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Newsletter July 2013

TRENDS & TRADEWINDS

Earth Friendly Products Opens Office in Athens

Earth Friendly Products, makers of ECOS, the world’s top-selling green laundry detergent, opens its first global office in Athens.

This will be the first global office for Earth Friendly Products and will pave the way for a production facility that will service Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This office will feature many of the same state-of-the-art sustainable building measures that have become a standard for all Earth Friendly Products offices, for which the company has been internationally recognised and awarded.

Dr. Van Vlahakis, CEO and Owner of Earth Friendly Products, which produces 150 cleaning products using only plant-based, all-natural ingredients, said, “At Earth Friendly Products, we take our role as stewards of the environment very seriously and are committed to the development of products that are tough on dirt, kind to the earth and pose no harm to people or animals. For decades we have strived to keep that promise to future generations and we will continue to keep our pledge to our global customers as well: to provide products that people can trust and depend upon.”

“But I also feel a very special connection to my homeland,” adds Mr. Vlahakis.

“Greece has fallen on hard times, and I feel it’s my duty as a Greek American who has had the good fortune of creating a life and a business here in America to take some of that success back to Greece. We hope we can lead by example and encourage other Greek-American businesses to consider getting involved in restoring the Greek economy.”

The new Earth Friendly Products global offices will open in July 2013 in Central Athens.

About Earth Friendly Products
Keeping your family safe and protecting the planet should not be a luxury. Earth Friendly Products was founded in 1967 by a chemist dedicated to providing superior cleaning results through true green practices.

By removing the toxic dyes and preservatives used in conventional detergents and owning our own production facilities, we are able to offer over 150 of the most effective plant-based green cleaners on the market at lower prices than our competitors. And because we control our own manufacturing, Earth Friendly Products assures the highest standards of quality control and total commitment to sustainability. That’s why the United States Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Earth Friendly Products its Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative Champion level recognition, as well as a 100% Green Power User distinction for the company’s use of clean, renewable energy from solar, wind and low-impact hydropower. See for yourself why being green doesn’t have to be a luxury by visiting: http://www.ecos.com.

A Green Story, the feature length film which chronicles the life of founder Van Vlahakis (played by Ed O’Ross), a Greek immigrant who arrived in America with only $22 in his pocket and eventually founded Earth Friendly Products will celebrate its Greek premiere in Athens this summer, on July 15, and a national rollout will follow.


5th China Overseas Investment Fair

Jointly organized by the China Overseas Development Association (the co-founder of GoChinaAbroad) and the China Development Bank, the highly anticipated 5th China Overseas Investment Fair (COIFAIR) will be held in Beijing this October.

The Fair is an opportunity for countries around the world, including Greece, to promote investment in their country.

Eco-Innovation

Investment in SMEs working in the area of environmentally innovative technologies is producing above average returns, creating valuable jobs and also alleviating environmental impacts, according to a new report. The performance of young SMEs funded over the past two years under the eco-innovation component of the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) has been analysed and shows impressive results.

The investment of EU eco-innovation funds shows a 20-fold return - every Euro invested has resulted in 20 Euro for its beneficiaries. Furthermore each project supported has generated an additional 8 permanent full-time jobs.

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: "The new study demonstrates that good business, job creation and environmental protection can go together and generate widespread benefits. This suggests that Europe has a strong niche in the green business, a niche which can promote competitive, resource-efficient and sustainable growth."

The EU's Eco-innovation funding focuses on five main sectors: material recycling; water; sustainable building products; green business; the food and drink sector (pure energy efficiency investments are not covered).

More than 240 projects funded by the eco-innovation scheme are already underway. The projects have been developed primarily by small businesses with innovative concepts needing early stage capital to realise their growth potential.

The eco-innovation projects which have received funding cover a wide range of sectors and activities from omega 3 fatty acid production from algae, to pollution-free leather production.

In May, the European Commission launched a new call to select a further 45 eco-innovation projects with novel environmental solutions which will benefit from an investment budget of Euro 31.5 million.

Greek projects within the programme have included a way to remove arsenic from drinking water, turning used cooking oil into an energy source, and flexible organic photovoltaics that can be stuck to any surface, transparent solar cells that can be used as windows, nanotechnology products to improve indoor air quality, and a bio-filter made of living micro-organisms to purify water.