The most common usage of the term “eco-innovation” is to refer to innovative products and processes that reduce environmental costs. This is often used in conjunction with eco-efficiency and eco-design. Many industries have been developing innovative technologies in order to work towards sustainability. However, these are not always shmet practical, or enforced by policy and legislation
Eco-innovation as a Social Process
Another position held (for example, by the organisation Eco Innovation) is that this definition should be complemented: eco-innovations should also bring greater social and cultural acceptance. In this view, this 'social pillar' added to James's (1997) definition is necessary because it determines learning and the effectiveness of eco-innovations.
This approach gives eco-innovations a social component, a status that is more than a new type of commodity, or a new sector, even though environmental technology and eco-innovation are associated with the emergence of new economic activities or even branches (e.g., waste treatment, recycling, etc). This approach considers eco-innovation in terms of usage rather than merely in terms of product. The social pillar associated with eco-innovation introduces a governance component that makes eco-innovation a more integrated tool for sustainable development.
Ecovation is the process by which responsible capitalism aligns with ecological innovation to construct products which have a generative nature and are recyclable back into the environment for usage in other industries.