Keywords: sustainability, sustainable development, innovation, environmental improvement, business survey, Vienna region, Austria, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology
Aspects of sustainability in innovation processes: results from a business survey in the Vienna region, Austria
The compatibility of sustainable development and economic growth is a much discussed issue. Sustainable innovations are believed to be able to realise both objectives. This paper focuses on sustainable innovation processes in companies that have been analysed in a business survey for the Vienna region in Austria. The survey results provide an up-to-date insight into sustainable innovation activities of 302 companies. It investigated how far these companies have generated new products, technologies or services, which hold environmental and social effects and support sustainable development. An especially interesting question was whether sustainability aspects are intended goals within the innovation processes and what kind of motivation they are aimed at. The results illustrate that certain key factors have to be in place to direct innovation processes towards sustainability. Commercial advantages and legal requirements were revealed to be the most important reasons assigned by companies for integrating sustainability aspects in innovation projects.