Category: Research

Close the Loop Research Team to Develop an Ecolabel Decision Support System

The research team of Close the Loop has been assigned to conduct a Postdoctoral program, in collaboration with Democritus University of Thrace, focusing on Ecolabels. The overall objective is to develop a coherent Ecolabel Decision Support System (EDSS) that will help businesses identify the ecolabel which is more appropriate for them.

The research project aims to assist Greek businesses access new opportunities for growth, by improving their contribution to sustainable development while, simultaneously, safeguarding their viability and competitiveness. The research will focus on ecolabels as the main driver for this improvement. For the purpose of the research, three critical sectors to the economic viability of the Greek economy will be analyzed, across the entirety of their life cycle: they include agricultural products/fisheries, tourism and construction.

Greek businesses, across all three sectors will participate in the research and permit the research team to assess the validity of the EDSS methodology using their product/service or corporate strategy.

Upon its completion, the research team is expecting to have identified the criteria that are most important to Greek businesses, as a whole and per sector, when selecting ecolabels.

Participating Businesses

By participating in the research program, Greek businesses will be able to identify the best available and presently available ecolabels, at the product or corporate level, and discover the areas for improvements to close that gap. Upon completion of each system, each business shall receive a feedback report that will analyze the criteria and factors that determined the identified ecolabel. Having obtained all the necessary data and analysis on ecolabel identification, participating businesses will have a comprehensive review of the steps they need to take in order to acquire an ecolabel.

Most importantly, their active contribution will provide valuable information that will help Greek businesses better differentiate their products and monitor impacts.[hr]

For further information on the research you may contact us as directly.

For updates and progress reports on research, you may access the EDSS website 

New OECD report on Green Business Models

The OECD has recently completed the project on Green Business Models and published the report “Why New Business Models Matter for Green Growth“.

 This report explores the potential contribution of new business models to green growth and examines how successful models can be scaled up and accelerated through appropriate policy action. It draws on 55 case studies from 14 OECD countries, combined with broader OECD research.

Close the Loop was OECD’s project coordinator for Greece which participated in the project with 6 leading eco-innovations, including the energy management and gamification business model of Close the Loop’s partner Intelen.

[toggle title_open=”Close Me” title_closed=”Report Abstract” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]

New business models can make an important contribution to the transition to green growth. While some
new business models involve large firms, others are small start-up firms that seek to exploit technological
or commercial opportunities that have been neglected ornot yet explored by more established firms. New
firms tend to engage in more radical innovation than existing firms, and scaling up new business models
can therefore help reduce environmental pollution, optimise the use of natural resources, increase
productivity and energy efficiency, and provide a new source of economic growth. Although the market for
green goods and services is growing, the development of new business models is affected by a range of
barriers, many of which can be addressed by well-designed policies. Key areas for policy action include:
  • Strengthening market demand for green products and services by providing long-term and stable incentives for firms to internalise the environment and natural resources in their decision making, including through a well-designed regulatory framework and supportive demand-side policies.
  • Enhancing access to financing, including risk capital, by supporting market development for risk financing and the development of entrepreneurial skills.
  • Removing perverse subsidies support for existing business models and incumbent firms, such as energy subsidies; reducing the barriers to entry, exit and growth of new firms and business models; and improving the regulatory environment for start-up firms and new business models.
  • Reducing the costs of intellectual property rights, in particular for small and start-up firms.
  • Supporting skills development, including for existing workers.
  • Supporting R&D and innovation, including testing, demonstration and verification.
  • Improving governance, to ensure that nationaland regional policies for green growth are well aligned.


Greek Eco-Innovations Press Event

On March 28, 2012, Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos, OECD Representative in Greece on issues pertained to Eco-innovation and Sustainability, organized a press luncheon to introduce the six (6) eco-innovations that were recognized by OECD as radical and systemic. During the event, Mr. Panagiotakopoulos presented the rationale behind this effort, conducted by the OECD on a global scale, and the recognized eco-innovators were able to discuss with members of the press and present their respective innovations.

Event Press Release (in Greek).

OECD Recognises Greek Eco-Innnovations

On January 19-20, the OECD and the European Commission implemented the Conference on «The Future of Eco-Innovation: The Role of Business Models in Green Transformation», bringing attention to the Project on Green Growth and Eco-Innovation.

The aim of the Project is to collect, assess and utilize experiences and lessons learned concerning the development of eco-innovations, among OECD country members, towards developing a common Strategy for Green Growth. The OECD has recognized 95 innovations as cutting-edge and systemic, from a total of 490 innovations, in 37 countries. All innovations underwent assessment to explore their overall environmental, social and economic benefits.
During the Conference special attention was given to innovative business models that consider Green Growth as an essential element towards optimizing business value and customer interaction. All eco-innovations were integrated in special categories, some of which are:
•    Improving efficiency via the smart use of information technology (ICT)
•    Transitioning from production of products to provision of services
•    Creating “industrial ecosystems” in which many different industries “cohabitate” using each other’s waste as valuable raw materials.

Greece had a strong representation, as 5 Greek innovations were recognized as cutting-edge, and 2 were presented during the Conference. The first innovation was developed by Intelen Company and it concerns the usage of smart energy meters for the development of Social Energy Networks that drastically achieve a behavioral change in the usage of reduction of energy. The second innovation ( originates from Prof. A. Vlissidis of the National Technical University (NTUA) and it concerns the production of a high quality organohumic fertilizer, from co-composting liquid and solid wastes that are generated from the production of olive oil in the oil mills.

Dr. Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos, country representative for Greece in the above project, participated as a panelist in the event, where he spoke on the role of national policies and Governments in promoting eco-innovation. He highlighted the need to support innovation via alternative routes that go beyond the provision of subsidies, a method which is considered by many as preventing rather than encouraging innovation. He also stated the need for the rapid promotion of systemic thinking and education, as a fundamental prerequisite of eco-innovation, something which was also acknowledged by other speakers during the Conference.

Photos from the conference on Close the Loop’s Facebook page.

SEV appoints Prof. D. Panagiotakopoulos a member of the Environment Industry Experts’ Panel

Professor D. Panagiotakopoulos has been appointed by the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) Member of the Experts’ Panel that will deal with the Environment Industry.

Specifically, SEV is administering a project for the study of Changes in the Regional Production Systems and in the Local Labor Markets aiming at policies for getting the Greek Economy out of the current crisis by improving enterprises’ competitiveness. The evaluation of changes in various industrial sectors will be made by corresponding panels of experts coordinated by Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE) and the Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).

Do not step on the grass…

Article (in Greek) by Dr. P. Panagiotakopoulos on “green growth” and “greenwashing” for the People & Ideas community site.

11th HMA Hellenic Conference “Sustainable Production and Green Entrepreneurship”

Close the Loop participated at the 11th Conference of the Hellenic Management Association (HMA) titled “Sustainable Production and Green Entrepreneurship”,  which took place in Athens on December 9-10 2010.

Dr. P. Panagiotakopoulos presented 2 scientific papers at the conference:

1. “Wind Farms: A Systemic Assessment of their Contribution to Sustainable Development” (in Greek)

This paper was developed in collaboration with S. Sufflis, A Kopsini and D. Sismanidou during the XII seminar series ” Environment and Sustainability: Science – Law- Public Policy” organised by the Chamber of Environment and Sustainability.

2. “Eco-innovation: Policies and Actions of OECD in Greece” (in Greek)

This paper refers to the project «Green Growth & Eco-innovation» of OECD in which Dr. Panagiotakopoulos is representing Greece.

Professor D. Panagiotakopoulos also presented 2 scientific papers at the conference:

1. “Sustainable Performance Indicators: basic concepts and case studies” (in Greek)

2. “The Sustainability Dimension of Investments: Financial Viability, Environmental Acceptance and Sustainable Performance” (in Greek).

Photos from the conference at Close the Loop‘s page in Facebook.

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