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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2206; doi:10.3390/su9122206

Eco-Innovation Indices as Tools for Measuring Eco-Innovation

1
Graduate School of International Agricultural Technology, Institutes of Green Bio Science and Technology, Seoul National University, 1447, Pyeongchang-daero, Daehwa, Pyeongchang, Gangwon 25354, Korea
2
Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK
3
Department of Forest Sciences, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
4
ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center, E-2FL, Pangyo Innovalley 255, Pangyo-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 13486, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Measuring eco-innovation helps us understand the overall trends and raises awareness in society. Measuring eco-innovation at the national level and making comparisons across countries may allow us to benchmark performance and foster policy learning. This paper assesses two indices developed in two different regions: The ASEM Eco-Innovation Index (ASEI) by the ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center, based in Republic of Korea; and the Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (Eco-IS) developed by the Eco-Innovation Observatory, based in the European Union. This paper aims to examine and compare the features of both and attempts to obtain insights on their strengths and weaknesses. Towards this aim, our paper assesses those scoreboards against four criteria stemming from innovation analysis: (1) relevance of areas and stakeholders covered; (2) ability to indicate changes; (3) directions towards common goals; and (4) ability to facilitate further changes. We conclude both are promising, despite data shortages, and have great potential to contribute towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly with regard to the SDGs on sustainable industrialization and sustainable consumption and production. In comparison, the ASEI covers more countries than the Eco-IS. However, the ASEI has limitations on measuring indicators due to limited data availability in Asian countries. The Eco-IS is closely linked with the regional and national policies for eco-innovation in Europe, while the ASEI’s impact appears more limited, as of now. In conclusion, the research results give insights into key areas, goals and applications of eco-innovation indices, and can help upgrading eco-innovation indices. This research helps interpret the scores of two indices better and facilitate application of the scores in the multiple ways. It is expected that this research contributes to developing and modifying a global eco-innovation index and enhancing the ability of these indices to facilitate eco-innovation strategies at national levels and across relevant actors. View Full-Text
Keywords: eco-innovation; index; measurement; sustainable development eco-innovation; index; measurement; sustainable development
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Park, M.S.; Bleischwitz, R.; Han, K.J.; Jang, E.K.; Joo, J.H. Eco-Innovation Indices as Tools for Measuring Eco-Innovation. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2206.

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