France is a major European player in the field of eco-innovation, and possesses a strong track record in environmental regulation and support schemes – targeting both public and private actors (including individuals). This is illustrated by its strong ranking in the 2015 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (seventh among the 28 EU Member States). However, France still falls behind a number of front-runners, particularly due to limited energy and water productivity and limited green early-stage investments. Increasing levels of resource efficiency, particularly energy efficiency, in key sectors such as transport and building are also key priorities.

The most important eco-innovation areas in France are linked to network and network management industries, and more specifically water management and sanitation, waste management, and environmental engineering. These sectors are well organised around very large international firms that are also major aggregators of innovations.

Since 2010, a group of clusters, focusing on environmental technologies, have supported the creation of innovative local networks of SMEs and large companies based around water and waste management, energy efficiency, renewable energies, smart cities and smart transport. These clusters act as a major testbed for the emergence of eco-innovations, and help to bring together public and private partners around common issues.

In addition, the national and regional support to eco-innovation and the circular economy is strong. At the national level, a number of dedicated calls for projects have been set up in recent years, complementing existing support measures such as eco-innovation equity funds or tax incentives focusing on the demand side of eco-innovation. At the regional level, 20 out of the 22 (former) metropolitan regions have at least one strategic domain of their Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy directly related to eco-industries. 

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for France




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For further information:

  • Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME) website. Available at:
  • Belin J, Horbach J, Oltra V, 2011, Determinants and specitifities of eco-innovations - an econometric analysis for the French and German Industry based on the Community Innovation Survey, Cahiers du Gretha, n 2011-17, Bordeaux.
  • Commissariat General à l’Egalité des Territoires (CGET), 2015, Synthesis of the Research and Innovation strategies for Smart Specialisation of French Regions. Available at: 2015_0.pdf

  • Comité d’Orientation Stratégique des Eco-Industries (COSEI), 2012, Les filières industrielles vertes et le Comité d’Orientation Stratégique des Eco-Industries. Available at: http://www.developpement-

  • Ministère de l ́Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l ́Energie (MEDDE), 2013, Investissements d’Avenir. Available at:,30981.htm

  • Ministère de l'Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l'Energie (MEDDE), 2012, Les politiques d’éco-innovation. Available at:

  • Boston Consulting Group, 2008, Développer les éco-industries en France: Rapport de Synthèse, Report carried out for the  Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment, December 2008.
  • Chambolle, T , 2006, Plan d’action pour favoriser l’investissement et la création d’entreprises dans le domaine des Ecotechnologies, Rapport au Premier Ministre, Président de la Commission « Environnement » de l’Académie des Technologies.
  • Commission General for Sustainable Development, 2009, Towns at the heart of the transition towards post-carbon societies, Horizons 2030-2050 Forsight unit news, December 2009.
  • Commission General for Sustainable Development, 2010, One year of implementation of the Stiglitz commission recommendations: towards a new generagion of indicators, le point sur, n64, september 2010.
  • Commissariat Général au développemet durable, 2011a, Projet de R&D dans les pôles de compétitivité: une sensibilistaion croissante au développement durable, le point sur, n77, March 2011.
  • Commissariat Général au développemet durable, 2011b, L'économie de l'environnement en 2009, Références, juin 2011.
  • Comité Stratégique des eco-industries (COSEI), 2011a, Soutenir la compétitivité de la filière française du bâtiment à faible impact environnemental, Rapport final, Juillet 2011.
  • Comité Stratégique des eco-industries (COSEI), 2011b, Développer la filière française de la valorisation industrielle des déchet, Rapport final, Juillet 2011.
  • Comité Stratégique des eco-industries (COSEI), 2011c, Soutenir la compétitivité de la filière française de l’eau et de l’assainissement, Rapport final, Juillet 2011.
  • Ministry of the Environment, Sustainable Development, Transportation and Housing (MEDDTL) website, Available at:
  • Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment (MINEFE), 2009, Eco-industries :  La croissance d’une filière, Cahier Industrie, n°137, February 2009.
  • Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment (MINEFE), 2010, La lettre de la Dgcis: promouvoir les eco-industries, n°55, March2010.
  • Najdawi C., 2013, Assessment of Climate Change Policies in the Context of the European Semester: Country Report France. Available at:

( 8 Votes )

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