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Is Innovation a Driver of Sustainability? An Analysis from a Spanish Region

Author

Listed:
  • Alicia Llorca-Ponce

    (Departamento de Organización de Empresas, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain)

  • Gregorio Rius-Sorolla

    (Departamento de Organización de Empresas, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain)

  • Francisco J. Ferreiro-Seoane

    (Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Santiago Compostela, Avda. Ángel Echeverri, s/n, Campus Vida, 15782 Santiago Compostela, Spain)

Abstract

1. Background. It is well-known that innovation contributes to economic growth, improves productivity and enables competitive advantage. However, beyond these matters, it would be of interest to know what role innovation plays in relation to sustainability. This paper focuses on whether innovation is a driver of sustainability in its three dimensions: social, economic and environmental. 2. Methods. The study was conducted with companies in the Valencian community (Spain) to analyze whether they significantly contribute to sustainability as innovators. Economical sustainability was assessed based on economic and financial profitability; social sustainability was assessed by employment generation. To determine whether companies contributed to environmental sustainability, we considered those which, apart from a reputation (“label”) in innovation, had some kind of environmental certification. 3. Results. Our results indicate that innovative companies are more profitable and generate more employment. However, there are no differences in terms of performance and employment generation between innovative companies and those that are also environmentally sensitive. 4. Conclusion. Innovation is a driving force of economic and social sustainability in the studied area, but environmental sensitivity is not a driver for economic and social sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Alicia Llorca-Ponce & Gregorio Rius-Sorolla & Francisco J. Ferreiro-Seoane, 2021. "Is Innovation a Driver of Sustainability? An Analysis from a Spanish Region," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(16), pages 1-30, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:16:p:9286-:d:616920
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    References listed on IDEAS

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