Eco-innovation, by reducing impacts on the environment, increasing resilience against external pressures and using resources more efficiently, is vital in supporting this transition to a circular economy and achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal. The EU’s 8th Environment Action Programme supports the environment and climate action objectives of the European Green Deal by accelerating the transition to a regenerative economy that gives back to the planet more than it takes, in particular “through continuous innovation, adaptation to new challenges and co-creation”. The biennial thematic report presents good practices, drivers and challenges for eco-innovation to support a circular industrial transformation.
Eco-innovation in companies leads to reduced costs, improves capacity to capture new growth opportunities and enhances their reputation among customers. Eco-innovation is therefore a powerful instrument to protect the environment with a positive impact on the economy and society.
The Eco-innovation Scoreboard gathers data on eco-innovation performance across the EU and beyond, thus helping to monitor and evaluate progress made since 2010.
The Eco-Innovation Index measures the environmental innovation performance of EU Member States, on the basis of the 12 indicators included in the measurement framework. According to new policy developments, and to streamline and increase the accuracy of the index, some of the indicators have not been taken into account for the index of 2022. This follows the evaluation conducted in 2021.
In this Policy Brief you can see the overview of the trends across the EU27 over the last 11 years as well as the European policies and initiatives that are expected to drive better eco-innovation in the EU.
The figure below provides the performance and ranking of EU Member States under the different indicators in the Eco-Innovation Index 2022 measuring performance for the reference year 2021.
The figure below provides information on the trend of the compositeEco-Innovation Index and indicators per EU Member State over the last 10 years (2012-2022).
More information about the methodological framework available here.
The aim of the country profiles is to help focus on actions, achievements, regulatory developments and trends at the national level relevant to eco-innovation.
Country profiles complement the Scoreboard by providing contextual information, regulatory developments and best practices on eco-innovation at national level.
Support mechanisms 2021-2022
Further sources of funding that can support eco-innovation, and in particular SMEs and start-ups, include:
- Important Projects of Common European Interest
- Industrial alliances
- European partnerships
- InvestEU Programme
- The Access2Finance platform
Eco-innovation is often place-based and emerges from the interaction between various stakeholders. The diffusion of best practices also spills over via value chains. This is now fully recognised in the Commission’s toolbox (in which the Green Deal is always mainstreamed), such as:
- The European institute of Innovation and Technology
- Knowledge & innovation Communities (KICs), including InnoEnergy, Climate-KIC and EIT Raw Materials
- Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies
- The European Cluster Collaboration Platform
In the new competitive landscape, businesses can distinguish themselves best by integrating sustainability in their business models by :
- being certified with EMAS
- obtaining the EU Ecolabel for their products