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Denmark takes the top position on the EU28 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard for 2015: This an improvement in ranking compared to previous years which already showed good performance with a second position in 2014 and fourth position in 2013 and never ranked lower than fourth since 2010. In terms of eco-innovation output, compared to 2013 Denmark slides down the ranking from first place to fourth in the Scoreboard, while on the other hand Denmark moves up from a fourth place to the first spot in terms of eco-innovation input, which is also Denmark’s best performing indices. The country does not manage to translate the high eco-innovation output into a higher socio-economic output, where it is below EU average.

Denmark has been promoting eco-innovation since 2006, when thr Danish Parliament requested the Danish Government to launch the first eco-innovation scheme, underpinned by a comprehensive policy framework in support of activities and initiatives in favour of the environment and combating climate change. After the Danish Local Government Reform in 2007 created five completely new regions in Denmark, green growth initiatives got off due to the synergy effects that the reform offered. Industrial symbiosis and public procurement are two areas that seem particularly to have benefitted from this. However, the new Danish Government (June 2015) has taken a more market oriented approach to green transition with the view that enterprises will implement green business models without the need of comprehensive state support, hence some drastic cuts have been proposed and taken place that will affect circular economy developments. In view of this, the latest Scoreboard results are a result of the work of previous governments and it needs to be seen how the latest policy developments will affect Denmark’s result in the future.

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Denmark

Denmark

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(Waste): Recycling of Car Tyres

Labels: Denmark

TyreRecyclingThe Company Genan (Genan, 2011) has in few years grown to be one of the world’s largest recycling companies of used car tires. The company has developed a product of rubber powder and granulates, which can be used as surface in athletic fields or as artificial grass in football fields, in paint, floors, re-production of new tires, or even as a sound reduction component in new asphalt. The technology can also separate the steel with purity high enough to be reused. Genan is recycling 80% of all Danish tires, and in 2003 they built the world largest compound for recycling of tires in Germany. Today, the company is building 15 compounds around the world, with a vision of reaching 10% of the global market (Ecoinnovation.dk, 3).

Determinants

The global consumption of car tires is 12.5million tonnes/year. Traditionally, used car tires have either been incinerated or deposited on landfills, but in 2006 the European Commission made a total ban against depositing car tires in landfills, in order to foster more sustainable solutions. A major barrier though, is the recollection of the used tires. In Denmark, this has been solved by introducing a re-fund system, similar to bottles and plastic bags, which have led to a 95% return of used tires (Ecoinnovation.dk, 3). The re-fund model is building on a long tradition for Polluters Pays Principle in Denmark, which has been an important driver in building environmental awareness in the public, and to invent strategic systems that places the costs of the environmental impact with the end-user.

Sustainability effects

The production of car tires consumes an enormous amount of oil and natural rubber, involving a high degree of GHG emissions, either during production or incineration. A life cycle analysis of incineration of car tires, testing for 9 different parameters have show that the recycling procedure by Genan is more sustainable on all parameters. (Ecoinnovation.dk, 3)

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Denmark

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