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Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations

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  • Massimiliano Mazzanti

    (University of Ferrara)

  • Roberto Zoboli

    (CERIS-CNR)

Abstract

Technological innovation is a key factor for achieving a better environmental performance of firms and the economy as a whole, to the extent that it helps to increase the material/energy efficiency of production processes and to reduce emission/effluents associated to outputs. Environmental innovation may spur from exogenous driving forces, like policy intervention, and/or from endogenous factors associated to firm market and management strategies. Despite the crucial importance of research in this field, empirical evidence at firm microeconomic level, for various reasons, is still scarce. Microeconomic-based analysis is needed in order to assess what forces are lying behind environmental innovation at the level of the firm, where innovative practices emerge and are adopted. The paper exploits information deriving from two surveys conducted on a sample of manufacturing firms in Emilia Romagna region -Northern Italy- in 2002 and 2004, located in a district-intense local production system. New evidence is provided by testing a set of hypotheses, concerning the influence of: (i) firm structural variables; (ii) environmental R&D; (iii) environmental policy pressure and regulatory costs; (iv) past firm performances; (v) networking activities, (vi) other non-environmental techno-organizational innovations and (vii) quality/nature of industrial relations. We estimate input and output-based environmental innovation reduced form specifications in order to test the set of hypotheses. The applied investigation shows that environmental innovation drivers, both at input and output level, are found within exogenous factors and endogenous elements concerning the firm and its activities/strategies within and outside its natural boundaries. In the present case study, the usual structural characteristics of the firm and performances appear to matter less than R&D, induced costs, networking, organisational flatness and innovative oriented industrial relations. Environmental Policies and environmental voluntary auditing schemes exert some relevant direct and indirect effects on innovation, although evidence is mixed and further research is particularly needed. Although this new empirical evidence is focussing on a specific industrial territory, we provide food for discussion on firm environmental innovation strategies, and research suggestions for further empirical work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2006.20.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.20

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Keywords: Environmental innovation; Environmental R&D; Manufacturing sector; Local system; Environmental policy; Networking;

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References

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  1. Michael Grubb & David Ulph, 2002. "Energy, the Environment, and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 92-106, Spring.
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  21. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2005. "Economic Instruments and Induced Innovation: The Case of End-of-Life Vehicles European Policies," Working Papers 2005.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  22. Hoffmann, Esther & Ankele, Kathrin & Ziegler, Andreas & Rennings, Klaus & Nill, Jan, 2003. "The Influence of the EU Environmental Management and Auditing Scheme on Environmental Innovations and Competitiveness in Germany: An Analysis on the Basis of Case Studies and a Large-Scale Survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-14, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2006. "Energy, Development, and the Environment: An Appraisal Three Decades After the "Limits to Growth" Debate," LEM Papers Series 2006/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  2. Doran, Justin & Ryan, Geraldine, 2012. "Regulation and Firm Perception, Eco-Innovation and Firm Performance," MPRA Paper 44578, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. del Río González, Pablo, 2009. "The empirical analysis of the determinants for environmental technological change: A research agenda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 861-878, January.
  4. Vanessa OLTRA (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2008. "Environmental innovation and industrial dynamics: the contributions of evolutionary economics," Cahiers du GREThA 2008-28, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  5. Vanessa OLTRA & Maïder SAINT JEAN, 2009. "Environmental Innovations and Industrial Dynamics (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2009-22, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  6. Wilfried Ehrenfeld, 2012. "Towards a Theory of Climate Innovation - A Model Framework for Analyzing Drivers and Determinants," IWH Discussion Papers 1, Halle Institute for Economic Research.

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