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Eco-innovation refers to the development and distribution of products and services that reduce negative impacts on the environment or achieve a more efficient and responsible use of resources than the technologies they replace. There is often a perception that environmental protection is costly for business and that environmental degradation is a necessary, if undesirable, consequence of economic growth. Eco-innovation will help to break this link.

Innovation and new technologies can deliver improved environmental conditions while also benefiting the economy through increased competitiveness in a global market place where environmental impact is increasingly important.

It is through innovation that the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy can become an opportunity for the UK. This can be achieved by providing solutions that meet environmental objectives at lower cost and securing comparative advantage in specific products or market sectors, enabling profitable exports.

Defra is working with other departments, particularly BERR (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), to ensure that there is a clear, consistent policy framework, both at UK and European level, to encourage eco-innovation.

Page pulished: 7 April 2009