Portugal joined the EU in 1986. For a large part of the two following decades, EU funding was invested mainly in road, utilities and housing infrastructures. These investments, together with several economic reforms prompted the country to grow above EU average in the nineties. However, since 2002 the economy decelerated and 2008 was characterised by a zero growth rate: a consequence of the global economic crisis.  Despite the unfavourable short to medium term development forecast, government is aware that a new paradigm shift is needed to support a new economic base. And environment-driven projects can become part of this transformation.  In this context eco-innovation needs and challenges for Portugal are currently focused on three objectives: 1) improving material efficiency, 2) improving energy efficiency, and; 3) creating new products and services which can be seen as source of exports.

In Eco-innovation performance Portugal can be described as a country in a transition phase from a low-innovation country towards a high-innovation country group. It has far better performance in eco-innovation activities (due to high material productivity and high level of environmental certification at  companies), as well as in terms of gross energy productivity and carbon intensity. Portugal has made dramatic progress in renewable energy (mainly solar energy), implemented practices of e-governance. It shows commitments to 20% reduction in energy consumption through innovative projects on electric vehicles, smart grids, renewable-based decentralised production (e.g. wind), energy management of buildings. While there is no dedicated eco-innovation policy strategy, eco-innovation is somewhat addressed in general innovation, S&T, environmental, and energy policies.

2013 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


Back to Eco-Innovation in Practice

Tags: Portugal

Eco Innovation in Practice in Portugal

Prev Next

Acciona - Amareleja P…

Acciona - Amareleja Photovoltaics Plant

PV solar plant at Amareleja (Moura) accounts for 45.8 MW. This facility is one of the biggest of its kind in the world and was... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:5349 Portugal

Efacec Advanced Contr…

Efacec Advanced Control Systems

A smarter grid for the 21st Century will provide a multitude of benefits: improved power quality and reliability, more efficient energy delivery, consumer empowerment and... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:6699 Portugal

Cork Industry

Cork Industry

Portugal 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... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:5786 Portugal

A.Silva Matos Company

A.Silva Matos Company

The World’s most efficient wind tower is made by A.Silva Matos, a Portuguese company based in Aveiro. According to the company the secret of the... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:7722 Portugal

Municipality of Famal…

Municipality of Famalicão

Famalicão municipality created a paper free system for the flow of bureaucratic information for each process handled by the municipality. According to the mayor, all... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:4101 Portugal

Martifer Solar

Martifer Solar

Martifer Solar focus on the production of PV panels, in its fully automated and robotised facility of 50 MW installed capacity, Engineering, Procurement and Construction... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:6819 Portugal

Renault CACIA (Compan…

Renault CACIA (Companhia Aveirense de Componentes para a Indústria Automóvel)

The Renault-Nissan Alliance - the world's third largest automotive group by volume - is committed to being a leader in zero-emission mobility. Starting with the... Read more

01 Mar 2011 Hits:7669 Portugal

MOBI.E Network

MOBI.E Network

The MOBI.E network is an intelligent charging network for the deployment of electric mobility. Available throughout Portugal, and accessible to all users, the MOBI.E network... Read more

12 Jan 2012 Hits:3600 Portugal



Valorcar´s main mission is to meet the challenges presented by European and National legislation on the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) management (EU Directive 2000/53/EC... Read more

12 Jan 2012 Hits:3435 Portugal

MOR Online

MOR Online

The organised waste market is a trading area made up of a number of electronic platforms that can be used to trade waste, as they... Read more

12 Jan 2012 Hits:3687 Portugal

Powder Coating

Powder Coating

The Technological Centre AIDO has developed an outer powder coating which contains photocatalitic nano-particules allowing the powder coating to self-clean. Sunlight and humidity are required... Read more

12 Jan 2012 Hits:3848 Portugal



AQUASAFE is a business intelligence platform supported by modelling tools and advanced data analysis systems. The platform is able to connect with real time data... Read more

05 Dec 2012 Hits:2132 Portugal