of products is reduced at each step of their life cycle, from design to the final user.

EcoNation (Belgium), a company supplying lighting solutions, received the Product and Services Award for its "Lighten the energy bill" project, which features the LightCatcher, an intelligent daylight system that can save energy saving by maximizing the use of available daylight.

Daimler AG (Germany), the motor vehicle and engine manufacturer, received the Process Award. Vella's agency reported that the jury "were impressed by Daimler's twin wire arc spraying technology, which applies an iron-carbon coating to the inner surfaces of cylinders in aluminum crankcases. Widespread use could generate considerable fuel savings and reductions in CO2 emissions."

Interface Nederland BV (Netherlands), the world's largest designer and maker of carpet tiles, received the International Business Cooperation Award for its Net-Works project, which aims to tackle the growing global environmental problem of discarded fishing nets while aiding some of the world's poorest coastal communities. Every two kilos of the nets collected for re-use buys one kilo of rice, providing two meals for a family of five to six people.

Red Eléctrica de España (Spain), an electricity operator, received the Business and Biodiversity Award for outstanding achievements in halting biodiversity loss and support to natural ecosystems through the "Birds and electricity transmission lines: mapping of flight paths" project. The tool uses Geographic Information Systems that integrate data about bird flight paths.

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