German Kyocera Eco Award promotes awareness of climate protection

12 October 2007

Sustainable resource handling is one of the main challenges of the 21st century. To be able to achieve the ambitious climate goals for an effective reduction of CO2 emissions, intensive, joint efforts between the world of politics, the economy and society are also required in Germany. In light of this, the German Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW), the German Environmental Aid Association (DUH) and the output specialist Kyocera have created an eco award endowed with €100,000.

The objective of the joint initiative is to, with the help of the prize money, initiate projects among small and medium-sized businesses in Germany for reducing CO2 emissions. Participants have until 30 April 2008 to submit their applications to the jury, chaired by Prof Klaus Töpfer. The globally formulated climate goals demand extensive investments of companies. The measures required for achieving these goals apply to all departments, starting with changes in the production process and also including adjustments in Facility and Fleet Management and significant additional expenditure in R&D. “The guidelines set out by legislators put considerable financial pressure on companies. However, they also promote investments in new products and solutions, and thereby offer long-term advantages for Germany. In order to both clarify the opportunities of this process and trigger these with the help of financial support, we have founded the Kyocera Eco Award with the aim of promoting innovative climate protection projects over the long term,” explained Oliver Kreth, member of the executive board at Kyocera Mita Deutschland, of his company’s commitment at his presentation of the Kyocera Eco Award in Berlin.

With its products and corporate citizenship, Kyocera has being promoting the careful and foresighted handling of available resources for a long time now. Thus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently met with the company’s founder, Dr Inamori, to back a follow-on treaty of the Kyoto protocol within the scope of one of the symposia organised by the Inamori Foundation.

In the vain of its tradition, the manufacturer of printers and copiers, together with the DUH and the BVMW, has created the new Kyocera Eco Award for the financing of climate protection measures. The target group of the award endowed with €100,000 is in particular small and medium-sized German companies. For it is generally these companies that feel the strain of the financial requirements of legislators the most. Germany continues to holds the leading position in terms of technology with regard to renewable energies and energy efficiency. In the interests of climate protection, security of supply and the competitiveness of the business location, small and medium-sized businesses must remain the innovation driver for energy efficiency and renewable energies,” stresses the President of the BVMW, Mario Ohoven. The Kyocera Eco Award makes a key contribution to this.

Kyocera, the BVMW and the DUH call on small and medium-sized companies in Germany to formulate innovative environmental concepts for sustainable climate protection and to submit these to the top-class jury of experts by 30 April 2008. Chaired by the former director of the UN environmental body, UNEP, and former German Federal Minister for the Environment, Prof Klaus Töpfer, the brains trust includes Prof Mojib Latif, Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel, Mario Ohoven, President of the BVMW, Prof Harald Kächele, Federal Chairman of the DUH, Heiko von Tschischwitz, CEO of the eco electricity supplier LichtBlick and Detlef Herb, Environmental Officer at Kyocera Mita.

So that more than one project can be supported, the total sum of the Kyocera Eco Award is divided between the three companies demonstrating the most innovative concepts. The winner therefore receives €50,000, while €30,000 is awarded to place 2 and €20,000 to place 3.

Only projects that can demonstrate a distinct relevance to the climate with regard to a sustainable reduction of CO2 emissions are eligible. The prize is awarded only for planned measures; where the realisation of concepts is begun before award of the prize, these concepts cannot be taken into consideration.
The deadline for applications is 30 April 2008. Interested companies should submit with their application precise information about the planned projects, own development achievements, the project period, budget, anticipated benefits for the environment and the intended use of the prize money.