The Eco-Innovation Scoreboard and the eco-innovation index 2018


The Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (Eco-IS) and the Eco-Innovation Index illustrate eco-innovation performance across the EU Member States. The index is based on 16 indicators which are aggregated into five components:

(1) Eco-innovation inputs comprising investments (financial or human resources), which aim at triggering eco-innovation activities,

(2) Eco-innovation activities, illustrating to what extent companies in a specific country are active in eco-innovation,

(3) Eco-innovation outputs, quantifying the outputs of eco-innovation activities in terms of patents, academic literature and media contributions,

(4) Resource efficiency outcomes, putting eco-innovation performance in the context of a country’s resource (material, energy, water) efficiency and greenhouse gaz emissions intensity,

(5) Socio-economic outcomes, illustrating to what extent eco-innovation performance generates positive outcomes for social aspects (employment) and economic aspects (turnover, exports).

In the report, countries were clustered into three groups:

Eco-innovation leaders: Luxembourg, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Denmark; with scores significantly higher than the EU average (i.e. a score of >115).

Average eco-innovation performers: France, Italy, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, Lithuania, and Croatia, with scores around the EU average (i.e. between 85 and 115):

Countries catching up in eco-innovation: Belgium (top of the group with Greece), Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Malta, Poland, Bulgaria, and Cyprus, with around 85% or less performance compared to the EU average (i.e. scores <85).

The low performances of Belgium are partly explained by the low score for the eco-innovation activities. It is partly due to the non-participation in the eco-innovation component of the Community Innovation Survey, which feeds to two out of three indicators for eco-innovation activities. The only indicator that contributed to the sub-index was the number of companies with ISO 14001 certificate. Belgium is ranked 26th out of 28 EU countries, which means that Belgian companies are less active in adopting environmental management practices, which is often associated with eco-innovative activities in manufacturing, processing, services and management.