Keywords: environmental innovation, R&, D, regulation, users
Environmental innovation in industry: the importance of environmentally-driven users
This paper is concerned with the extent to which firms are integrating environmental considerations into their innovation process. After making some general observations on environmentally-linked technological innovations in industry, we review the results of research we have conducted in the UK. From this research, we conclude that, although such integration is indeed taking place to some extent, it is not necessarily leading to rapid environmental improvement and we identify some of the obstacles that are slowing progress. We suggest that more rapid improvement through environmental innovation is dependent on growth in the body of environmentally-driven users, a process that, to date, seems to be fertilised best by strong regulation. This would lead innovating firms to look more actively at environmental performance as a means of adding value instead of simply integrating environment into compliance checking procedures.