We present here a new eco-efficiency process-improvement method to highlight combined environmental and costs hotspots of the production process of new material at a very early development stage. Production-specific and scaled-up results for life cycle assessment (LCA) and production costs are combined in a new analysis to identify synergetic improvement potentials and trade-offs, setting goals for the eco-design of new processes. The identified hotspots and bottlenecks will help users to focus on the relevant steps for improvements from an eco-efficiency perspective and potentially reduce their associated environmental impacts and production costs. Our method is illustrated with a case study of nanocellulose. The results indicate that the production route should start with carrot pomace, use heat and solvent recovery, and deactivate the enzymes with bleach instead of heat. To further improve the process, the results show that focus should be laid on the carrier polymer, sodium alginate, and the production of the GripX coating. Overall, the method shows that the underlying LCA scale-up framework is valuable for purposes beyond conventional LCA studies and is applicable at a very early stage to provide researchers with a better understanding of their production process.