Abstract: Is it possible to de-growth through the promotion of eco-innovation for a sustainable human development?
Given the internationalization of innovation forced to respond to the need for resources, this paper proposes a system of indicators in order to measure the impact of innovation projects, processes and investments for a future sustainable growth or a “degrowth- innovation”.
Eco-innovation related activities have been classified, analyzed and measured through a set of balanced indicators in order to define a multi-criterion indicator system, called “+ Zero”. The results of the application of the proposed indicator are explained in order to identify projects and innovations able to balance the company’s competitiveness, the environmental improvements and the social needs.
As case study, the “+Zero” system of indicators has been applied to different activities carried out by research institutes and in order to validate the methodology and different technologies have been analyzed. In this sense, eco-innovation can have a critical role in the sustainability of the planet. The use of specific indicators in needed in order to analyze and evaluate the future potential effect of the innovative measures once they have been introduced in processes and products.
The “+Zero” indicators will enable industry in a more long-term vision based on eco- innovation criteria being encouraged to obtain a “zero, but positive growth” maintaining the balanced business for a sustainable quality of life.
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.