ECo-innovation

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Environmental policy can serve as a driver for innovation. The high standards advanced by EU environmental policy encourage European companies to in a bid to maximise the efficiency of the they use. Doing so leads to greater profitability and an improved brand and corporate .

By burning waste fuels the cement producer Lafarge has cut its emissions of CO2 by 12.75% per unit of production compared to 1990 levels and reduced its energy by 22%.

By using the latest power plant to generate electricity and steam the German chemicals manufacturing BASF reduced by 13% the primary energy consumption per metric tonne of product sold. , it decreased its emissions of greenhouse gases by 38% between 1990 and 2002.

€500 million was saved per year at a single production site. The German railroad company Deutsche Bahn reduced its CO2 emissions by 25.9% between 1990 and 2002. Thirteen percent of the company's current use comes from renewable sources. An additional €700 million have been saved through efficient driving measures.

From January 2005, 30% of SwissRe's energy in Zurich have been met from renewable energy . This will be raised to 100%
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UK businesses use 4 times the of water they need and could save €4.5 billion per year. The energy company BP cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10% between 1990 and 2001, nine years ahead of schedule. It will save around £400 million over the life of projects to increase operational efficiency.

British Telecom, a provider of services, reduced energy-related C02 emissions by 71 % between 1991 and 2004. £1.1 billion was saved between 2002 and 2005 through lower bills. In 2006, 42% of its total waste was recycled.

About 90% of the electricity used by the British mortgage and savings provider HBOS comes from renewable energies. Between 2001 and 2004 the company cut CO2 emissions by 13% per fulltime equivalent employee and saved £12.9 million from energy conservation and emission reduction measures for a total of £3.6 million .

European Commission (2007) Facts and Figures: the links between EU’s economy and environment [on-line] Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/pdf/facts.pdf