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European business awards for the environment

Commissioner Stavros Dimas endorses commitment by the European Commission to the European Business Awards for the Environment:

The European Business Awards for the Environment play a crucial role in demonstrating progress on environmental and sustainable development issues worldwide.

The Awards are held every two years and are organised by the European Commission - the next round of the Awards will be in 2008. The UK review panel will meet to select shortlisted winners to go forward to Europe in November 2007. The European jury will select winners from each Member state at a meeting in March 2008. The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony in June 2008.

The Awards are designed to recognise the efforts of organisations who have made significant contributions to sustainable development and made measurable improvements to their performance through:

  • effective management of their business operations, environmental, financial and social responsibilities
  • successful innovation of sustainable products, services and manufacturing processes, minimising pollution and environmental impacts
  • effective working in international partnerships with organisations from other sectors.

Defra supports UK participation in the European Awards for the Environment. Participation in the awards can form part of a wider effort and can:

  • provide European wide recognition for organisations who want to make a commitment to improving their environmental performance
  • help raise awareness of the need for better environmental performance by business and industry
  • promote the environmental achievements of business both in the UK and overseas
  • link to other environmental and sustainable development issues such as Government initiatives on sustainable consumption and production, resource efficiency, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water.

Defra works with the RSA Environmental Awards Forum to help provide guidance and advice about setting up, organising, sponsoring and entering environmental award schemes as well as information about the European Awards. Defra has also provided support to help set up a national database of awards schemes.

The Awards are given in four categories:

The Management Award for Sustainable Development - recognises the important role of a management systems approach in delivering continuous improvements in environmental performance.

The Product Award for Sustainable Development - recognises how the careful design of products and services can promote sustainable consumption and create new business opportunities.

The Process Award for Sustainable Development - recognises the important role of research and innovation in developing sustainable production technologies that deliver environmental, economic and social benefits.

The International Partnership Award for Sustainable Development - acknowledges the global dimension of sustainable development and the important role to be played by international cross-sectoral alliances.


Eligibility to enter the European scheme is open to those businesses in the European Union who have gained a national award which recognises their efforts to improve their environmental performance.

Public sector bodies are also eligible to enter the EBAE. NGOs are not eligible to apply unless they are partners in the International Cooperation Category

In the UK only the winners of RSA accredited environmental award schemes are eligible to go forward to the EBAE. Details of accredited schemes are listed below.

Entries are judged by an international panel of independent experts with experience and knowledge of sustainable development issues and organised by the Awards Steering Committee in the European Commission.

Entering the European Business Awards for the Environment – A guide for UK companies

What are the benefits of participation?
  • To demonstrate commitment to improving the environmental performance of UK companies

  • To enhance company image and promote achievements

  • To gain exposure in the market place nationally and internationally

  • To gain recognition in Europe as an environmental champion for the UK

  • To exploit the competitive advantage associated with greener products, services and activities


How to enter

You will need to answer "yes" to the following questions:

The feeder schemes have been identified by the RSA Awards Forum as awards that:

  • Attract high quality entries
  • Comply with the Forum’s criteria for the new accreditation scheme
  • Match the European Commissions Award Themes

These feeder schemes are regularly reviewed by the RSA Awards Forum to ensure that all the criteria have been fulfilled.

If the answers are "yes" to the above questions: Feeder schemes will automatically identify candidates that match the European scheme rules and criteria. A final short list is prepared with assistance from an independent review panel established with the help of the RSA Awards Forum.

If you haven’t won a UK National Award from the above list you may still be able to enter in the future: Contact the most appropriate feeder scheme for your project for details on how to enter their awards. If you are successful then you may subsequently be considered for entry to the European Awards - but you have to win a UK feeder award first.

The review and application process

The review panel judge each entry for its relevance to the specifications of each category (Management, Process, Product and International Cooperation). For more information on the categories see The Review Panel aims to put forward the highest quality, strongest and most diverse range of entrants to Europe.

Following the review panel, short listed entrants are contacted by individual feeder schemes. If a company wishes to proceed to the European Awards then the feeder scheme will forward them an application form. Each feeder scheme will then liaise with and support that company until the form is completed in the best possible manner for a successful submission.

Winners of a European Award will be selected by a European Jury. Successful companies will be invited to a prestigious Awards Ceremony hosted by the European Commission. The event will be covered be national and international media to showcase the winners.

Database of Environmental Awards

The RSA Awards Forum provides details of sources of grant funding and oversees management of a national database of environmental and sustainable development awards. For more information visit

RSA Awards Accreditation Scheme

The scheme aims to help users identify those awards which have met the RSA criteria for best  practice. For information about the RSA Accreditation Scheme see:

Full details of the European Business Awards for the Environment can be obtained from the European Commission, Environment Directorate-General:

Katarzyna Wolos
European Coordinator
European Business Awards for the Environment
European Commission
Environment Directorate-General
Unit A1, Communications and Governance
BU/9 0/197
B 1160 Brussels

Tel: +32 2  299 7981
Fax: +32 2 298 6327

Page last modified: 22 January 2008
Page published: 6 March 2002