Forwarding Resgional Sustainable Environmental Hierarchies
Start date: Dec 31, 2009,
End date: Feb 27, 2013
The overall objective of the FRESH project is to strengthen development based on sustainable value creation at regional level and to contribute to the implementation of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP-COM 38/2004). FRESH is contributing to the 2nd priority area of ETAP, 'driving demand and improving market conditions'. Today we are aware that to address sustainable development effectively, we are required to go beyond legal compliance and harm minimization;we need to focus on sustainable value creation. Sustainable value creation occurs when economic growth is secured through sustainable actions. Sustainable value creation thus reconciles long term with short term growth. It is therefore the key to sustainable development. In practice, sustainable value creation is linked to resource productivity and societal values relevant to sustainable development. Resource productivity is linked to innovative solutions. ETAP, through eco-innovation and eco-design, is a powerful tool for accessing sustainable value creation (SVC). Eco design is important because it deals with both technological and social aspects (functionality and differentiation) of products / services.To strengthen their SVC-based development,regions need to update their sustainable & economic development approaches and enhance their ETAP applications. Main sub-objectives of the project are: - to benefit from partners' good practices and jointly formulate a transferable model for sustainable value creation; based on this model, to update the regional framework plans and innovation strategies of the partner-regions- to embed the components of SVC (eco design and eco-innovation) into the regional innovation system; ensure tailored and comprehensive eco-design and eco-innovation applications of sustainable value creation- to ensure policy coherence between the different levels of regional governance for sustainable value creation - to conceptually advance development based on SVCThe project partnership is based on a pre-existing network of 3 partner regions which expanded to 8 regions and 12 partners (FI,IE,IT,PL,RO,UK).The criteria for partners joining the project were (i)existence of good practices in sustainable development and (ii)readiness and competence to improve strategies in the direction of sustainable value creation .Good practice exchange is the heart of the project.It concentrates on the regional strategies dealing with sustainable value creation;11 good practices are discussed. Key results: strengthened sustainable value creation at regional level; improved regional frameworks for sustainable value creation; improved instruments for eco-design and eco-innovation; enhanced regional implementation of ETAP;conceptual advancement of development based on sustainable value creation. Main outputs:transferable model of regional SVC-based development integrating the 11GP;updated partner regions' framework programming and reinforced RIS; publications. Achievements: FRESH project addresses eco innovation from the perspective of the on going, constantly expanding & innovating discussion of how to best internalise socio/environmental costs into economic competitiveness -a process which, when succesful, results in Sustainable Value Creation (SVC). Socio/ environmental costs implied in the past heavy financial externalities to businesses & tax payers. Today such externalities are overhauled by comprehensive solutions involving -for example, renewable energies, resource productivity and the Life Cycle Assessment approach, leading to system & product innovations. The starting point of FRESH are good practices demonstrating such solutions and the policy context that has effectively supported them. The policy references of FRESH are the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP-COM 38/2004), the revised EU Sustainable Developlent Strategy (SDS 2006) and the Lead Market Initiative (LMI – 21.12.2007).FRESH focuses on a jointly agreed sector, sustainable construction. Eco innovation is not any more a novel concept to EU regional policy makers. What proved to be new to many FRESH regions was the comprehensive & systemic approach required by the Lead Market Iinitiative on which the project insisted. Thus, in FRESH, through the good practice (GP) exchange (51 GPs analysed, 14 prioritised) & the expert inputs of the university partners, regional, sector & prolicy performance were benchmarked against global sustainable construction trends, advanced sustainable construction standards, regional innovation strategies and state of the art Directives (e.g. CPR). One important result of this exercise is a transferable model facilitating the uptake of sustainable construction by bringing sustainable construction standards, technological solutions, legislation promoting favourable market conditions, and building regulations. Based on this model, FRESH regions adjusted their GP transfer. Another important result is the alignment of FRESH with the smart specialisation strategy.The eco innovation component in FRESH benefits now from the conceptual and methodological advantages of smart specialisation. One S3 peer review workshop was organised in Helsinki on 20.4.2012 with the cooperation of DG Regio, the S3 platform, and the support of TEM (Finnish Managing Authority). The event was open to all interested regions provided certain steps were followed including preparatory work and e-meetings. There were contributions by 11 regions (ES, FIx3, GR, IEx2, IT, RO, PLx2). Presently FRESH is in the process of mainstreaming good practices and directly impacting regional policies. The direct policy impact in FRESH relates to the regional development plan and the innovation strategyFirst results are the adoption of sustainable procurement by the Joint Authority of Kainuu Region (FI), of the Genuine Progress Indicator by Veneto Region (IT), and of economic development and spatial planning solutions aligned with sustainabledevelopment by Lubelskie Voivodeship (PL). In progress: four regions (Kainuu, Lubelskie, Päijät Häme, West Region) are working on the ecoinnovation component / smart specialisation strategy. A part of the product mix has been identified for all four regions and includes –without being exhaustive, (a) sustainable construction as a cross cutting sector for all 4 regions and (b) raw materials, design, measurement technology, and ICT. Stakeholder involvement has been very strong in the 4 regions with „FRESH ideas“ negotiated with policy makers, businesses, & knowledge actors. To facilitate this process as much as possible, useful methodollogical tools have been formulated and are applied (downloadable through the FRESH web site). The two Irish regions, MWR & SWR, in view of the centralised policy making, have adjusted their strategy and made recommendations for the uptake of eco innovation to the national policy makers and are working on building consensus around this effort.
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