Sustainable development strategies for product innovation and energy efficiency

Wolfgang Gerstlberger, Mette Præst Knudsen, Ian Stampe

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The interaction between product innovation and companies' activities aimed at improving the energy efficiency of production facilities has been relatively little studied, but is of great relevance to society and companies given the strong focus of governments on grand challenges like climate change, green innovation technologies, and environmental problems in general. This paper utilizes the 2009 European Manufacturing Survey for the Danish sub-sample including 335 manufacturing firms. Through factor analysis, this paper confirms three main areas of focus of new product development: efficiency considerations, market attention, and greening of innovation. Logistic regression analysis demonstrates that while market attention is important for the development of new products, green aspects of innovation and efficiency considerations are important for production companies wanting to improve their energy efficiency. When these models are combined, the results highlight that energy efficiency moderates the effect of market attention to new product development. This paper therefore finds that aligning product innovation and energy efficiency is a complex and intertwined process - focusing on one may have indirect detrimental effects on the other. These results point to the conclusion that researchers and practitioners in innovation management have to consider more carefully the specificities and interactions of different types of products and process innovations and their environmental implications, and must formulate new, more sustainable managerial practices combining energy efficiency and product innovation.

TidsskriftBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)131-144
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 15. feb. 2014


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