The Eco-Innovation Challenge

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The Eco-Innovation Challenge

Glossary

eco-innovation

observatory

Biomimicry “Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate)

is a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates

these designs and processes to solve human problems” (Biomimicry

Institute 2011). It is thought of as “innovation inspired by nature.”

Back to Good Practice Box 11.

Circular economy The circular economy is one in which used materials are recycled

back into production stream. It is the better use of waste for new

materials. Back to Ch 7.

Critical metal A metal which is essential to an industrial process and for which there

is no actual or commercially viable substitute. Back to the critical

metals Box 5.1.

Decoupling Decoupling compares resource use to economic growth. There are

2 types: relative and absolute. Relative decoupling means that

resource use may increase, however, at a lower rate than economic

growth. Or, resource use remains constant while the economic output

increases. Absolute decoupling is achieved when resource use

declines over time while the economy grows (Schütz and Bringzu

2008). Back to Ch 2.

Dematerialization Dematerialisation is the supply and use of products and services with

less and less materials. It means a decrease in material flows, i.e.

reduced material input due to greater efficiency (Schütz and Bringzu

2008). Back to Ch 1, Ch 7.

Direct Material Input DMI is an indicator derived from national material flow accounts. It

measures the direct flows of materials that physically enter the economic

system as an input, i.e. materials that are used in production

and consumption activities. DMI equals domestic (used) extraction

plus the direct mass of imports. Back to Ch 2.

Domestic Material consumption DMC is an indicator derived from national material flow Consumption

accounts. DMC subtracts the direct mass of exports from DMI, thus

illustrating the consumption of materials by the domestic economy.

Back to Ch 2.

Downcycling Downcycling means converting waste into a new product of lesser quality

and reduced functionality. For instance, plastic is recycled into a lower

grade plastic. The goal is to re-use raw materials to the most effective

degree, reducing the need for primary extraction. Back to Ch 7.

Eco-industries Those industries which produce goods and services with the intention

of reducing environmental risk and minimizing pollution and resource

use. They are often called clean tech or green tech innovations. Back

to Ch 1.

Eco-innovation Eco-innovation is the introduction of any new or significantly improved

product (good or service), process, organisational change or market-

Annual Report 2010

99

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