There is no “model country” which could serve as an example of best practice across all areas observed in the scoreboard. There is a positive correlation between eco-innovation and GDP and eco-innovation and competitiveness. 28 performing countries in this sub-category are three EU-15 countries (Luxembourg, Portugal, and Greece). In this sub-category no patterns regarding performances among the different indicators can be distinguished. Many countries perform very differently in the three different indicators, with remarkable outliers in one of them. Hence, a direct relation between a country’s performance in the different categories is difficult to establish. Comparing the performance in different sub-categories Of the top 5 countries only two countries ranked first in one of the categories (Finland in eco-innovation inputs and Austria in eco-innovation outputs), whereas none of the other top performers scored higher than second (Denmark in eco-innovation activities) or third (Germany in eco-innovation activities and Sweden in eco-innovation outputs) in the individual categories. This indicates that there is no “model country” which could serve as an example of best practice across all areas observed in the scoreboard. On the contrary, significant potential for improvement can be identified for all countries. For instance, Austria ranked 12th in the category of eco-innovation inputs; Sweden 13th in the category of socio-economic outcomes; and Finland – the best performing country in the composite index – only 19th in environmental outcomes. Denmark and Germany showed a relatively balanced performance over all the categories, with rankings between 2nd and 10th . At the lower end of the scoreboard a more homogenous picture can be drawn: many of those countries which had a low performance overall also scored low in the different subcategories. One exception is Bulgaria, while ranking 21st in the overall ranking it ranked 1st in the sub-category of socio-economic outcomes. Other countries – especially those in the middle performance part of the scoreboard – have a very inhomogeneous performance throughout the sub-categories. 3.3 | Understanding country performance Beyond just assessing performance, the EIO is interested in understanding why certain countries perform better or worse than others. We correlate three important relationships and ask whether there is a connection between eco-innovation and 1) GDP 2) competitiveness and 3) environmental performance. 3.3.1 | Eco-innovation and economic performance: is eco-innovation only for ‘rich countries’? EIO analysis reveals a robust positive correlation between eco-innovation and GDP (Figure 3.7) and eco-innovation and competitiveness (Figure 3.8). This suggests that eco-innovation may be contributing to the competitive advantage of economies and companies (see also section 5.2). It may also show that eco-innovation is easier to develop and absorb by companies with an established market position. These results should be regarded with caution; further investigation is needed to establish causality between both GDP and ecoinnovation and competitiveness and eco-innovation.
Composite EI index 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Composite EI index 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 3,5 Figure 3.7 Relationship between composite EI Index and GDP per capita in the EU, 2007 Figure 3.8 10000 20000 Finland Denmark Germany Austria Sweden Belgium Spain Italy 30000 UK Czech Republic France Slovenia Portugal Hungary Malta Latvia Cyprus Bulgaria Poland Estonia Greece Romania Lithuania Slovakia Netherlands Ireland Relationship between composite EI Index and Competitiveness in the EU 4 4,5 40000 Spain Belgium Ireland Netherlands UK Italy France Slovenia Luxemburg Latvia Bulgaria Greece Portugal Czech Republic Hungary Malta Cyprus Romania Poland Estonia Slovakia Lithuania 5 50000 60000 5,5 eco-innovation observatory Nevertheless, the question of whether new Member States and others with a GDP lower than average can be expected to fully embark on this agenda without a substantial investment over extended periods of time is raised. We view eco-innovation as a relevant strategy for all countries. The business opportunities may be different in different places, but clearly an eco-innovative development path (green growth) is needed in countries still building up their infrastructures and built environment--so as not to follow in the problematic footsteps of highly developed countries. In less developed countries, eco-innovations are needed for responsible growth and building; for instance Austria Denmark Germany Finland 70000 Sweden R 2 =0.2998 Luxemburg R 2 =0.745 80000 6 Annual Report 2010 We view eco-innovation as a relevant strategy for all countries. GDP per capita Global Competitiveness Index 2010/2011, Score-Value 29