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Sustainability, innovation, and efficiency:A key relationship

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  • Schilirò, Daniele

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 needs efficiency. The efficient use of energy, 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 paper 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

  • Schilirò, Daniele, 2019. "Sustainability, innovation, and efficiency:A key relationship," MPRA Paper 96852, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:96852
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/96852/1/MPRA_paper_96852.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Rennings, Klaus & Beise, Marian, 2003. "Lead Markets of Environmental Innovations: A Framework for Innovation and Environmental Economics," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-01, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
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    4. Mayumi, Kozo & Giampietro, Mario & Gowdy, John M., 1998. "Georgescu-Roegen/Daly versus Solow/Stiglitz Revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 115-117, November.
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    6. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
    7. John Hartwick, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investment of Rents from Exhaustible Resources in a Two Sector Model," Working Paper 281, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    8. Rennings, Klaus, 2000. "Redefining innovation -- eco-innovation research and the contribution from ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 319-332, February.
    9. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainability; Innovation; Efficiency; Sustainable Development Goals; Sustainable Development Policies;

    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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