The European Union Eco-Innovation Scoreboard, which measures the relative eco-innovation performance of EU countries against the EU average, has been updated.
The 2013 version of the scoreboard, made public in May 2014, finds that the top ranking EU countries for eco-innovation are Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom, which score, relative to the EU average (=100), 138, 138, 132, 129 and 122 respectively. Least eco-innovative relative to the EU average are Bulgaria (38), Poland (42) and Cyprus (43).
The scoreboard is in its fourth edition, having been published since 2010. The performance of EU countries relative to the bloc average is calculated from 16 indicators available for the EU countries. The indicators are divided into five components covering eco-innovation inputs (including early stage investments in cleantech), eco-innovation activities (such as the percentage of firms taking resource efficiency measures), eco-innovation outputs (such as relevant patents), resource efficiency performance, and socio-economic outputs (such as data on turnover, employment and exports). This edition of the scoreboard has included aspects relevant for a circular economy. Indicators developed to reflect eco-innovation turnover and employment have covered areas of waste, recovery and recycling and, for the first time, repair, maintenance and rental services.
The divergence in eco-innovation as shown by the composite score has remained similar since the second edition of the scoreboard in 2011, with a major gap between the best and worst performing countries, relative to the EU average. Northern and western EU countries have tended to outperform their eastern and southern counterparts. The main exception is Spain, which was about average in 2010, but between 2011 and 2013 has scored 10 to 28 points above the EU average.
The score assigned to each country is intended to provide a snapshot of eco-innovation performance in diverse areas. The scores can be influenced by many structural factors, such as the relative importance of different industrial sectors or the economic trends in each country, Because it is measured against the EU average, the Eco-Innovation Scoreboard does not track absolute eco-innovation performance over time - if the performance of each country is improving or not.
The Eco-Innovation Scoreboard’s ratings have been incorporated in the Eurostat Resource Efficiency Scoreboard, which was first published at the end of 2013.