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Nov 21, 2006 at 07:17 PM

The Merkur Bank - Copenhagen, Denmark

The Merkur Bank has been instrumental in securing the essential capital and financing for more than 500 social and ecological initiatives and projects, throughout Denmark and abroad. Each enterprise makes up a piece of the puzzle towards a more sustainable society. Included are: schools and kindergartens, homes for the mentally handicapped, educational institutions/museums, students grants, doctors and the health care, trades and businesses, alternative energy systems, village cooperatives, co-housing co-operatives, bio-dynamic farming, ecological small-holdings, and many others.

A public co-operative bank, the Merkur Bank was started in 1982 with the aim of making banking a transparent business. Customers exert an influence as to how their money is being worked with and they are kept informed of the process. Customers are offered the opportunity to become joint owners. Close to 50% of customers have accepted this offer by buying one or more shares at 1000 kr each.

The bank's operations has also led to the establishment in 1993 of Gaia Tech, a commercial venture capital company with the objective of supporting the development and marketing of ecologically sustainable businesses in Denmark. Of particular interest are businesses which in the long run are suitable to eco-villages and which provide jobs for the inhabitants of these settlements.

The company supplies active financial, legal and marketing support to young, promising, green businesses. The focus is primarily on businesses that work toward a cleaner environment, reduced use of natural resources, production of environmentally friendly products, and using environmentally friendly means of production.

Kalundborg - Copenhagen, Denmark

One of the most advanced working examples demonstrating industrial ecology is the flow of resource and by-products between participants in a pioneering industrial ecosystem at Kalundborg, 100km west of Copenhagen in Denmark.

This industrial symbiosis has attracted a great deal of international attention and has been awarded a number of environmental prizes. Kalundborg provides an excellent case study of the benefits that flow from the application of engineering input to environment industries.

This project is not the result of a careful planning process but rather a result of a gradual development of co-operation between four neighbouring industries and the municipality of Kalundborg. From the initial stage where things happened by chance, this co-operation has now developed into a high level of environmental consciousness, where the participants are constantly exploring new avenues of environmental co-operation.

Last Updated ( Jul 18, 2007 at 06:20 PM )