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Eco-innovation

Eco-innovation

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Encyclopedia
Eco-innovation is a term used to describe products and processes that contribute to sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

. Eco-innovation is the commercial application of knowledge to elicit direct or indirect ecological improvements.

It is often used to describe a range of related ideas, from environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly are terms used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies claimed to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment....

 technological advances to socially acceptable innovative paths towards sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

.

Origins of the concept of eco-innovation


The idea of eco-innovation is fairly recent. One of the first appearances of the concept of eco-innovation in the literature is in the book by Claude Fussler and Peter James. In a subsequent article, Peter James defines eco-innovation as 'new products and processes which provide customer and business value but significantly decrease environmental impacts'.

Related terms


Eco-innovation is closely linked to a variety of related terms. It is often used interchangeably with 'environmental innovation', and is also often linked with 'environmental technology
Environmental technology
Environmental technology or green technology or clean technology is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of...

', 'eco-efficiency
Eco-efficiency
The term eco-efficiency was coined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its 1992 publication "Changing Course". It is based on the concept of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.The 1992 Earth Summit endorsed...

', 'eco-design', 'environmental design
Environmental design
Environmental design is the process of addressing surrounding environmental parameters when devising plans, programs, policies, buildings, or products...

', 'sustainable design
Sustainable design
Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability.-Intentions:The intention of sustainable design is to "eliminate negative environmental...

', or 'sustainable innovation'. While 'environmental innovation' is used in similar contexts to 'eco-innovation', the other terms are mostly used when referring to product or process design, and therefore focus more on the technological aspects of eco-innovation rather than the societal or political aspects.

Eco-innovation as a technological term


The most common usage of the term “eco-innovation” is to refer to innovative products and processes that reduce environmental impacts. This is often used in conjunction with eco-efficiency
Eco-efficiency
The term eco-efficiency was coined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its 1992 publication "Changing Course". It is based on the concept of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.The 1992 Earth Summit endorsed...

 and eco-design. Leaders in many industries have been developing innovative technologies in order to work towards sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

. However, these are not always practical, or enforced by policy and legislation.

Eco-innovation as a social process


Another position held (for example, by the organisation Eco Innovation) is that this definition should be complemented: eco-innovations should also bring greater social and cultural acceptance. In this view, this 'social pillar' added to James's definition is necessary because it determines learning and the effectiveness of eco-innovations.

This approach gives eco-innovations a social component, a status that is more than a new type of commodity, or a new sector, even though environmental technology
Environmental technology
Environmental technology or green technology or clean technology is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of...

 and eco-innovation are associated with the emergence of new economic activities or even branches (e.g., waste treatment
Waste treatment
Waste treatment refers to the activities required to ensure that waste has the least practicable impact on the environment. In many countries various forms of waste treatment are required by law.-Solid waste treatment:...

, recycling
Recycling
Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse...

, etc). This approach considers eco-innovation in terms of usage rather than merely in terms of product. The social pillar associated with eco-innovation introduces a governance component that makes eco-innovation a more integrated tool for sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

.

Ecovation is the process by which responsible capitalism aligns with ecological innovation to construct products which have a generative nature and are recyclable back into the environment for usage in other industries.

See also

  • Eco-development
    Green development
    Green development is a land use planning concept that includes consideration of community-wide or regional environmental implications of development, as well as site-specific green building concepts...

  • Eco-efficiency
    Eco-efficiency
    The term eco-efficiency was coined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its 1992 publication "Changing Course". It is based on the concept of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.The 1992 Earth Summit endorsed...

  • Ecological Design
    Ecological design
    Ecological design was defined by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as "any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes." Ecological design is an integrative, ecologically responsible design discipline...

  • Ecological Restoration
  • Environmental design
    Environmental design
    Environmental design is the process of addressing surrounding environmental parameters when devising plans, programs, policies, buildings, or products...

  • Environmental technology
    Environmental technology
    Environmental technology or green technology or clean technology is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of...

  • International Innovation Index
  • Sustainable Agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment...

  • Sustainable Design
    Sustainable design
    Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability.-Intentions:The intention of sustainable design is to "eliminate negative environmental...

  • Sustainable Development
    Sustainable development
    Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

  • Sustainopreneurship
    Sustainopreneurship
    Sustainopreneurship is a concept that has emerged from earlier conceptual development social entrepreneurship and ecopreneurship, via sustainability entrepreneurship...


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