Eco-innovation is the development and application of a business model, shaped by a new business strategy that incorporates sustainability throughout all business operations based on life cycle thinking and in cooperation with partners across the value chain. It entails a coordinated set of modifications or novel solutions to products (goods/services), processes, market approach and organizational structure which leads to a company’s enhanced performance and competitiveness.

The UNEP Eco-Innovation Manual guides technical intermediaries in supporting SMEs in this process. A chemicals supplement is available which applies the eco-innovation methodology with all its phases and activities on the chemicals value chain. The substitution of CoC is an important part of innovative product design, and the approach creates an enabling environment by involving the top management of the company, improving communication with stakeholders and encouraging substitution of hazardous chemicals. Eco-innovation also encourages the use of CiP tools such as ecolabels or product certificates.