Denmark

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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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(Water): Chlorine Free Swimming

SwimEco-innovation is not only about preserving the environment; it is also about creating better and healthier living conditions for the public. The company Skjoelstrup & Groenborg (Ultraaqua, 2011) has in partnership with other companies and experts developed a water cleaning technology for swimming pools, which removes organic pollutants so quickly and effective that it reduces the use of chlorine with more than 80%. This reduces the damaging chemicals chloroform and chloramines. Skjoelstrup & Groenborg have developed a filter, which can be cleaned much faster than traditional filters, and thereby reduce the need for adding chemicals to the water. In addition, it has been combined with a membrane filter that also increases the overall water quality. It took more than 10 years to develop this technology.

Determinants

It is about 25% more expensive to invest in the new technology, but calculations show that in about 3 years the investment will be returned. The new filter not only saves chlorine and acid; it also reduces the costs for water and energy, and due to less maintenance staff costs are lower as well.

Sustainability effects

The new filter technology will make it more comfortable, healthy and environmentally sound to go swimming. For people suffering from allergies or asthma it will reduce irritations, and in general the water and chemical consumption will be reduced considerably, which will both have a positive influence on the water environment but also on mitigation of climate change, as much energy is used to pump, clean, and treat public water.

Further Information

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Denmark

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