France

france

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

France

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The B-A.BA project

Relais

The B-A.BA project has been jointly developed by the Relais Val de Seine, a cooperative company specialised in the collection, sorting, recovery and recycling of textile, and the designer Cyrille Candas.  It enables creative recovery of second hand textile and furniture through an innovative process called the “flocage”.

The “flocage” is a technique where the scraps of fabric are ground into small pieces. These are dyed and go through an electrostatic treatment so that they can be fixed on all articles. Finally, they are sprayed with a specific gun on given furniture or item.

After feasibility studies and experimental development phase, the collection composed of 100 pieces was presented to the public last year and witnessed a great success. The Relais is now studying a way to extend the production.

The Relais is a network of companies that act for the integration of groups suffering from social exclusion and for sustainable job creation.

Barriers and drivers

Each year, an impressive number of second hand clothes and furniture don’t find an outlet on the market. Textile and furniture recycling is a very important stake. Recycling furniture prevents woods and fabric from going to the landfills, triggering negative effects to the environment. It is also the case for textile, when the future of used textile is a problem. It also enables to reuse materials and generates strong cost savings and positive economic impacts. The issue of overconsumption is also tackled.

Economic performance

Recycling of second hand items, when structured, can be an important source for sustainable job creation.

Social performance

As mentioned above, sustainable job creation is a very important aspect of the project. The company mainly aims at reintegrating job seekers into the job market, especially for the fragilised long duration unemployed or other similar targeted population.

Environmental impact

It also helps to reduce negative impacts on the environment, as it has the potential to divert a great amount of waste from landfills.

Further information

http://www.lerelais.org/decouvrir.php?page=recherche_developpement

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