The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) was invited by the Foreign Commercial Service and the Office of Environmental Technologies Exports of the US Department of Commerce to conduct a survey of demand for environmental technologies in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.
The project was directed and managed by the staff of the REC's Business Information Service (BIS). Mr. Pawel Kazmierczyk, project manager for the survey, is the primary point of contact for the Client.
The BIS was responsible for preparing the detailed project scope, subcontracting local consultants, coordinating in-country research, and compiling and editing the final report. In-country consultants were selected on the basis of their familiarity with the status of the environmental market in their respective country, knowledge of the environmental industry, and experience in project management and market research. A short note introducing the researchers is included in the methodology section.
The project was conducted between October ‘96 and April ‘97.
The main objective of this research project was to identify the demand for environmental technologies in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. For the purpose of this survey, the key terms were defined as follows: 1. Environmental industry:a pool of all organizations providing products or services to measure, prevent, reduce or render harmless the pollution of the environment, including activities in relation to the introduction of cleaner technologies. 2. Environmental technology:any piece of equipment, process, or related service that are available to prevent, reduce, minimize, measure or render harmless the environmental impacts of industrial or municipal activities. 3. Environmental technology R&D: Basic, applied or developing research, related to or targeted at environmental technologies, including research activities related to cleaner technologies and renewable energy sources.
The secondary objectives of the project were to gauge the competitiveness of US environmental technology suppliers, and to assess how firms operating in the surveyed countries perceive American environmental technologies.
The objectives of the survey were met by analyzing the following four critical areas:
project opportunities (identifying specific environmental problems);
technologies in demand (identifying the solutions);
major competitors within each environmental sector;
advantages and disadvantages of foreign suppliers.
The report presents an analysis of the viewpoints of the users, distributors, and manufacturers of environmental technologies in the following five categories: air; water and wastewater; waste; energy; and noise, vibration, and occupational health and safety.
Scope and Methodology
The Regional Environmental Center, in cooperation with the Client, developed the survey concept and detailed project scope, including the standard questionnaire to be used in interviews. In each of the surveyed countries, a local environmental expert was commissioned to conduct in-country research, based on the terms of reference and the format provided by the Regional Environmental Center.
The Regional Environmental Center provided a standard questionnaire (included in Appendix at the end of this report), which was translated into the local language, and served as the platform for interviews. Local language questionnaires were reviewed by REC staff before being used in interviews.
The content of the report is largely based on formal personal interviews with a cross-section of senior-level actors in the environmental technology market, principally from environmental businesses. Additional interviews were held with selected government agencies and with major environmental technology R&D centers.
Up to 50 professionals were interviewed in each country. In-country researchers selected a representative cross-section of interviewees based on size, area of expertise, and geographic location. Researchers also identified and interviewed government officials and research staff in order to ensure a broader perspective.
In addition to the interviews, the report was supplemented by information from personal contacts, researchers’ experience, informal telephone interviews, news reports, trade journals, and industry literature.
Researchers from each country submitted a written report presenting the findings of the survey. Each chapter was edited and complemented by the staff of the REC’s Business Information Service.
Structure of the Report
This report provides, for each surveyed country, qualitative information about the environmental technology market, describes project opportunities and related market conditions, discusses major information channels for project opportunities, and examines the demand for environmental technologies. The work also considers purchasing preferences of local customers, major strengths of foreign environmental technologies, barriers to their wider entry, major players active in the market, and actual experience with American environmental technologies.
The report consists of a regional overview and four country-specific chapters. Each country chapter is structured in the following way: Summary of Findings Methodology- an outline of the methodology and approach, including sources of information, profile of respondents, and comments regarding difficulties in obtaining information. Overview of the Market - a general picture of major environmental problems, information on country environmental expenditures, estimates of the size of the environmental technology market, activities of state environmental funds, and the discussion of priority areas in state environmental policy. Project Opportunities - overview of major environmental problems listed by interviewed experts, a review of major environmental projects currently in progress, discussion of sources of information for business opportunities and for available environmental technologies, overview of environmental fairs and public procurement practices, and a list of useful contacts. Demand for Environmental Technology- survey of identified demand for environmental technologies in five categories: air,
water and wastewater, waste, energy, and noise, vibration, and occupational health and safety; and an overview of major
end-users of environmental technologies. Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Suppliers- discussion of the purchasing preferences of domestic buyers, review of
the strengths of foreign environmental technologies, and a survey of the barriers to their wider use. Major Foreign Suppliers - overview of perceptions of environmental technologies from different countries, survey of major
foreign suppliers active on the market, and experience with American environmental technologies. Appendices - List of abbreviations, interviewed experts, bibliography, and others as appropriate.
About the Researchers
The survey in the Czech Republic was carried out by ARDA, a Czech-American firm active in environmental consulting. Since its inception in 1991, ARDA has conducted research for various industries and for different purposes. Previous projects have included regulatory overviews, market studies, and product promotion campaigns. Between 1992 and 1994, ARDA served as a liaison office between American environmental companies and local firms and other bodies, within the framework of the US AID program CDI focused on promoting US business presence in the CEE countries. Mr. Ludek Pravda and Mr. Jaromir Obdrzalek managed the project on behalf of ARDA. Hungary
The survey in Hungary was conducted by a team of four people. Ms. Eva Baka, an agricultural and environmental engineer by background, is currently employed as environmental manager at Tetra Pak Hungaria. Mr. Gyorgy Baka, an agricultural engineer with background in environmental engineering and computer programming currently manages his own environmental consulting company OKO-ECO. Ms. Valeria Lekics is an economist with the Ministry for Environment and Regional Policy, and is employed as program manager of the PHARE Regional Development Program Management Unit for Inter Communal Cooperation. Mr. Gergely Toth, an economist with marketing specialization, is the executive director of the Hungarian Association for Environmentally Aware Management (KOVET-INEM Hungaria). Poland
The survey in Poland was carried out by ERM Polska Sp. z o.o., a member company of Environmental Resources Management international consulting group. ERM Polska has been active on the Polish market since 1993, and has since conducted environmental pre-acquisition and compliance audits and investigations of contaminated sites at over 100 industrial facilities across the country. Furthermore, the company is active in regulatory projects as well as providing technical and management-related advice. The main researcher assigned to the project was Mrs. Madgalena Trybuch. Slovakia
In-country research for the environmental technology survey in Slovakia was conducted by PB CONSULTING, Presov, an independent consulting company involved in cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary environmental projects. Established in 1993, the company co-operates with a network of independent professionals as well as with experts from other companies. On behalf of PB CONSULTING, the research was coordinated by Mr. Peter Burda, Director. Cooperating partner, Mr. Vladimir Urbanek, organized several interviews, especially in the vicinity of Bratislava, and also collected that data not based on formal interviews.
Regional Environmental Center
The staff of the Regional Environmental Center prepared the detailed project scope, subcontracted local consultants, coordinated in-country research, and compiled and edited the final report. On behalf of the REC’s Business Information Service, the project was managed by Mr. Pawel Kazmierczyk.