Greece

greece

The Greek economy, part of the hardly hit by the debt crisis Eurozone countries, has seen its annual growth rates falling from an average of 3-4% since 2004. The on-going financial crisis inevitably affected all economic sectors, local business and labour market. On the other hand, the financial downturn has provided the impetus for a comprehensive and structural reform, aimed at the development of a healthier investment and business environment, including among others faster licensing procedures, a better focused investment law and the liberalisation of a number of markets; however the implementation of these structural changes is still at an early stage.
The uncertainty of the economic and social environment seems to have further enhanced the openness of the Greek businesses and society to new concepts; however, the majority of indices measuring innovation rank the country below the EU27 average, showing particular difficulties in the implementation of new ideas. Greece seems to be performing better in the promotion of new to the firm products or processes, as well as to organisational innovation.

Eco-innovation is not an exception to the above. Despite the crisis, public funding available for eco-innovation investments has increased (Structural Funds), while the availability of scientific and research personnel has remained adequate, even though often lacks sufficient business experience. Availability of eco-innovation inputs is expected to be further improved in the future; the Greek National Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation (NSFRI) is based on a global target for R&D public spending at 2 % of GDP in 2020, while at the same time anticipates that research will be primarily focused on selected priority areas, with ‘Environment’ already being identified as a prominent sector, in line with the national strategic objective for Green Growth.
It shows relatively better performance in company level eco-innovation activities targeting energy and material efficiency improvement. Furthermore, Greece ranks among the five top EU performers in energy productivity of its economy. Food and chemical industries are showed to be more active in promoting eco-innovative products and processes. Present policy priorities and strategic developments indicate the following emerging lead markets with a good potential for eco-innovation: the waste management sector (recycling, treatment, re-use), the green tourism industry; the green banking services. Eco-innovation is not explicitly framed in the policy agenda of Greece; its elements are somewhat captured by general innovation and S&T policy strategies and the availability of eco-innovation inputs is expected to grow in the future. At the same time, there are regulatory and policy restrictions in business exploitation of eco-innovative concepts.

2013 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Greece

Greece_EcoIS2013Greence_radar

   Database


Green Banking – Piraeus Bank: an example of material flow and marketing innovation

greenbankingPIRAEUS bank offers since 2006 specially designed green banking products to support environment related entrepreneurship. The bank has developed green loans for renewable energy investments; green mortgages; green loans for households (purchase of bicycles, energy saving infrastructure and equipment); green leasing; as well as green insurance products. Moreover, the bank has designed and implemented an environmental management system comprising a series of measures to minimize its environmental footprint and to communicate the benefits of these actions to its customers. The project was co-financed by the European Commission through the LIFE programme.



Possible effects: economic, social, environmental
The bank has reduced its energy consumption and improved natural resource management, taking simple measures such as mainstreaming electronic transactions (offering to its customers, fully electronic - no need for paper - means of transactions). Widespread use of Green Banking has changed the relationship between the bank and the customer, achieving among others: direct benefits to the environment; improved quality of service; significant reduction in transaction costs; good marketing results with eco conscious clients.
The environmental benefits are summarised as follows: with 20,000,000 electronic transactions conducted annually, Piraeus Bank saves 90,000 kg of paper, a number interpreted in 2,000 trees; 3,500,000 litres of water and 450,000 KWh of energy saved by not consuming this amount of paper; additionally, by saving energy, the emission of 90,000 kg of CO2 in the atmosphere is avoided. Moreover, the bank makes continuous efforts to raise customers’ environmental awareness, through messages in web and ATM banking.

Drivers:

  • Green Ethics: The motivation for promoting the Green banking derives from the excessive penetration of bank transactions in everyday life and activities. A key point in green banking is that the additional profit that derives from the green banking operation is contributory to the environment and the public and not benefiting the bank units themselves.
  • Market demand: Green Growth, now a national, EU and global strategic vision, creates a huge market for Green Banking products; competition is due to promote eco-innovation.

Barriers:

  • Risk: Green banking products are a new market, in which traditional banks have little experience.
  • Knowledge: Environmental know-how is not fully available in-house, hence a new department as well as strategic alliances with external consultants were required.

Further Information

Back to Eco-Innovation in Practice


Eco Innovation in Practice in Greece

Prev Next

Planet

Planet

Product and marketing innovation in the chemicals sector (detergents and cleaners) Planet (Rolco company) produces ecological fabric and household care detergents and cleaners that ensure effective... Read more

28 Jun 2011 Hits:2826 Greece

GAEA

GAEA

Carbon Neutral Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Material flow and marketing innovation in the food processing sector. Description Gaea’s products intent to access the international quality food... Read more

28 Jun 2011 Hits:2969 Greece

Green Banking – Pirae…

Green Banking – Piraeus Bank: an example of material flow and marketing innovation

PIRAEUS bank offers since 2006 specially designed green banking products to support environment related entrepreneurship. The bank has developed green loans for renewable energy investments;... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:4426 Greece

Green Tourism industr…

Green Tourism industry - Green Luxury - COSTA NAVARINO: an example of material flow innovation

Costa Navarino Hotel located in the Greek region of Messinia, is a new prime destination in the Mediterranean, with a strong commitment to environmental responsibility.... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:3432 Greece

Waste management sect…

Waste management sector – Robotic Waste Bins: an example of product innovation

SOUKOS ENVIRONMENTAL S.A. is a company founded in 2008, which developed the ‘Robotic waste bin’ as a waste management solution that eliminates at least 80%... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:4392 Greece

PanePower (Solar Wind…

PanePower (Solar Windows)

Brite is a leading edge PV (PhotoVoltaic) technology company, developing 3rd generation technology for solar panels, based on new composite organic / inorganic lightweight nanostructured... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:2064 Greece

Energylog

BLUEdev Ltd is a start up company based in Patras, Greece, providing developing and consulting services for the implementation of value-added features in the microelectronics... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:1739 Greece

Athens Green 360 Busi…

Athens Green 360 Business Network

The  Athens Green 360  network was created in 2010 with a view to mobilise the business community towards collectively promoting sustainable development. It aims at... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:2020 Greece

Solar Home Lift

Solar Home Lift is a home elevator designed to operate with single phase power or by a small self-standing photovoltaic system or by any other... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:5602 Greece

Ecologic Olive Press

Ecologic Olive Press

ELVA Olive Press is the first ecologic olive press operating in Greece. Its eco-innovative character is systemic, addressing a almost every stage of the production... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:2102 Greece

Ecologic Tannery

The ecologic tannery is a prototype, environment friendly, completely non-intensive energy demanding tannery unit, located at the Industrial Park of Kastoria, in northern Greece. The... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:2226 Greece

Solartube

The Ditalumen company's solartube is a global innovation technology based on the capture of day light through a hypereflective tube (Reflectivity 99.7%). The tube transports... Read more

04 Feb 2012 Hits:2105 Greece

.