What is ETV?
Currently, a technology that performs well above normal standards or that presents an innovative approach to solve an environmental problem can face difficulties in penetrating the market due to lack of independent and credible evidence of its advantages. On the other hand, technology purchasers or investors committed to finding the best solution for their situation are often faced with non-comparable, incomplete or non-trustworthy performance information when assessing the available choices on the market.
The concept of the Environmental Technology Verification programme is to offer a verification procedure to cutting edge environmental technologies that may otherwise find it difficult to establish their environmental added value. The verification procedure allows for an independent assessment and validation of the manufacturer's claims on the performance and environmental benefits of their technology. The information produced by the verification is public and can be used to compare performance parameters and therefore becomes an extremely useful tool to convince third-parties of the merits of a technology, potentially enhancing its market value and acceptance.
ETV is neither a label nor a certification scheme; it ensures that the claims are as structured and complete as possible so as to present a clear assessment of the entire technology's potential and value, but it does not evaluate the technology's performance against standard or pre-defined criteria. The information provided, in the form of a Statement of Verification, gives the possibility for direct and objective comparison between different technologies reducing the risk on adopting new technologies and encouraging informed and sound investments. ETV results could be used to prove compliance with any relevant legislation, to underpin a bid in public tendering, to convince investors or customers of the reliability of performance claims and to avoid having to repeat demonstrations for different users.
The EU-ETV Pilot Programme, operating as one of the initiatives under the Eco-Innovation Action Plan of the European Commission, set out to establish the foundations for a true European-level tool supporting and promoting eco-innovation, mainly in highly dynamic and innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The programme is targeted at environmental technologies whose value cannot be proved through existent standards or certification schemes and whose claims could benefit from a credible verification procedure as a guarantee to investors. In a first stage the Pilot Programme is currently running in specific Technology Areas which could then be expanded in the future as the Programme becomes further implemented.
Take a look at the technology areas covered and at the eligibility criteria:
The Pilot Programme is coordinated by a Steering Group including the European Commission and seven Member States. Some Member States have also specific ETV schemes working in parallel to the European Initiative in additional Technology Areas. The programme is however not restricted to these seven Member States and welcomes technology proposers, verification bodies and/or test bodies from all countries, as long as the requirements set out for ETV are fulfilled, as described in the General Verification Protocol. An evaluation of the pilot results after 2-3 years of operations will inform decisions on the way forward for ETV in Europe. Should you wish to inquire about the implementation of ETV and accompanying measures in these countries, take a look at the table below for contacts in each participating Member State:
|Country||Title||Contact Person||Contact by email|
|GB||Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs||ETV helpdesk|
|DK||Environmental Protection Agency||Gert S. Hansen|
|BE||Federal Public Service for Health, Foof Chain Safety and Environment||Jean-Roger Drèze|
|FR||Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy||Michel-Louis Pasquier|
|FR||Ministry of Economic Regeneration||Annie Larribet|
|FI||Ministry of Environment||Merja Saarnilehto|
|CZ||Ministry of the Environment||Marie Petrova|
|PL||Ministry of the Environment, Department of Sustainable Development||Szymon Koscierzynski|