Euro green industries lobby to be launched

Trade bodies agree to set up European environmental technology suppliers' association

Environmental technology suppliers meeting yesterday have agreed to set up a European trade association to promote the industry and participate in EU policy making.

The European Committee of Environmental Technology Suppliers' Association (ECETSA) is to be created as a legal entity next month, and hopes to establish a Brussels office next year.

Environmental technology trade associations from a majority of EU countries plus Switzerland were represented at yesterday's meeting, according to Adrian Wilkes of the UK association, the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), who has been elected ECETSA's first chairman.

Other key positions in the new organisation have been taken by representatives of Dutch environmental technology association VLM and the Austrian association FMS, which has a specialist environmental group.

The initiative grew out of contacts with EU environment commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard in 1995, Mr Wilkes told ENDS Daily today, and its development has been supported by senior European Commission environment officials.

ECETSA will straddle both pollution control equipment suppliers and cleaner technology suppliers, according to Mr Wilkes. "We're focusing on kit manufacturers, but many of them also give advice since the future is clean technologies," he said.

One of the association's first targets will be to lobby the EU policy making machinery for stricter environmental legislation. A series of workshops are planned for early next year to develop clearer approaches in the air pollution control, water pollution control and waste management sectors.

Expected European Commission proposals for new or stricter rules relating to hazardous waste incineration, discharges of dangerous substances and the integrated pollution prevention and control directive are early candidates for action by ECETSA.

Only a minority of European countries currently have specialist environmental technology trade associations. APETA in Portugal and VSM in Switzerland are two that are involved in the ECETSA initiative. Other organisations participating are broader trade associations, most with specialist environmental or pollution control groups.

These include Fabrimetal of Belgium, Anima of Italy, Varim of Sweden and Finet of Finland. The Irish Trade Board has also shown interest in ECETSA, according to Mr Wilkes, as well as German and French associations, though these have not been involved in the decision to set up a formal trade association.

Follow Up:
Environmental Industries Commission, tel: +44 171 935 1675.

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