Keywords: clean technology, environmental innovation, environmental R&, D, research and development, technological paradigms, technological trajectories, volatile organic compounds, VOC emissions, chemical industry, metallurgical industry, sustainable development
Environmental innovation and clean technology: an evolutionary framework
This paper provides a framework for the analysis of clean technology which covers the factors inducing, stimulating and constraining environmental innovations of firms. Such a framework relies on recent empirical and theoretical contributions to environmental innovations. The representation of clean technology draws from several industrial case studies on the reduction of the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the chemical and the metallurgical industries. Our conceptual background is based on the theoretical analysis of innovation put forward by evolutionary thinking. We provide an interpretation of clean technology in terms of trajectories guided by environmental innovations within the boundaries of particular paradigms. Such interpretation enables us to emphasise the sources of impediments to the adoption of clean technology and to underscore some policy implications.