Warning from Danish companies: Lack of environmental control curbs innovation

Danish innovation companies are warning that a lack of enforcement of environmental laws may cost Danish jobs and Denmark’s leading position as an innovator within green technology.

According to a study* conducted by the Innovation Network for Environmental Technologies (Inno-MT) and the Danish Environmental Technology Association (Dansk Miljøteknologi), 74% of respondent Danish companies said that they had developed products, technologies or services based on existing environmental laws.
 
But 46% of the respondents also reported that they feel that existing laws are not enforced adequately and that they are living with the consequences. For more than two-thirds of these businesses, this has had a negative impact on sales. Now Inno-MT and the Danish Environmental Technology Association are demanding improved regulatory enforcement.
 
"As well as making environmental improvements, environmental legislation is also essential so that we in Denmark can boast of having a whole host of innovative companies which develop products and services that help meet the requirements of environmental legislation", says Rosa Klitgaard Andersen, Head of Secretariat at the Innovation Network for Environmental Technologies (Inno-MT).
 
Jørn Jespersen, Managing Director of the Danish Environmental Technology Association adds:
"In companies that work with environmental technologies today, it is environmental legislation which largely drives the market. Therefore, there can be major economic consequences if the legislation is either not implemented or enforced differently by local or regional authorities."
 
Denmark loses green terrain
The study also shows that the lack of enforcement of the law makes businesses more cautious in terms of developing new technology. The solution from Inno-MT and the Danish Environmental Technology Association is clear:
 
"If Denmark is to remain in the global elite within green technology, there needs to be significant and immediate improvement. A uniform implementation and enforcement of legislation will not only provide companies with greater certainty with regard to a stable market, but also increase the innovation effect of the legislation. And this applies to both Denmark and the EU", says Jørn Jespersen.
 
The report is the starting point for a debate on how to ensure that environmental legislation can have a maximum innovation effect within Danish environmental technology companies.
 
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FACTS

About Inno-MT
The Innovation Network for Environmental Technologies (Inno-MT) is working to find new and innovative products and services across the soil, water, air and waste sectors. Inno-MT was formed in December 2010 with 14 million DKK of funding from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. Read more at www.inno-mt.dk
 
The Danish Environmental Technology Association is the trade organisation for companies within the water, air and soil industries. Read more at www.danskmiljøteknologi.dk
 
For more information, please contact
Jørn Jespersen, Danish Environmental Technology Association (Dansk Miljøteknologi), Tel. 2149 1383
Rosa Klitgaard Andersen, Innovation Network for Environmental Technology (Inno-MT), Tel. 3046 3639

* The survey was conducted among 57 Danish companies within environmental engineering and in-depth interviews were carried out with 15 companies. The survey was conducted between December 2011 and February 2012.
 
The study is presented in a report prepared jointly by Inno-MT, the Danish Environmental Technology Association, Waste Denmark and Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster.