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Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti

    (University of Ferrara)

  • Roberto Zoboli

    (CERIS-CNR)

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.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2006.20.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.20
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  1. Requate, Till, 2005. "Dynamic incentives by environmental policy instruments--a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 175-195, August.
  2. Michael Grubb & David Ulph, 2002. "Energy, the Environment, and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 92-106, Spring.
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  5. Mohnen, Pierre & Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 2005. "Complementarities in innovation policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1431-1450, August.
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  8. Frondel, Manuel & Horbach, Jens & Rennings, Klaus, 2008. "What triggers environmental management and innovation? Empirical evidence for Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 153-160, May.
  9. Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Did the Clean Air Act Cause the Remarkable Decline in Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations?," Working Papers 0407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  10. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2010. "Environmental Innovation, War Of Attrition And Investment Grants," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(01), pages 37-59.
  11. Armin Schmutzler, 2001. "Environmental Regulations and Managerial Myopia," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 87-100, January.
  12. Doonan, Julie & Lanoie, Paul & Laplante, Benoit, 2005. "Determinants of environmental performance in the Canadian pulp and paper industry: An assessment from inside the industry," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 73-84, October.
  13. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Brunnermeier, Smita B. & Cohen, Mark A., 2003. "Determinants of environmental innovation in US manufacturing industries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 278-293, March.
  15. Aggeri, Franck, 1999. "Environmental policies and innovation: A knowledge-based perspective on cooperative approaches," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 699-717, September.
  16. Wulong Gu & Jianmin Tang, 2004. "Link between innovation and productivity in Canadian manufacturing industries," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 671-686.
  17. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Giulio Cainelli & Susanna Mancinelli, 2005. "Social Capital, R&D and Industrial Districts," Working Papers 2005.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  18. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
  19. Antonioli Davide & Mazzanti Massimiliano & Pini Paolo & Tortia Ermanno C., 2004. "Adoption of Techno-Organizational Innovations, and Industrial Relations in Manifacturing Firms: An Analysis for Local Industrial System," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 11-52.
  20. Hoffmann, Esther & Ankele, Kathrin & Ziegler, Andreas & Rennings, Klaus & Nill, Jan, 2003. "The Influence of the EU Environmental Management and Auditing Scheme on Environmental Innovations and Competitiveness in Germany: An Analysis on the Basis of Case Studies and a Large-Scale Survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-14, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  23. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2005. "Economic Instruments and Induced Innovation: The Case of End-of-Life Vehicles European Policies," Working Papers 2005.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  24. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521477185 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  26. Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Zoboli, Roberto, 2006. "Economic instruments and induced innovation: The European policies on end-of-life vehicles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 318-337, June.
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