Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 471–486 | Cite as

Mainstreaming Green Product Innovation: Why and How Companies Integrate Environmental Sustainability

Article

Abstract

Green product innovation has been recognized as one of the key factors to achieve growth, environmental sustainability, and a better quality of life. Understanding green product innovation as a result of interaction between innovation and sustainability has become a strategic priority for theory and practice. This article investigates green product innovation by means of a multiple case study analysis of 12 small to medium size manufacturing companies based in Italy and Canada. First, we propose a conceptual framework that presents three key environmental dimensions of green product innovation such as energy minimization, materials reduction, and pollution prevention as identified in the life cycle phases of products. Based on insights gained from in-depth interviews, we discuss firms’ motivations to develop green products, environmental policies and targets for products, different dimensions of green product innovation, and challenges faced during developing and marketing of green products. Results from the study are then synthesized and integrated in a toolbox that sheds light on various aspects of green product innovation and provides solutions to challenges and risks that are faced by firms. Finally, implications for managers, academia and public policy makers are discussed.

Key words

environmental sustainability green product innovation life cycle analysis manufacturing firms Italy Canada multiple case studies 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Dr. Ashish Pujari gratefully acknowledges the support of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant (Grant No. 410-2005-1952) for conducting this research.

References

  1. Aragon-Correa, J. A. and S. Sharma: 2003, ‘A contingent resource-based view of proactive corporate environmental strategy’, Academy of Management Review 28(1), 71-88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bansal, P. and K. Roth: 2000, ‘Why companies go green: A model of ecological responsiveness’, Academy of Management Journal 43(4), 717-748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baumann, H., F. Boons and A. Bragd: 2002, ‘Mapping the green product development field: engineering, policy and business perspectives’, Journal of Cleaner Production 10(5), 409-425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berchicci, L. and W. Bodewes: 2005, ‘Bridging Environmental Issues with New Product Development’, Business Strategy and the Environment 14(5), 272–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger, I. E., P. H. Cunningham and M. E. Drumwright: 2007, ‘Mainstreaming Corporate Social Responsibility: Developing Markets for Virtue’, California Management Review 49(4), 132-157.Google Scholar
  6. Chen, C.: 2001, ‘Design for environment: a quality-based model for green product development’, Management Science 47(2), 250-263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, Y. S., S. B. Lai and C. T. Wen: 2006, ‘The Influence of Green Innovation Performance on Corporate Advantage in Taiwan’, Journal of Business Ethics 67(4), 331–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chung, Y. and C. Tsai: 2007, ‘The Effect of Green Design Activities on New Product Strategies and Performance: An Empirical Study among High-tech Companies’, International Journal of Management 24(2), 276-288.Google Scholar
  9. Dyllick, T. and K. Hockerts: 2002, ‘Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability’, Business Strategy and the Environment 11(2), 130-141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisenhardt, K.M.: 1989, ‘Building Theories from Case Study Research’, Academy of Management Review 14(4), 532-550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fraj-Andre’s, E., E. Martinez-Salinas and J. Matute-Vallejo: 2008, ‘A Multidimensional Approach to the Influence of Environmental Marketing and Orientation on the Firm’s Organizational Performance’, Journal of Business Ethics (published on-line October 2008).Google Scholar
  12. Gauthier, C.: 2005, ‘Measuring Corporate Social and Environmental Performance: The Extended Life-Cycle Assessment’, Journal of Business Ethics 59(1/2): 199-206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. González-Benito, J. and O. González-Benito: 2006, ‘A Review of Determinant Factors of Environmental Proactivity’, Business Strategy and the Environment 15(2), 87–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Greenbiz: 2009, ‘Green Product Trends: More Launches, More Sales’, on line available at: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2009/04/24/green-product-trends. Last accessed on 30 June 2009.
  15. Hall, J. and H. Vredenburg: 2003, ‘The Challenges of Innovating for Sustainable Development’, MIT Sloan Management Review Fall, 61–68.Google Scholar
  16. Hellström, T.: 2007, ‘Dimensions of Environmentally Sustainable Innovation: the Structure of Eco-Innovation Concepts’. Sustainable Development 15(3), 148–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kaplan, S.: 1999, ‘Discontinuous innovation and the growth paradox’, Strategy & Leadership 27(2), 16–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kassaye, W. W. and D. Verma: 1992, ‘Balancing traditional packaging functions with the new ‘green’ packaging concerns’, SAM Advanced Management Journal 57(4), 15-29.Google Scholar
  19. McKinsey & Company: 2008, ‘How Companies Think About Climate Change: A McKinsey Global Survey’, The McKinsey Quarterly February.Google Scholar
  20. Miles, M. and M. Huberman: 1994, Qualitative Data Analysis, (Sage, London, UK).Google Scholar
  21. Miles, M. P. and L. S. Munilla: 1993, ‘The eco-orientation: an emerging business philosophy’, Marketing Theory and Practices 1(2), 43–51.Google Scholar
  22. Miles, M. P. and J. G. Covin: 2000, ‘Environmental Marketing: A Source of Reputational, Competitive, and Financial Advantage’, Journal of Business Ethics 23(3), 299-311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ottman, J. A., E. R. Stafford and C. L. Hartman: 2006, ‘Green Marketing Myopia’, Environment 48(5), 22-36.Google Scholar
  24. Ottman, J. A. (1997) Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation. NTC/Contemporary Books, Lincolnwood, IL.Google Scholar
  25. Patton, M. Q.: 1990, Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods, 2nd ed., (Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA).Google Scholar
  26. Peattie, K.: 1992, Green Marketing, (Pitman Publishing, London, UK), pp. 64–78.Google Scholar
  27. Peattie, K.: 1995, Environmental marketing management: meeting the green challenge, (Pitman publishing, London, UK).Google Scholar
  28. Porter, M. and F. L. Reinhardt: 2007, ‘A Strategic Approach to Climate’, Harvard Business Review 85(10), 22-26.Google Scholar
  29. Porter, M. and C. van der Linde: 1995, ‘Green and Competitive: Ending the Stalemate’, Harvard Business Review September–October, 120–133.Google Scholar
  30. Pujari, D., K. Peattie and G. Wright: 2004, ‘Organizational Antecedents of Environmental Responsiveness in Industrial New Product Development’, Industrial Marketing Management 33(5), 381-391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pujari, D., G. Wright and K. Peattie: 2003, ‘Green and competitive. Influences on environmental new product development performance’, Journal of Business Research 56(8), 657-671.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pujari, D.: 2006, ‘Eco-innovation and new product development: understanding the influences on market performance’, Technovation 26(1), 76-85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rehfeld, K-M., K. Rennings and A. Ziegler: 2007, ‘Integrated product policy and environmental product innovations: an empirical analysis’, Ecological Economics 61(1), 91-100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Roy, R., D. Wield, J. P. Gardiner and S. Potter: 1996, Innovative Product Development, (The Open University, Milton Keynes).Google Scholar
  35. Seale, C.: 2000, The Quality of Qualitative Research, (Sage, London, UK).Google Scholar
  36. Sharma, S. and H. Vredenburg: 1998, ‘Proactive corporate environmental strategy and the development of competitively valuable organizational capabilities’, Strategic Management Journal 19(8), 729-753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shrivastava, P.: 1995, ‘Environmental Technologies and Competitive Advantage’, Strategic Management Journal 16 (summer): 183–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sterling, S.: 2008, ‘Momentum Builds for Sustainable Packaging’, Packaging World Magazine February, 60.Google Scholar
  39. Van de Ven, A. H., D. E., Polley, R. Garud and S. Venkataraman: 1999, The innovation journey, (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  40. Yin, R. K.: 1981, ‘The Case Study Crisis: Some Answers’, Administrative Science Quarterly 26(1), 58-65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yin, R. K.: 1989, Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Revised Edition (Sage, Beverly Hills, CA).Google Scholar
  42. Yin, R. K.: 2003, Applications of case study research, Second Edition, (Sage, London, UK).Google Scholar
  43. York, J. (2009) Pragmatic Sustainability: Translating Environmental Ethics into Competitive Advantage. Journal of Business Ethics 85(1), 97–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Management EngineeringPolitecnico di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.DeGroote School of BusinessMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations