Handbook of Sustainable Innovation
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Handbook of Sustainable Innovation

Edited by Frank Boons and Andrew McMeekin

The Handbook of Sustainable Innovation maps the multiple lineages of research and understanding that constitute academic work on how technological change relates to sustainable practices of production and consumption. Leading academics contribute by mapping the general evolution of this academic field, our understanding of sustainable innovation at the firm, user, and systems level, the governance of sustainable innovation, and the methodological approaches used. The Handbook explores the distinctiveness of sustainable innovation and concludes with suggestions for generating future research avenues that exploit the current diversity of work while seeking increased systemic insight.
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Chapter 4: Determinants of eco-innovation at the firm level

Jens Horbach


A large and growing literature on the determinants of eco-innovations has emerged. Despite different databases of surveys or patents and geographical backgrounds, common main stylized facts can be observed. Environmental regulations and cost -savings are important motivations for the introduction of eco-innovations. Environmental management systems improve the information basis on environmentally related issues within the firms and thus their eco-innovation performance. The demand pull hypothesis also holds for eco-innovations. Compared to other innovations, external information sources seem to be more important for eco-innovations. After a thorough discussion of the concept of eco-innovation in the context of the sustainability literature, the chapter summarizes the main research on the theoretical and empirical determinants of eco-innovation. The focus lies on econometric analyses at the firm level.

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