Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

TESTNET — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18311
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Netherlands

Are environmentally sound technologies really sound?

The Testnet project has advanced the agenda of the EU's Environmental Technologies Action Plan. Efforts provide both innovators and consumers with a framework for evaluating new environmental technologies.
Are environmentally sound technologies really sound?
Innovation is a wonderful thing, but not if nobody uses the new product or service. This applies to all fields, including environmental protection. There are plenty of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) out there, but an organised system of evaluation is lacking.

The 'Towards European sectorial testing networks for environmental technologies' (Testnet) project took on this challenge with the aid of funding from the EU. More specifically, an environmental technology verification (ETV) system was designed, developed and put to the test with ESTs for water management and clean production.

With regard to monitoring of ground and surface water, for instance, the ETV had to be able to assess the performance of various sensors and software. On the other hand, it also had to be flexible enough to examine the full range of water treatment technologies. By promoting the adoption of ESTs, the ETV will contribute to more sustainable use of water resources.

When the focus shifted to industry, the ETV had to be able to adapt to the multifaceted nature of environmental impacts. The solution was to incorporate a full life-cycle analysis (LCA). Effective ESTs will help decrease waste and therefore raw material extraction and will also deliver important reductions in emissions of airborne and waterborne pollutants. The end result will be a product with a smaller ecological footprint.

While the ETV was created for the European context, its impact will extend far beyond the continent's borders.

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