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Background

<typohead type=4>Sustainable Economic Development through Eco-efficiency in a Public Private Partnership</typohead>

The basic idea of ECOPROFIT is a win-win-model, using integrated environmental technologies to strengthen businesses economically and simultaneously improve the local environment. 

<typohead type=4>What is ECOPROFIT?</typohead>

The City of Graz in Austria has developed the concept of " ECOPROFIT ” as a special approach for its local government to work with local and regional business, to motivate and support them in managing their companies in a more sustainable way. It is a programme to economically strengthen business through preventive environmental protection: participating companies are involved in a long term programme in which they receive support in saving energy, water and other resources  - and at the same time costs.

After it was introduced in 1991, the programme has since spread and been adopted by a network of over 70 cities across the world. Such has been the success of this programme since its conception that ICLEI is now recommending ECOPROFIT to other cities.

For an idea of what you can expect to gain from ECOPROFIT, the figures quoted in the UN HABITAT Best Practice database speak for themselves. In the first ten years of the programme, 105 companies in 38 different branches achieved cost effectiveness of €22 million and an economic growth of up to 15% p.a., with total municipal assistance of just €1.5 million and company costs of €0.75 million. They achieved a reduction of eco-related expenses of energy, water, waste and emissions of up to 70%. Coupled with these economic benefits they saw remarkable reductions in emissions and increases in energy efficiency – great news for the local environment and community. 

<typohead type=4>History</typohead>

ECOPROFIT, the „ECOlogical PROject For Integrated Environmental Technology“, is a program for sustainable economic development developed by the Environment Department of the City of Graz, Austria, in 1991. The project has been awarded the „European Sustainable City Award 1996" and the „Dubai International Award for Best Practices to improve the Living Environment 2002“. It was also a finalist in the „Bremen Partnership Award Contest 2001“.

<typohead type=4>The Public Private Partnership Model</typohead>

An important factor in the success of ECOPROFIT is the special way local authorities, businesses and consultants work together through common training programs and networking. This strong co-operation enables an effective flow of information and considerable synergies.

<typohead type=4>The Project</typohead>

The ECOPROFIT Academy was founded to give other regions the chance to apply the methods that have proved successful in Graz. Consultants and local authority representatives are instructed in the ECOPROFIT method through an extensive training program. The subsequent ECOPROFIT basic program transfers this knowledge into participating companies. The Cleaner Production Center (CPC) Austria was charged with the international dissemination of the project, the organisation of the ECOPROFIT Academy and the allocation of licences for use of the ECOPROFIT trademark. The CPC supports project managers in the implementation process and thus assures the quality and success of the projects.

<typohead type=4>Further development</typohead>

The permanent further development of the project is a central concern of the project team. As a reaction to the wishes of project participants, special programs were developed for tourism as well as small businesses with less than 10 employees.

<typohead type=4>The Best Practice Network</typohead>

The establishment of an international ECOPROFIT network enables participating companies, consultants, local authorities and research institutions to benefit from synergies by sharing knowledge. The CPC Austria has founded the Styrian Cleaner Production Network. It has a pool of experienced experts and partners from a variety of disciplines and thus guarantees to provide ‘state of the art’ advice.

<typohead type=4>The ECOPROFIT Trademark </typohead>

ECOPROFIT is an international registered and copyrighted trademark. Project managers are allowed to use the trademark and the associated programme through a licence agreement.

 

More information on ECOPROFIT - Programme Basics (PDF)  and on Structure and Organisation (PDF) can be downloaded here.

 

For more information on Cleaner Production Centre Austria

Page last updated: 14.Mar.2013.

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