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





Genan is the world’s largest recycler of scrap tyres. The company's technology enables scrap tyres to be recycled into high-quality rubber powder and granulate, substituting new raw materials in high-end applications such as artificial turf, noise-reduction asphalt and in the near future in the production of new tires. The steel is separated in a purity that allows it to replace new iron ore in steel production. Genan has four plants in Denmark and Germany with a total capacity of 275,000 tonnes / year, and is currently building a 100,000 tons plant in Houston, Texas, USA.

Comprehensive life cycle assessment studies have shown that significant environmental benefits in areas like greenhouse gas emissions, acidification and fossil fuel demand are achieved if scrap tyres are recycled through the Genan method instead of incinerated or used in civil engineering filling operations. Material recycling through the Genan method compared to other disposal methods saves 1-2 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of scrap tyres.

Genan’s recycling technology was originally developed in 1990 and has undergone continuous development ever since. The scrap tyres are separated into their basic components: rubber powder and granulate, steel and textile. The end products are uniform and clean and therefore very well suited for high quality substitution applications, such as asphalt and bitumen modification which makes the roads stronger and longer lasting. This leads to saved maintenance costs and less time spent on repair works.  The use of Genan’s rubber powder in asphalt and bitumen modification avoids the production of virgin alternative modifiers like styrene-butadiene-styrene.

The recycled rubber granulate is also being used as high-quality infill material for artificial turf pitches. The use of artificial turf is highly recommended by international soccer organizations such as FIFA since it helps the development of football in all parts of the world as well as provide the opportunity to play all year round at low maintenance costs.

However, even more interesting is the current cradle-to-cradle joint research development project together with the large tyre manufacturer, Pirelli, which hopefully will lead to the substitution of 10 % of all natural rubber in the production of new tyres. The last 5 years' price increase on virgin rubber has resulted in an increasing focus on raw material substitution and the preliminary results are promising.

Barriers and Drivers
The main barrier and driver is national and international legislation concerning the treatment and disposal of scrap tyres. It is of paramount importance that the waste hierachy, giving preference to material recycling over incineration and filling operations, is reflected in both EU and national legislation.

The high quality raw materials originally invested in the production of the new tyres should not be wasted using low-level environmentally solutions such as incineration and filling. Politicians should therefore set up a framework that favours the best available technology and solutions that that helps avoid the production of new raw materials: natural rubber, synthetic rubber, iron ore.

A legislative framework  should also set standards for the quality of the output and promote the use use of the output in substitution applications, e.g. modification of bitumen and asphalt in public financed infrastructure projects, thus turning a waste burden into a environmentally as well as socio-economically benefit.

Economic Performance
For more information about the economic performance of the recycling of scrap tyres  the executive summary of the Deloitte study "A welfare economic analysis of material recycling versus co-incineration of scrap tyres":

Environmental Impact
For more information, download the executive summaries of our life cycle analysis "LCA - Material recycling vs. co-incineration" and "LCA - Material recycling vs. civil engineering":

Further Information

For more information please visit the homepage of Genan:

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