Some 24 reports were submitted from 12 countries for the scheme. The countries taking part this time were: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ACCA in Ireland and Den norsk Revisorening in Norway are launching national reporting schemes this year. This will allow these two countries to join the European competition for next year’s awards. Discussions are taking place with Spain, Greece and Luxembourg for their potential participation in future.

European Commissioner for the Environment, Margot Wallstrom said “The EERA scheme contributes to further and better reporting by companies and makes a welcome contribution to the sustainable development agenda. We welcome, in particular, its focus on the integration of all dimensions of sustainable development.” She was due to make the awards but was called away to Beijing and Tokyo to support the Kyoto agreement. Jean-Francois Verstrynge, Deputy Director-General, of the Environment Directorate-General made the awards on the Commissioner’s behalf.

ACCA’s Technical Director Roger Adams, who is the non-voting chairman of the panel of judges, says “This has been another year of achievement for European companies in making the move to effective environmental reporting. In future, the panel would like to see more benchmarking especially on key issues with companies in the same or similar sectors. Additionally we encourage the inclusion of stakeholders in the formulation and development of reports.”