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Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations

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  • Mazzanti, Massimiliano
  • Zoboli, Roberto

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Zoboli, Roberto, 2006. "Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations," Climate Change Modelling and Policy Working Papers 12041, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemcc:12041
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.12041
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/12041/files/wp060020.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vanessa Oltra, 2008. "Environmental innovation and industrial dynamics: the contributions of evolutionary economics," Post-Print hal-00391493, HAL.
    2. 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 (GREThA).
    3. Horbach, Jens & Rammer, Christian & Rennings, Klaus, 2012. "Determinants of eco-innovations by type of environmental impact — The role of regulatory push/pull, technology push and market pull," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 112-122.
    4. repec:prp:uppmos:978-961-7023-53-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Giovanni Marin & Alberto Marzucchi & Roberto Zoboli, 2015. "SMEs and barriers to Eco-innovation in the EU: exploring different firm profiles," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 671-705, July.
    6. Faria, Lourenço Galvão Diniz & Andersen, Maj Munch, 2017. "Sectoral patterns versus firm-level heterogeneity - The dynamics of eco-innovation strategies in the automotive sector," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 266-281.
    7. Alexandra Rese & Anke Kutschke & Daniel Baier, 2016. "Analyzing The Relative Influence Of Supply Side, Demand Side And Regulatory Factors On The Success Of Collaborative Energy Innovation Projects," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(02), pages 1-43, February.
    8. Sanni, Maruf, 2018. "Drivers of eco-innovation in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 303-314.
    9. 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.
    10. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2009. "Energy, Development and the Environment: An Appraisal Three Decades After the ‘Limits to Growth’ Debate," Chapters, in: Andreas Pyka & Uwe Cantner & Alfred Greiner & Thomas Kuhn (ed.), Recent Advances in Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Jens Horbach, 2014. "Determinants of Eco-innovation from a European-wide Perspective - an Analysis based on the Community Innovation Survey (CIS)," SEEDS Working Papers 0714, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Apr 2014.
    12. Giovanni Marin & Alberto Marzucchi & Roberto Zoboli, 2014. "SMEs and Barriers to Eco-Innovation in EU: A Diverse Palette of Greens," SEEDS Working Papers 0614, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Apr 2014.
    13. Jens Horbach & Vanessa Oltra & Jean Belin, 2013. "Determinants and Specificities of Eco-Innovations Compared to Other Innovations--An Econometric Analysis for the French and German Industry Based on the Community Innovation Survey-super-1," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(6), pages 523-543, August.
    14. Doran, Justin & Ryan, Geraldine, 2012. "Regulation and Firm Perception, Eco-Innovation and Firm Performance," MPRA Paper 44578, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. repec:eee:enepol:v:117:y:2018:i:c:p:434-444 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Horbach, Jens, 2008. "Determinants of environmental innovation--New evidence from German panel data sources," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 163-173, February.
    17. Kemp, René & Pontoglio, Serena, 2011. "The innovation effects of environmental policy instruments — A typical case of the blind men and the elephant?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 28-36.
    18. Peñasco, Cristina & del Río, Pablo & Romero-Jordán, Desiderio, 2017. "Analysing the Role of International Drivers for Eco-innovators," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 56-71.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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