ONU - Meio Ambiente
SEBRAE - Centro Sebrae de Sustentabilidade
It is more
than a trend:
It is a must.


Eco-innovation is the name given to the business strategy that uses sustainability as a source of inspiration for its business model. Just like any other strategy of innovation – of a product, process, or service - eco-innovation aims to achieve greater business competitiveness, taking into account social and environmental gains that can be added to the competitive strategy, providing the person or organization that uses it with a differentiated market integration.

As a starting point for a strategy of innovation, the entrepreneur must consider the entire value chain in which it operates and assess the opportunities present throughout this chain to produce, advertise, distribute, transport and manage / reuse waste in order to apply the resources and inputs more efficiently. For a real eco-innovative action, it is important that the gains obtained from one of the chain links are so worthwhile that all other links, as well as consumers, are also impacted by the benefits of eco-innovation.

Eco-innovation consists of developing and applying a business model molded by a new business strategy that incorporates sustainability in every business operation, based on the life cycle concept, and in cooperation with the partners of the whole value chain. (PNUMA, 2016, emphasis added. Translated by us.)


Eco-innovation is a concept with a methodology of implementation developed by UN Environment, which has been applied in several countries. In Brazil, this work is supported by SEBRAE, with the main goal of integrating small businesses into this global agenda.


The demands of consumers for sustainable products and services, the regulatory pressure to mitigate both environmental and social impacts and natural risk factors show that it is no longer possible to continue producing following the current standards, indicating the need to transform the way of doing business.
Creation of differentiated and innovative services and products;
Access to new markets, including international ones;
Increased profitability throughout the value chain;
Expansion and diversification of the target audience reached;
Collaborative relationships among participants in the value chain;
Increased productivity and technical capacity;
Reduction of environmental and social impacts;
Increased visibility of sustainability results;
Optimization of raw materials;
Knowledge of each link in the life cycle, which makes it possible to identify critical areas and potential for growth;
Holistic vision of the company;
Ease of searching for certifications for your products;
Increased security to face the challenges of sustainability;
Anticipate standards and regulations that lead the industry, broadening its image as a pioneer;
Attract investments targeted at resilient and long-term viable companies;
Increased employee engagement.

5 steps for eco-innovating

Through the five steps proposed below, you will be able to:
The secret for companies to be successful in the marketplace is to often practice the art of strategic planning”. Kotler (2000, p. 67)


You can read the publications made in partnership between Sebrae and UN
Environment to help you walk the path of eco-innovation.

Life Cycle

Understand the life cycle concept and identify opportunities throughout the value chain to reduce negative impacts and increase efficiency.


Go through the five steps to implement eco-innovation in a detailed and practical way, with tools that can be used by small business owners.


This material presents, in a summarized way, the steps of eco-innovation with tools for building a new business model.



Descubra como o Alberto mudou os rumos da sua empresa com a Ecoinovação

Ciclo de Vida

Alberto vai dar os primeiro passos para a Ecoinovação.

Revisar a estratégia

Nesse segundo passo vamos revisar as estratégias da empresa: Visão, Missão, Mercado atuante, pontos de venda e os objetivos a curto, médio e a longo prazo.

Repensando o Modelo de Negócios

Vamos pensar fora da caixa e desenhar um novo modelo de Negócio para ser mais eficiente, evitar o desperdício e aumentar a produtividade.

Traçando o Plano de Ação

É hora de colocar em prática o novo modelo de negócios com as ecoinovações.

Avaliando os Resultados

É hora de ver o que deu certo e o que precisa de ajustes.


The Sebrae Center for Sustainability, based in Cuiabá/Mato Grosso State, Brazil, works with the generation and conveyance of sustainability knowledge applied to small businesses.

It maps sustainable innovations, techniques and practices in Brazil and worldwide, formulates exclusive content and shows entrepreneurs that it is possible to be more profitable, reducing impacts on the environment and contributing to fairer and more equal social development.


UN Environment, the leading global environmental authority, is the United Nations System agency responsible for promoting environmental preservation and the efficient use of resources in the context of sustainable development.

In Brazil, it works to disseminate, among its partners and the general public, information on environmental agreements, programs, methodologies and knowledge on relevant environmental issues of both global and regional agenda, and, on the other hand, it works to promote greater participation and contribution of Brazilian specialists and institutions in international forums, initiatives and actions.


Tag3 - Desenvolvimento Digital