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Sustainability, Innovation, and Efficiency: A Key Relationship

In: Financing Sustainable Development

Author

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  • Daniele Schilirò

    (University of Messina)

Abstract

Sustainability has become the emerging goal for countries, companies, and people. Sustainability usually refers to the need to develop models necessary for both human beings and our planet to survive. However, sustainability is not a short-term problem; it is above all a long-term issue, posing intergenerational equity problems. Moreover, sustainability requires efficiency. The efficient use of energy and of natural, material, and informational resources is vital for sustainability and sustainable development, which should be the major goal of every country, as established in Rio in 1992, and reaffirmed at Rio+20 in 2012. But any strategy aiming at sustainability and efficient use of resources must focus on innovation and technological progress. Consequently, innovation is fundamental to making sustainability possible and improving efficiency. Yet innovation for sustainability must be environmentally friendly (e.g., green technologies). The principle behind such a strategy is better instead of more. This chapter aims at highlighting the key relationship among sustainability, innovation, and efficiency. First, it examines the concept of sustainability, looking at the neoclassical literature on sustainability and its relationship with innovation. Then, it analyzes different theoretical approaches and discusses the policy issues for sustainability where innovation, natural capital, human capital, population, and institutions are fundamental factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Schilirò, 2019. "Sustainability, Innovation, and Efficiency: A Key Relationship," Palgrave Studies in Impact Finance, in: Magdalena Ziolo & Bruno S. Sergi (ed.), Financing Sustainable Development, chapter 0, pages 83-102, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:psifcp:978-3-030-16522-2_4
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-16522-2_4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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