Europe’s most environment-friendly companies were announced in Lyon, France. Estonian companies WERROWOOL and AusDesign, having been recognised by the jury, were among the best of the 150 participating companies.
The Estonian nominees for the European Business Awards for the Environment, WERROWOOL and AusDesign won the Estonian environment-friendly business award in the previous year and have also received international recognition. “The competition among Europe’s best was stronger, because the quality of the nominees has increased significantly. Nevertheless, two Estonian companies successfully stood out and ended up in the final selection,” commented Ado Lõhmus, member of the jury and Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment. More than 150 candidates were nominated for the awards, with the final selection including 16 nominees from ten countries. Estonia had the honour of being represented with two companies in the final round.
Estonian cellulose fibre wool manufacturer OÜ WERROWOOL, producing environment- and health-friendly, innovative insulation material from waste paper, reached the final four in the category of environmental management. “We are very grateful for Estonia’s success in the competition. During this journey we could see how the European Commission and national governments use their actions and resources to support businesses in their efforts to reduce environmental impact. Companies, especially small businesses, should take more advantage of the available support and recognition to develop their operations and to combine profitability with environmental management. Recognition increases motivation,” commented Ivar Heinola, Sales and Development manager, OÜ WERROWOOL. OÜ WERROWOOL was notable for well thought-out environmental management, as evidenced by the EMAS environmental management system certificate. The central idea in product development was to base the entire production cycle, from procurement of raw material (waste paper) to product handling at the end of its life cycle, on environmentally sound principles. The production of cellulose fibre wool requires about 30 times less energy than the production of rock or glass wool.
OÜ AusDesign, manufacturing new clothes from excess production of Bangladesh clothing industry to reduce the environmental impact of large production, was among the three finalists in the category of international business cooperation. Each clothing item manufactured in this manner means 91 per cent of saved water and 86 per cent of saved energy compared to a similar product, manufactured from new material. The volume of production waste is reduced by half. “Looking at the trends of entrepreneurship in Europe, it is clear that our education system and companies urgently need to acquaint themselves with the concepts of ‘circular economy’, ‘upcycling’ and ‘transparency’,” commented Reet Aus, designer and owner of the company, who was very pleased with the received recognition.