Policy matters


Guide offers eco-innovative smart specialisation framework
Smart specialisation is an approach to regional development in which regional authorities focus their resources on a few priority sectors in which the region can offer something new, and which have the potential for significant growth, and even global leadership. A recent guide, The guide is...
Keeping track of WEEE
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags can be used to ensure that waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is correctly processed, and that reuse of components and recycling of materials is maximised, according to a European Union funded project with pilot initiatives in the Czech...
Cities get smart with eco-indicators
Cities around the world are increasingly using an expanding body of eco-city indicators and frameworks as a key sustainable development tool. There is also a growing trend of cooperation between countries and cities to apply eco-city indicators flexibly in different contexts. In China, for...
Environmental Technology Verification: EU pilot programme now operational  
In 2009, the manufacturer of a water quality monitoring device, hoping to distribute it in Asia, was asked for evidence of an independent, scientific verification of its performance, so that the buyers could compare it with a similar American product. More recently, a small company developing a...
'Concrete' solutions
The European Union's construction sector faces a testing target. Under the EU Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), it must, by 2020, reuse or recycle at least 70% by weight of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste. In some countries, such as Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands,...
Island communities explore sustainability
A group of North Sea island communities have combined their energies to test a range of sustainability ideas involving water, energy and materials use, in the European Union funded The island communities - representing Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom -...
European raw materials partnership to work on resource efficiency  
A new European Innovation Partnership (EIP), launched on 12 February, is to examine how the European Union can innovate to improve resource efficiency and to recover materials for reuse, rather than relying on primary raw materials. The EIP is a coalition of government ministries, research...
New Eco Innovation Observatory report plots transition to sustainability  
The transition to a sustainable economy based on eco-innovation requires systemic change and “new collaborations to create functional systems that integrate environmental sustainability at their core,” according to the 2012 annual report of the Eco Innovation Observatory, which was published at...
SPIRE aims to inspire through resource and energy efficiency  
A major cross-sectoral partnership is planning to channel €1.4 billion in private sector research spending to resource and energy efficiency in Europe's process industries – those sectors, such as steel and cement, that transform bulk resources into products that underpin modern economies. The...
Small companies, big ideas
Eco-innovation matters in two ways for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). First, many SMEs could benefit by introducing eco-innovative approaches into their operations. Second, SMEs, and especially start-ups, can be the ideal incubators for eco-innovation, and can bring to market new, less...