Enterprises are increasingly required to improve their environmental performances. The adoption of environmental innovations (EIs) is believed a way to achieve this goal. So a flourishing debate about the determinants supporting investment in EIs arose. Researchers have thus far paid attention mainly to established manufacturing firms operating in traditional sectors. Hence, scientific literature recommends deepening the behavior of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of the role they play in the productive systems in many Western countries. With this in mind, this study investigates a probabilistic sample of 222 innovative SMEs using the partial least squares and importance–performance map analysis in order to identify the factors affecting their propensity to invest in EIs. Findings show that the propensity results are affected by the firms' environmental awareness, company staff, and capabilities, among the internal factors, whereas among the external ones, the propensity is affected by norms and regulations. An important role is also played by the hope to improve their economic and environmental performances. Monetary and fiscal incentives reveal not to be significant. Consequently, policies should firstly propose an appropriate mix of regulations and stimuli following two directions: a compliance direction to more stringent regulations and rules to be followed through the imposition of penalties and a cultural direction aiming at improving environmental awareness of SMEs about the desirability of pursuing EIs for both ethical and economic reasons, given the potential benefits associated with such innovations.

Determinants of environmental innovations supporting small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises sustainable development

Carfora, Alfonso;Scandurra, Giuseppe;Thomas, Antonio
2021

Abstract

Enterprises are increasingly required to improve their environmental performances. The adoption of environmental innovations (EIs) is believed a way to achieve this goal. So a flourishing debate about the determinants supporting investment in EIs arose. Researchers have thus far paid attention mainly to established manufacturing firms operating in traditional sectors. Hence, scientific literature recommends deepening the behavior of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of the role they play in the productive systems in many Western countries. With this in mind, this study investigates a probabilistic sample of 222 innovative SMEs using the partial least squares and importance–performance map analysis in order to identify the factors affecting their propensity to invest in EIs. Findings show that the propensity results are affected by the firms' environmental awareness, company staff, and capabilities, among the internal factors, whereas among the external ones, the propensity is affected by norms and regulations. An important role is also played by the hope to improve their economic and environmental performances. Monetary and fiscal incentives reveal not to be significant. Consequently, policies should firstly propose an appropriate mix of regulations and stimuli following two directions: a compliance direction to more stringent regulations and rules to be followed through the imposition of penalties and a cultural direction aiming at improving environmental awareness of SMEs about the desirability of pursuing EIs for both ethical and economic reasons, given the potential benefits associated with such innovations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/92257
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