Are Eco-Innovations a Key Element for Green Growth?
Purpose: In the recent decade, the so-called green growth (GG) concept has made a significant contribution to many-years’ debate on sustainable development (SD). One of its key pillars is eco-innovation (EI), however little information is available on whether and to what extent eco-innovation can be actually perceived as a significant factor for implementing green growth. For this reason, the aim of this paper is to clarify and synthesise findings at the intersection of these two fields: eco-innovation and the green growth processes. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper provides a special insight into the relationship between EI and GG incorporating the spatial dimension into analysis. The empirical part is based on the sample of 21 European countries. Findings: The rests of spatial panel models show that there exist positive effects of investing in eco-innovations on green growth. However, these results involve strong nonlinearities and threshold effects. The obtained results shed a new light on the uncovering relevant aspects and complexities of eco-innovations and green growth. Practical Implications: These results suggest that the policy-makers should mainly focus on stimulating the companies to introduce eco-innovations aiming at a reduction of material input and energy per unit output as well as an improvement of eco-management practices. Government incentives for green technology and organizational solutions may include a combination of subsidies and tax incentives. Originality/Value: This study is the first one which includes different measures of eco-innovations and relates them to the green growth process. These measures allow us portray the countries’ eco-innovation efforts from input, process, and output perspectives.