The year 2015 represents the start of a new cycle for the Portuguese economy, after an adjustment period that ran from 2011 to 2014, which required external assistance and a rigid financial policy. The economic deceleration of previous years is still felt in important sectors of the economy – construction and transport – and continues to influence the country’s performance in terms of resource efficiency and climate change. Still, there are some positive signs: improvements in foreign energy dependence and environmental certifications, for instance, as well as emerging eco-innovative sectors which came to fruition – in water efficiency and agriculture, for example. A combination of effects – e.g. a decrease in resource consumption and an improvement in “green” R&D spending, both public and private – has placed the country’s performance in the Eco-innovation Scoreboard slightly above EU average for the 2014-2015 period.

However, the results shown by EIO indicators do not translate into a solid policy framework for eco-innovation, and therefore there is still much to accomplish. Despite significant advances in resource efficiency policies – e.g. Green Growth Commitment, Green Fiscal Reform and PERSU 2020 – eco-innovation is still very much approached as a means to achieve improvements in environmental performance, and not as a means to achieve sustainable growth by all stakeholders in the economy.

Initiatives such as the Ecopol project, or the Ecoprodutin project were fundamental to kick start the necessary network and interaction among different stakeholders to identify the eco-innovation champions, initiatives, products and services, and to demonstrate the benefits for business and the society .

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




Cork Industry

Labels: Portugal

corkindustryPortugal is the world leader in cork production, with an average annual output of 157,000 tons, and holds 60% of worldwide exports representing an annual turnover of about €850m. Cork stoppers represent the bigger share of this total with about €590m followed by building materials with about €177m. France, Spain and the US are the main foreign markets for Portuguese cork. Due to its characteristics, cork is much more than “just” a stopper. Cork is resistant, light, flexible, compressible and is an outstanding thermal and acoustic insulator and has also chemical or pharmaceutical uses.

With this profile cork has a wide range of uses. It is transformed into floor panels, decorative home or office applications, shoe soles, works of art, fashion articles, complements or acessories. The usage of cork in aircraft building is just one of the innovative applications of this environment friendly industry where “nothing is wasted, everything is transformed”. For instance, Airbus is replacing most plastic and rubber parts in aircrafts fuselage by Portuguese cork to increase safety conditions of the equipment and comfort of passengers and crew.

The cork industry is highly developed in Portugal. There are approximatly 800 companies operating in the industry, mainly in the north of the country, mobilising a work force of twelve thousand people. These companies operate in cork activities such as preparation, manufacture, agglomeration and granulation.


Barriers are competition in markets well established

Drivers are National and traditional product; Strong industrial segment

Sustainability effects

The use of cork will allow the substitution of fossil fuel based materials for natural materials, reducing the need to use non renewable sources.

Further Information


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Eco Innovation in Practice in Portugal

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