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  • Eco-innovation in

    cluster organisations in the

    chemical and textile-

    clothing-leather sectors Sarine Barsoumian Rossella Riggio Astrid Severin Titus van der Spek Greenovate! Europe EEIG Brussels, 1 July 2011 This study was performed by Greenovate! Europe EEIG for the European Cluster Observatory managed by the Centre for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Stockholm School of Economics.

    http://www.hhs.se/EFI/CSC http://www.hhs.se/EFI/CSC

  • 2

    Executive summary

    The qualitative study “Eco-innovation in cluster organisations in the chemical and textiles-clothing-

    leather sectors” aims to understand if and how cluster organisations are using eco-innovation to

    foster competitiveness and growth.

    The information for the study was gathered through interviews with representatives of cluster

    organisations and other relevant bodies in 12 regions located in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the

    Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania where a particularly high concentration of these

    industries can be observed. In addition, extensive desk research has been carried out to complete

    and complement the information received through the interviews with figures, case studies and

    interesting links.

    For each sector, the study results are presented in regional case studies comprising profiles of the

    cluster organisation(s) in that region and a synthesis of the main findings.

    Notwithstanding the conclusions of this qualitative survey, it appears that the chemical cluster

    organisations are further advanced in addressing environmental challenges and implementing eco-

    innovative activities when compared to the textiles-clothing-leather sector. This might be explained

    by the strong economic and legislative pressure that these clusters perceive. All cluster organisations

    are making strong efforts to support their companies in addressing environmental challenges and

    have started to involve a wide range of external actors and partners in their search for eco-

    innovative solutions. However, eco-innovation is only exceptionally seen as a driver for

    competitiveness and the industry focuses more on compliance. In comparison, the textiles-clothing-

    leather cluster organisations seem to feel less legislative pressure but are strongly driven by the wish

    to overcome the negative public image of the sector which is currently developing. Eco-innovation

    activities are just starting and focus strongly on understanding the related issues, on providing

    knowledge and promoting existing technologies.

  • 3

    Table of Contents

    Executive summary ......................................................................................................................... 2

    1 Cluster organisations and eco-innovation ...................................................................... 5

    2 Eco-innovation in chemical cluster organisations ....................................................... 8

    2.1 Overview of the chemical industry and its environmental performance ................. 8

    2.2 Regional case studies ................................................................................................................. 11

    2.2.1 Antwerp, Belgium (BE21) .............................................................................................................. 13

    2.2.2 Düsseldorf & Köln, Germany (DEA1& DEA2) ......................................................................... 16

    2.2.3 Tuscany, Italy (ITE1) ........................................................................................................................ 21

    2.2.4 South-West, Romania (RO41) ....................................................................................................... 24

    2.2.5 Noord-Braabant, The Netherlands (NL) ................................................................................... 26

    2.2.6 Rhone-Alpes, France (FR71) ......................................................................................................... 28

    2.3 Synthesis: Eco-innovation activity in chemical cluster organisations ..................... 32

    3 Eco-innovation in textile-clothing-leather cluster organisations........................ 35

    3.1 Overview of the textiles-clothing-leather industry and its environmental

    performance ............................................................................................................................................... 35

    3.2 Regional case studies ................................................................................................................. 38

    3.2.1 West-Flanders, Belgium (BE25) .................................................................................................. 39

    3.2.2 Łódzkie, Poland (PL11) ................................................................................................................... 52

    3.2.3 Norte, Portugal (PT Norte) ............................................................................................................. 55

    3.2.4 Tuscany, Italy (ITE1) ........................................................................................................................ 58

    3.2.5 North-East, Romania (RO21) ........................................................................................................ 63

    3.3 Synthesis: Eco-innovation activity in textiles-clothing-leather cluster

    organisations .............................................................................................................................................. 66

    4 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 69

    Bibliography ................................................................................................................................... 71

    Annex ................................................................................................................................................. 73

    Methodology for study ............................................................................................................................ 73

    Aim and scope of study ....................................................................................................................................... 73

    Research questions ............................................................................................................................................... 73

    Limitations ............................................................................................................................................................... 73

    Data gathering ............................................................................................................................................ 74

    Types and sources of data.................................................................................................................................. 74

    Definitions ................................................................................................................................................................ 74

  • 4

    Table of Figures

    1-1EU27 Eco-innovation scoreboard ____________________________________________________________ 5

    1-2Barriers and drivers of eco-innovation ________________________________________________________ 6

    2-1Customer sectors of the chemicals industry ____________________________________________________ 8

    2-2 Indicator on the production in physical volume of environmental harmful chemicals __________________ 9

    2-3 Chemical cluster organisation interviewed for the study ________________________________________ 11

    2-4Key eco-innovation drivers in chemical cluster organisations _____________________________________ 32

    3-1Trends and key drivers of change in the European textiles and clothing sector _______________________ 35

    3-2 Textile/clothing/leather cluster organisations interviewed for study _______________________________ 38

    3-3Key eco-innovation drivers in textile-clothing-leather cluster organisations _________________________ 67

  • 5

    1 Cluster organisations and eco-innovation

    Eco-innovation is a concept that is gaining momentum at the EU level, and climbing up the political

    agenda in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy: with the Innovation Union Flagship initiative (The

    Innovation Union 2011) and Resource efficient Europe Flagship initiative (A resource-efficient Europe

    2011)

    There are numerous initiatives undertaken by the EU: to promote eco-innovation (Green Week), to

    measure eco-innovation (Eco-Innovation Observatory), to finance eco-innovation (CIP Eco-Innovation

    Programme) and to translate the somewhat complex understanding of eco-innovation into actions

    all across the EU.

    Member state activities in eco-innovation vary greatly across Europe. Finland, Denmark, Germany,

    Austria and Sweden are leading the way, with established eco-innovation policies and practices that

    have rendered their industries more eco-competitive, while other member states are catching up.

    In a recent report produced by the Eco-Innovation

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