Portugal

portugal

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

Portugal_EcoIS2013radar_portugal_2013

   Database


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.

Determinants

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

http://www.uwec.edu/geography/ivogeler/travel/portugal/cork-article2.htm

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Portugal

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