In this edition of Business Planet, we visit the Onassis Foundation in Athens to find out how we can transform waste into raw materials. This concept is the basis of circular economy and also provides a real opportunity for SMEs.
The European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is an environmental management tool that helps businesses and organisations improve their environmental performance and increase their efficiency.
By supporting organisations in monitoring and improving their processes, resource efficiency and waste management, EMAS also helps them to discover new business opportunities.
Since 2005 EMAS awards has been recognising outstanding environmental achievements of organisations registered in EMAS in the field of eco-innovation.
The 2015 European Commission launched a new Circular Economy Package to boost investment, reduce regulatory burdens and support innovation.
Business Planet reporter Serge Rombi met up with EMAS representative Alexia Economopoulou who told us more about the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.
“EMAS is a tool to help you manage your production process and services,” explained Alexia Economopoulou. “It can help you minimise waste production, reduce energy consumption, and make more efficient use of resources.”
Serge Rombi then visited Kalamata, a region known worldwide for its production of olive oil. It is here, in the seventies, that Klimis Klimentidis had the brilliant idea of using the crushed olive stones to fuel the lime kilns in his construction company, and then to re-use the powder from the burnt stones to make barbecue briquettes.
EMAS represents what has been close to our hearts for 30 years: respect for the environment
Today, it is Dimitra, Klimis’ granddaughter, who is a co-director of the company along with her mother and sister.
“EMAS represents what has been close to our hearts for 30 years: respect for the environment,” said Dimitra Klimentidis. “We are now recognised throughout Europe. And thanks to the EMAS awards, consumers trust us and our sales have increased.”
EMAS registration is a good way to promote environmental propositions. But don’t forget that you have to fulfill certain obligations.
“You need to be legally compliant, running environmental management system, and provide an environmental statement that has to be validated by an environmental verifier,” added Alexia Economopoulou. “After validation, you submit the national competent body for registration.”