Close to 800 people attended the Basque Eco-Efficiency Week 2012, held between 25th May and 5th June. The initiative was promoted by Ihobe and featured 28 events organised by 20 firms. All of the organisations that participated in the initiative are part of the Eco-Efficiency Programme for Basque Companies 2010-2014. In total, 500 organisations have now signed up to this programme.
Eco-design, sustainable construction, carbon
footprints and green undertakings were the key issues at the Basque
Eco-Efficiency Week 2012, an initiative which provided an invaluable framework
for assessing environmental and innovative actions in Basque industry,
establishing synergies and improving the competitiveness of the Basque business
Over eight days, various Basque towns and cities
staged the 28 events which comprised the first edition of the Basque
Eco-Efficiency Week, an ambitious programme of events aimed at providing a
meeting place for discussing eco-efficient actions and initiatives.
Through seminars, conferences, site visits, breakfasts, technical
sessions, courses and workshops, the organising bodies as well as their
associated companies shared their experiences and success stories. The
discussion focused on the application of solutions based on innovation and
sustainability as a means of increasing competitiveness in various sectors of
the Basque economy.
building, eco-design, carbon footprints and green undertakings were
the core issues up for discussion at the Basque Eco-Efficiency Week 2012. In
total, more than 500 people attended the 12 events. The seminars on
energy efficiency, the environmental requirements of the French and German
markets, and green public procurement in the Basque Autonomous Community were
also a success. The organising bodies as well as those in attendance considered
them to be extremely useful and valuable.
Over the course of each of the seminars, the ability
of the most important firms to drive eco-efficiency was identified as one of
the keys in ensuring competitiveness. Following on from this, during the visit
to the Norbega plant
in Galdakao, the company’s technical director stated that “aside from
positioning ourselves as a leading firm in terms of our environmental
performance, all of the improvements that we have introduced with regards
savings in raw materials and energy are also viable from a financial
Similarly, in the events which were aimed at the
construction sector, the commitment of many Basque firms to the implementation
of eco-design policies as a decisive solution for differentiating their
products was also highlighted.
Members of some of the sectors which were
represented in the events that made up the Basque Eco-Efficiency Week 2012 were
in agreement about the need to regard energy efficiency as a priority area for
action in the improvement of their business practices. This was
underlined by representatives of Fundiciones
del Estanda, who stated that “in a sector such as the foundry one,
which is energetically intensive, there is still a lot of room for optimising
The need to invest in eco-efficiency in order to
improve the competitive advantages of firms in international markets was a
subject which awoke great interest at an event which was attended by Pilar
Unzalu, the Basque Minister for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and
Fisheries. The Minister stressed the need to “capitalise on the opportunities
which exist in the French and German markets because, in addition to
representing 30% of Basque exports, they are also ever more demanding from an
environmental perspective”. At the same event, the representative for the
German Minister of the Environment encouraged Basque firms to join the Ecopol
eco-innovation policy instruments project, stating that “by 2020, we want to
have more than one million electric cars in circulation in Germany because this
will enable us to take advantage of our surplus wind-generated electricity by
using it in the batteries of electric cars”.
The Basque Eco-Efficiency Week 2012, promoted by
Ihobe, falls under the Eco-Efficiency
Programme in Basque Companies 2010-2014. 500 Basque firms have now
signed up to the programme. In addition to Ihobe, 20 businesses across a
variety of sectors participated in this first edition of the Basque
Eco-Efficiency Week. After its conclusion, Ihobe will publish a report
about the Week, which will reveal its main results and conclusions.
All information pertaining to the Basque Eco-Efficiency
Week 2012 can be accessed on Ihobe’s website at www.ihobe.net.
23 June, 2012.