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Eco-innovation: Definition, Measurement and Open Research Issues

Rene Kemp

Economia politica, 2010, issue 3, 397-420

Abstract: The article looks into eco-innovation as a concept that supersedes the older concept of environmental technology. The analytical basis of eco-innovation is under construction, there is no commonly agreed definition. For most people eco-innovation is another term for innovation for the environment, and includes environmental-beneficial innovations who are not environmentally motivated. The article offers a typology of eco-innovation developed in a project for the European Commission, examines indicators for measurement and offers suggestions for measurement. Push and pull mechanisms for different types of eco-innovations are discussed, before turning to a discussion on patterns in eco-innovation. The article presents data that illustrates the shift towards cleaner products and continuing importance of end-of-pipe solutions, and discusses national differences in eco-innovation use, lead market issues, and the growing attention to system innovation. A conclusion of the article is that the statistical basis is still poor and needs to be augmented, something for which the article offers recommendations.

Date: 2010
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