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The European Awards for the Environment 2000, held in Brussels on 6 December presented awards to four firms in the field of sustainable development, for management, product, technology and international partnership. There were 80 competitors for the titles, which were decided by a pan-European jury from industrial, academic and political backgrounds.

The British company EnTech won the international partnership award for sustainable development for supporting environmental management and assessment projects with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency.

The award is for a successful alliance between an EU business and a developing country. The most noticeable project resulted in a large drop in waste discharged into the Nile.

The Austrian company, Lenzing Lyocell, won the technology award for sustainable development, after developing an innovative technology for producing 100% cellulose based wood fibre. Through the process wood consumption is considerably reduced compared with cotton and the solvent used is 99.6% recyclable.

The Belgian company, Agva-Gevaert, won the product award for sustainable development for developing a chemicals free medical imaging system. Its ‘Drystar system’ allows medical images to be obtained using a heat-sensitive film with the same quality of the images as traditional medical imaging, but without using chemicals.

The Danish company, Brødrene Hartman, won the management award for sustainable development for producing a global lifecycle based management model. The pulp packaging company developed a model called Systematic Tool for Environmental Progress, or STEP, which continually assesses environmental performance and provides reports to 150 industry and environmental companies.

“By taking steps to save resources both in manufacturing processes and in the use of products, these firms have shown that sustainable development and greater competitiveness go hand in hand,” said European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström, presenting the awards. Wallström said that the next awards will feature more prizes to attract more diverse companies.

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