In the 2017 EU Eco-innovation composite index, France ranks 13th, sharing the same score with Ireland (12th), and being behind United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal. Despite favourable legislation supporting eco-innovation and entrepreneurship since 2003, and even more so with the 2015-2020 national strategy for ecological transition to sustainable development that supports knowledge production, research and innovation, France has fallen below the European average. In 2017, France is close to the European average in terms of eco-innovation inputs, eco-innovation outputs, resource efficiency outcomes and socio-economic outcomes. In eco-innovation activities sub-index France ranked lowest in the EU. The circular economy and eco-innovation discourse is diffusing in the economic and policy landscapes. With the rise of the social and solidarity economy in France, there is more focus on environmental issues and circular economy. Industrial and territorial ecology, which generally enables a lesser use of resources, is still very active, despite the recent crisis. Innovation competitions enable to boost eco-innovations and initiatives linked to the circular economy and can represent a tool to guide research. The public policy and financial support is also substantial, but as the funding decreases, economic actors are facing difficulties to thrive further. Individual consumption does not fully support eco-innovation yet, as circular-economy-friendly behaviour still needs to become a common trend. Numerous laws and initiatives in France, such as the roadmap for circular economy (2018), the the Law for the Social and Solidarity Economy (2014) and the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act (2015), have strengthened the organisations involved in the circular economy and the solidarity and social economy. Local governments are also strongly supporting these sectors, as they are an active recruiting ground and a driving force for the local economic development.
2017 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for France