The performance of EU Member States on environmental innovations is measured by the summary Eco-innovation index, which is a composite indicator obtained by taking an unweighted average of the 16 indicators included in the measurement framework (see technical note for an overview of those indicators).

The Eco-Innovation Leaders in Europe for the year 2021 are - from highest to the lowest score - Luxembourg, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Average Eco-Innovation performers are, in descending order, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, and Latvia. Countries in the category of Catching-up with eco-innovation include - in descending order of scores - Lithuania, Croatia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Romania, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Bulgaria.

In this Brief you can see the overview of the trends across EU27 over the last ten years as well as the European policies and initiatives that are expected to drive a better eco-innovation in the EU.

If you want to learn more about the technical implementation of the Eco-Innovation Scoreboard, please download the Technical note.

The database used in the policy brief can be found here. This database provides the normalized and relative scores of the Eco-Innovation Index and its indicators for the years 2012 - 2021.


Check eco-innovation performance of the EU Members States in various indicators.

Select countries for comparison:


Eco-innovation Inputs

Eco-innovation inputs comprise investments (financial or human resources) aiming to trigger eco-innovation activities.

The indicators in the Eco-IS include:
- Governments environmental and energy R&D appropriations and outlays (% of GDP)
- Total R&D personnel and researchers (% of total employment)
- Total value of green early stage investments (USD/capita)

Eco-innovation Activities

Eco-innovation activities includes indicators to monitor the scope and scale of eco-innovation activities undertaken by companies. The component focuses on efforts and activities rather than on actual results of innovation activity.

The indicators in the Eco-IS include:
- Implementation of resource efficiency actions among SMEs (Score)
- Implementation of sustainable products among SMEs (% of surveyed firms)
- Number of ISO 14001 certificates (per mln population)


Eco-innovation Outputs

Eco-innovation outputs describe the immediate results of eco-innovation activities. Indicators in this component are used to monitor the extent to which knowledge outputs generated by businesses and researchers relate to eco-innovation.

The indicators in the Eco-IS include:
- Eco-innovation related patents (per mln population)
- Eco-innovation related academic publications (per mln population)
- Eco-innovation related media coverage (per mln population)

Eco-innovation Socio-economic outcomes

Socio-economic outcomes of eco-innovation depict wider effects of eco-innovation activities for society and the economy. This includes changes in employment, turnover or exports that can be related to broadly understood eco-innovation activities.

The indicators in the Eco-IS include:
- Exports of products from eco-industries (% of total exports)
- Employment in environmental protection and resource management activities (% of workforce)
- Value added in environmental protection and resource management activities (% of GDP)


Eco-innovation Resource efficiency outcomes

Resource efficiency outcomes relate to wider effects of eco-innovation on improved resource productivity. Eco-innovation can have a twofold positive impact on resource efficiency: it can increase the generated economic value, while at the same time decrease pressures on the natural environment.

The indicators in the Eco-IS include:
- Material productivity (GDP/Domestic Material Consumption)
- Water productivity (GDP/total fresh water abstraction)
- Energy productivity (GDP/gross inland energy consumption)
- GHG emissions intensity (CO2e/GDP)