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A taxonomy of eco-innovation types in firms



Eco-innovations, or innovations which reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption activities, are generally considered key in the transition towards more sustainable economies and societies and help mitigate the traditional dichotomy between competitiveness and sustainability. There are different types of eco-innovation, but they are generally considered complementary, and all play a role in sustainable transitions. However, despite abundant research on eco-innovation, a precise conceptualization of eco-innovation types, which takes into account its multifaceted character, is missing. The aim of this paper is to provide a taxonomy of eco-innovation types which takes into account its many different features and dimensions. It draws on a survey of 197 Spanish industrial SMEs which developed or adopted an eco-innovation in the observed period. The statistical analyses (cluster analysis) reveal the existence of five eco-innovation types: systemic, externally driven, continuous improvement, radical (technology-push initiated) and eco-efficient.

Key words: Eco-innovation; Cluster Analyses, Spain, small and medium-size enterprises.


KIEFER, CHRISTOPH P. Universidad de Alcalá (UAH).

CARRILLO-HERMOSILLA, JAVIER. Universidad de Alcalá (UAH).*

DEL RÍO GONZÁLEZ, PABLO. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).

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