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Innovation complementarity and environmental productivity effects: Reality or delusion? Evidence from the EU

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  • Gilli, Marianna
  • Mancinelli, Susanna
  • Mazzanti, Massimiliano

Abstract

Innovation is a key element behind the achievement of desired environmental and economic performances. Regarding CO2, mitigation strategies would require cuts in emissions of around 80–90% with respect to 1990 by 2050 in the EU. We investigate whether complementarity, namely integration, between the adoption of environmental innovation measures and other technological and organizational innovations is a factor that has supported reduction in CO2 emissions per value added, that is environmental productivity. We merge new EU innovation and WIOD data to assess the innovation effects on sector CO2 performances at a wide EU level. We find that jointly adopting different innovations is not a widespread factor behind increases in environmental productivity. Nevertheless, even though complementarity is not a low hanging fruit, a case where ‘innovation complementarity’ arises is for manufacturing sectors that integrate eco-innovations with product innovations. One example of this integrated action is a strategy that pursues energy efficiency with product value enhancement. We believe that the lack of integrated innovation adoption behind environmental productivity performance is a signal of the current weaknesses economies face in tackling climate change and green economy challenges. Incremental rather than more radical strategies have predominated so far. The latter have been confined to industrial ‘niches’, in terms of the number of involved firms. This is probably insufficient when we look at long-term economic and environmental goals.

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  • Gilli, Marianna & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Innovation complementarity and environmental productivity effects: Reality or delusion? Evidence from the EU," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 56-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:103:y:2014:i:c:p:56-67
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.04.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianna Gilli & Giovanni Marin & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2017. "Sustainable development and industrial development: manufacturing environmental performance, technology and consumption/production perspectives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 183-203, April.
    2. Patricia Laurens & Christian Bas & Antoine Schoen & Stéphane Lhuillery, 2016. "Technological contribution of MNEs to the growth of energy-greentech sector in the early post-Kyoto period," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(2), pages 169-191, April.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:548-:d:95055 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Colombelli, Alessandra & Quatraro, Francesco, 2016. "Green startups and local knowledge bases: Newborn suppliers of energy-related technologies in Italian Provinces," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201604, University of Turin.
    5. Philippe Simon, 2016. "Regulatory and economic instruments (REI) to benefit the development of MSEs in Haiti
      [Instruments économiques et règlementaires (IER) au profit du développement des TPE en Haïti]
      ," Working Papers hal-01292918, HAL.
    6. Ghisetti, Claudia & Quatraro, Francesco, 2017. "Green Technologies and Environmental Productivity: A Cross-sectoral Analysis of Direct and Indirect Effects in Italian Regions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 1-13.
    7. Ding Weina & Marianna Gilli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2016. "Green inventions and greenhouse gas emission dynamics: a close examination of provincial Italian data," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(2), pages 247-263, April.
    8. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:21-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Aldieri, Luigi & Kotsemir, Maxim & Vinci, Concetto Paolo, 2017. "Jacobian spillovers in environmental technological proximity: the role of Mahalanobis index on European patents within the Triad," MPRA Paper 77274, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Nicolò Barbieri & Claudia Ghisetti & Marianna Gilli & Giovanni Marin & Francesco Nicolli, 2016. "A Survey Of The Literature On Environmental Innovation Based On Main Path Analysis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 596-623, July.
    11. Jason Li-Ying & Caroline Mothe & Uyen Nguyen-Thi, 2017. "Linking forms of inbound open innovation to a driver-based typology of environmental innovation: Evidence from French manufacturing firms," Post-Print hal-01695525, HAL.
    12. Antonioli, Davide & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2017. "Towards a green economy through innovations: The role of trade union involvement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 286-299.
    13. Sandro Montresor & Claudia Ghisetti & Alberto Marzucchi, 2013. "The “green-impact” of the open innovation mode. Bridging knowledge sourcing and absorptive capacity for environmental innovations," JRC Working Papers JRC83831, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    14. Davide Antonioli & Grazia Cecere, 2014. "ICT and environmental innovations in a complementary fashion. Is the joint adoption by firms economically visible?," SEEDS Working Papers 1514, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Jun 2014.

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    Keywords

    Complementarity; Innovation; Climate change; Sector performance;

    JEL classification:

    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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