IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Growing Business of Mitigating Ecological Footprints

Listed author(s):
  • Aurélia L. Durand
  • Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné

Over the past decades, polluting firms and government bodies have come to rely increasingly on specialized suppliers for the necessary goods, technologies and services that would alleviate their environmental footprint. These suppliers now form a large and growing industry, the so-called eco-industry', which currently matches the aerospace and pharmaceutical sectors in size. So far, the interface between cleantech sellers and buyers has been mostly overlooked in the academic literature. As a result, its underlying dynamics and potential for value-creation and a better environmental performance are still poorly understood. This conceptual paper first offers an overview of the eco-industry's history and outlines its scope, recent development and growth potential. It then builds upon current knowledge in innovation economics and relationship marketing to analyze the evolving interactions between polluters and their cleantech suppliers towards value co-creation. Current barriers to this trend are next highlighted, the implications for public policy and business strategy are discussed, and some future research avenues are finally outlined. Au cours des dernières décennies, nombre de firmes polluantes et d'agences gouvernementales se sont mises à avoir recours à des fournisseurs spécialisés pour obtenir les produits et services nécessaires à la réduction de leur empreinte écologique. Ces fournisseurs constituent maintenant une industrie vaste et en pleine croissance, dont la taille est actuellement comparable à celle des secteurs aéronautique ou pharmaceutique. Jusqu'à présent, toutefois, l'interface entre vendeurs et acheteurs de technologies propres a été largement ignorée dans la littérature académique. On comprend donc encore mal la dynamique sous-jacente de cette interaction, par conséquent son potentiel à créer de valeur tout en améliorant l'utilisation des ressources environnementales. Cet article propose d'abord un bref aperçu de l'histoire de l'éco-industrie, de son périmètre, de son développement récent et de ses perspectives de croissance. A la lumière de certains faits stylisés et des connaissances actuelles en économie de l'innovation et en marketing relationnel, nous analysons ensuite comment l'interaction entre les entreprises polluantes et leurs fournisseurs de technologies propres pourrait les amener à co-créer de la valeur. Nous mettons en évidence certains obstacles à cet état de chose, présentons leurs implications pour la politique publique et la stratégie d'entreprise, et esquissons finalement quelques avenues de recherche qui nous apparaissent prioritaires.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2012s-07.

in new window

Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2012s-07
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1130 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, suite 1400, Montréal, Quéc, H3A 2M8

Phone: (514) 985-4000
Fax: (514) 985-4039
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2012s-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.