European prize to be awarded in Brussels on June 4thGREEN COMMERCE

The European Union (EU) LIFE+Green Commerce project, which involves the Spanish Town Halls of Torrevieja and San Sebastián has won one of six “best of the best” awards from across the continent.

The project, which also involves the regional government, is based on minimising the environmental impact of small businesses. It was chosen with five others from 1,067 other finished projects as one of the six best practices at a European level after evaluating how the results contributed in the short and long term to economic, social and environmental improvements; their level of innovation and transferability; their adherence to EU policies; and their cost effectiveness.

It involved 50 local businesses along with the local small business association (APYMECO) and has been running for two years so far, but any company in the municipality can still sign up to it.

The project evaluates the environmental impact of each business online, advising them on how to minimise this and reduce their costs, making them more competitive with tools and methods that are normally applied to large distribution companies.

These recommendations have helped them reduce water consumption by up to 60%, electricity for lighting by 80%, and electricity for air conditioning by 30%, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by a total of more than 2.6 million kilograms per year, as well as making the businesses aware of how important their role is in raising public awareness about responsible consumption.

After the pilot schemes finished in 2012, the Valencian Government extended the methods to other municipalities under an agreement to which 31 Town Halls have now signed up, representing 1,043 businesses.

The presentation of the award will take place in Brussels on June 4th, as part of the European Green Week events.