The 2019 Eco-Innovation Index ranks Italy as 8th, right after the index’s leaders. While performance is 12% higher than the EU average, scoring at 112, Italy has nonetheless regressed by 1.2 points compared to 2017. Italy shows best performance in resource-efficiency outcomes with 178 points, where the country ranks fifth after Luxembourg, Malta, UK and Ireland. The country’s performance in eco-innovation activities, eco-innovation outputs and socio-economic outcomes is just above the EU average. The worst performance of the country is in eco-innovation inputs, where the country ranks well below the EU average with 69 points.

The overall good performance of the country on eco-innovation reflects the efforts made to develop and implement policies dedicated to eco-innovation and circular economy. Circular economy and eco-innovation developments in Italy largely relate to eco-labelling, waste management, bioeconomy and green industry. In fact, Italy has one of the highest levels of eco-labels and EMAS in the EU. According to the 2019 Report on circular economy in Italy, the country ranks first on waste management performance. Italy is also a leader in bioeconomy, especially in the food and beverage sector. In addition, circular economy is increasingly becoming an important component of the country’s industrial policy. Italy is also witnessing a growing digitalisation of the economy, although further efforts are still needed. The country’s policy framework also shows a growing emphasis on circular economy and sustainability as well as a support for eco-innovation.  Despite the overall good performance of the country on eco-innovation, barriers to further progress still exist, such as the low levels of R&D investments and the large differences across regions in terms of legislative procedures and performance.

2019 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Italy

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