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Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations

Author

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  • Massimiliano Mazzanti

    (University of Ferrara)

  • Roberto Zoboli

    (CERIS-CNR)

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

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2006. "Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations," Working Papers 2006.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vanessa OLTRA (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2008. "Environmental innovation and industrial dynamics: the contributions of evolutionary economics," Cahiers du GREThA 2008-28, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    2. 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.
    3. Doran, Justin & Ryan, Geraldine, 2012. "Regulation and Firm Perception, Eco-Innovation and Firm Performance," MPRA Paper 44578, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. 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.
    5. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2009. "Energy, Development and the Environment: An Appraisal Three Decades After the ‘Limits to Growth’ Debate," Chapters,in: Recent Advances in Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. 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.
    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. repec:prp:uppmos:978-961-7023-53-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Horbach, Jens, 2008. "Determinants of environmental innovation--New evidence from German panel data sources," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 163-173, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental innovation; Environmental R&D; Manufacturing sector; Local system; Environmental policy; Networking;

    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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