Title
Transition towards sustainable material innovation : evidence and evaluation of the Flemish case
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Publication type
article
Publication
Science citation index ,
Subject
Sociology
Chemistry
Biology
Source (journal)
Journal of cleaner production / Masson. - Science citation index
Volume/pages
56(2013) , p. 63-72
ISSN
0959-6526
ISI
000324352300007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
In this article, we focus on testimonies on recent sustainable material innovations in 15 Flemish production firms. We look at evidence of transition towards sustainable material innovation, considering: (1) how material innovation can improve the sustainability of products and processes with respect to people, planet and profit and (2) what are stimulating and hindering factors met when adopting sustainable material innovation. Trends observed from assessing the sustainability features of the individual material innovation cases are presented in 3P evaluation grids. A meta-analysis of the testimonies considers drivers and barriers for sustainable material innovation on the level of technological niches, socio-technical regimes and socio-technical landscapes, referring to the multi-level perspective used in transition literature. It was found that the interplay between these levels has been key in all the assessed cases. Stimulated by the increasing scarcity and rising prices of raw materials, a growing eco-sensitivity among their customers, and the downright need for economic survival, production companies turn to look for more innovative ways of using materials in order to arrive at more sustainable products and production processes. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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