The Association of Environmental Enterprises Media Release: The European Business Awards for the Environment – Winners of the Finnish National Competition: St1 Biofuels wins first prize in Product Category with Refuel RE85 biofuel


The jury for the Finnish National European Business Awards for the Environment competition 2009 has selected the winners for each of the 4 categories: Product, Process, Management and International co-operation. The Finnish winners and runners up will participate in the European competition organized by the European Commission, for which the award ceremony will take place in Brussels in June 2010.

The award ceremony was held in Helsinki on the 25th of November. Finnish Environmental minister Ms. Paula Lehtomäki presented the awards to the winners.

The European Business Awards for the Environment recognize and promote today’s pioneers in green innovation. The bi-annual awards were established by the European Commission Environment Directorate-General in 1987 to identify and reward European companies that set an example by combining innovation, economic viability and environmental concern. The Association of Environmental Enterprises is a Finnish national coordinator for the competition.

Product Category

1st prize

Refuel RE85 - sustainable ethanol biofuel for flexifuel cars

St1 Biofuels Oy has developed a locally produced, waste based, sustainable ethanol biofuel that is used as a biocomponent in the first domestic traffic biofuel product for consumers in Finland. Refuel RE85 has been in the market in Finland since April 2009.

Refuel RE85 meets the technical requirements of the E85 fuel quality standard and it contains 80-85% of bioethanol produced from local biowaste using St1’s patented Etanolix® technology. RE85 is suitable for flexifuel cars.

Refuel RE85 ethanol biofuel cuts transport-related fossil CO2 emissions up to 80 %. St1’s RE85 Refuel is cutting down emissions in every corner – less CO2 emissions from traffic, less CO2 from the production process and less waste to landfills. Local fuel production also increases energy self sufficiency while decreasing the need for imported fuels.

The jury considers the environmental benefits of RE85 very clear. It is made from biowaste from bakeries and other sources, which might otherwise be difficult to utilize. The production units can also be located close to the facilities which produce the biowaste, and this reduces the need for transportation quite dramatically, which also reduces CO2 emissions. The fact that waste derived ethanol is a fuel of Finnish origin, unlike traditional fuels, is an additional bonus. The jury sees a vast market potential, and RE85 biofuel has already created a lot of interest internationally.

Contact information:

Managing Director Mr. Mika Aho
tel. +358 50 500 2072

Project Coordinator Ms. Lotta Grönlund
tel +358 10 557 4733

2nd prize

Preseco biocarbon to substitute the use of fossil coal

Biocarbon™ is an emissions-neutral biofuel with a superior energy value and very low emissions. The end product is fully compatible with traditional coal systems. The energy value of the Biocarbon™ is equal to high-quality fossil coal. Biocarbon™ is made from a variety of organic waste materials.

Biocarbon™ is fully compatible with fossil coal and can be produced near the source of the raw material. Biocarbon™ is also very water resistant. The transportation and storage are easy and much more cost efficient than of the biomasses.

Biocarbon can also be used as Carbon Capture when used as soil improvement.

The jury sees that Preseco biocarbon is very innovative and flexible due to the fact that almost all kinds of biological raw material can be used, depending on the availability. The environmental benefits are also clear, as the process uses biological raw materials, which might otherwise be difficult to recycle and reuse. Biocarbon is also a locally produced and utilized fuel, which reduces the need for transportation and reduces the CO2 emissions.

Contact information:

Member of the Board Mr. Mikko Kantero
tel. +358 50 2247

Marketing and Communications Manager Ms. Paula Vainio-Paananen
tel +358 50 364 5861

3rd prize
Ecological solutions for the future

Bio-Teho Ltd markets and distributes ecological wood preservatives. The main customer segments are sawmills, impregnation plants and construction companies. Most BT Wood® chemicals are meant to be used by industrial treatment methods such as vacuum, pressure
impregnation or immersion. Bio-Teho also offers wood treatment solutions for home use which are safe and easy to apply.

BT Wood products do not contain heavy metals, and various tests prove their efficacy against termite attack, fungi, decay, fire and other wood degrading factors. The inhibition of biological decay of wood and the improvement of fire resistance and water resistance of wood as well as maintaining dimensional stability of wood are key factors for increased use of wood-based materials as construction material.

The jury sees the environmental and health impacts of these products to be considerably smaller compared to other similar products in the market, which contain biocides and heavy metals. These products have a clear market potential.

Contact information:

Financial Director Mr. Juha Estakari
tel. +358 50 575 1214

Process Category

1st prize

Novarbo, closed greenhouse management system

Biolan has developed novel components for a greenhouse cooling system and connected them with the existing technology to develop an energy efficient system that allows maintaining of a closed greenhouse environment.

Closing the greenhouse has many essential reasons: only in a closed greenhouse, all growing factors can be kept optimal, especially the high CO2 content. A closed greenhouse is also essential in protecting the plants from outside pathogens and pests, and also in preventing heat loss in cooler climates. Novarbo system increases the crop by up to 40 %.

The jury sees Novarbo as an innovative and clearly effective way to increase crop and save energy in greenhouses. There is a great market potential for this system especially in hot climates where most of the vegetables are produced. This system is versatile and works well in different types of climates and conditions.

Contact information:

Business Area Director Mr. Teppo Rantanen
tel. +358 40 501 0589

Management Category

1st prize

SITRA -The Finnish Innovation Fund
Natural resources strategy for Finland

he strategy, published in April 2009, is a global pioneer in developing a dynamic and holistic approach to natural resource management. The preparation of the strategy has been a nongovernmental bottom-up process, and a public-private effort. In the strategy process, a wide range of individuals and organisations representing the society has come together to vision a new future, including developing the bioeconomy and an efficient material cycle, and relevant first steps towards them.

The jury states that this strategy is unique and also very important and up-to-date, as the importance of natural resource issues for global development is growing. The interest this strategy has already claimed clearly shows there is a need for strategic natural resource planning, and other countries can learn and benefit from the Finnish strategy.

Contact information:

Project Manager Ms. Eeva Hellström
tel. +358 50 351 2412

Chairman of the strategy work group Ms. Sirkka Hautojärvi
tel. +358 50 590 6809

International Co-operation Category

1st prize

connect2earth online community

Connect2earth is a green online community provided by WWF, IUCN and Nokia for people who want to make a difference for a more sustainable future. The community provides environmental expert briefings, possibilities for people all over the world to share their ideas (images, videos, texts), discuss and learn from each other. Connect2earth increases people’s environmental awareness and gives them a channel to voice their opinions on sustainability related issues.

Young people are heavy users of different kind of online communities and find communication through them natural. The community is accessible on the web, but also from a mobile device, which often represents the only point of internet access in developing countries. Connect2earth has had so far close to 4 million visits from all over the world, and an active community of over 10,000 members regularly visits the site and contributes to the debate.

The jury claims that the popularity of this online community shows that there is a need for this type of activity and environmental awareness raising tools especially amongst young people, who are used to using internet and mobile tools.

Contact information:

VP, Head of Sustainability Ms. Kirsi Sormunen
tel: +358 400 409 129

Director, Environmental Affairs
Corporate Relations & Responsibility Ms. Outi Mikkonen
tel. +358 7180 3870

Information about the competition:

Chairman of the jury Ms. Katri Penttinen
tel. +358 40 5600 330

Competition coordinator Ms. Pia Vilenius
tel. +358 40 413 6340

Back to top