Sustainable solutions and eco-innovations will help Slovakia’s transition to a circular economy
Sustainable products and services were the main topic of the conference “Eco-Innovative Slovakia 2021”. The event, which took place on December 8, 2021, brought together more than 100 experts from the public, private, but also from the third sector, who gained an up-to-date overview of sustainable product and consumer policy. The conference was organized for the third time by the Slovak Environment Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment.
The conference emphasized the importance of eco-innovation and sustainable solutions in the transition to a circular economy, in the context of the New EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy and the European Commission’s Product Policy Initiatives. The online event was opened by the Secretary of State of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (MoE SR) Michal Kiča, who highlighted the topic as a cross-cutting issue across several ministries, especially with the Ministry of Economy. Especially at a time when our economy is undergoing a transformation from a linear to a circular model, we are following not only national policy, but especially the European Union’s international policy. The importance of inter-ministerial cooperation in his speech was also underlined by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic Ján Oravec, who expressed the belief that thanks to cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Slovakia can meet environmental policy goals and develop ecological innovations provided healthy growth of the Slovak economy.
The Slovak Environment Agency is one of the actors in the field of eco-innovation and specifically deals with it through several environmental policy instruments, such as the scheme for environmental management and audit – EMAS, the scheme for environmental labeling of products and green public procurement. These European Commission instruments provide a declared guarantee of the environmental approach of the organizations that commit to them, thus they meet the demanding requirements for achieving an excellent environmental label through EMAS registration, or by obtaining the “EU Ecolabel” and “Environmentally friendly product” eco-labels. At the same time, they make it easier for those consumers to orientate themselves when choosing products and services with regard to the environment. Green public procurement, in turn, is a cross-cutting tool that, through the schemes already mentioned, enables the public sector to procure products and services with environmental added value. The implementation of these instruments is part of the activities aimed at meeting the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Objective 12 – Sustainable Consumption and Production.
The Eco-Innovative Slovakia 2021 conference presented platforms for cooperation and gave examples of good practice in eco-innovation solutions in Slovakia. The Slovek environment Agency will continue to actively participate in the development of the topic not only through education and awareness, but also by supporting projects in the field of eco-innovation development in Slovakia.
Published by CVTI