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Über dieses Buch

This book covers a highly relevant but clearly under-researched topic - the impact of environmental innovations on employment on the fmn level. While the impact of innovations on employment has been analysed empirically in several studies, only few studies have specifically analysed innovations which are environmentally beneficial. In this book, we present case studies and an in-depth analysis of the behaviour of more than 1,500 fmns that have recently introduced environmental innovations in five European countries (Germany, United King­ dom, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland). The data stem from identical telephone interviews carried out simultaneously in these countries. The interviews were especially designed for analysing the relationship between environmental innova­ tion and employment on the firm-level. On the basis of an econometric model we find which factors lead to positive and which factors lead to negative employment effects in the wake of environmental innovations. Product and service innovations create more jobs in contrast to process innova­ tions. Employment changes only occur in the wake of major innovations. When innovations are mainly motivated by environmental concerns, they tend not to have employment effects. Eco-innovations aiming at cost reduction reduce employment. If the innovation is motivated by market share considerations, employment may change in both directions. We detect skill biased technological change of eco­ innovations, because the share of highly qualified employees has a positive impact on employment increases, while it is insignificant for employment decreases.



The Synthesis Report


Employment impacts of cleaner production: theory, methodology and results

In Europe, the protection of the environment has become an important business goal. Given the continuing high level of unemployment, the question arises whether further efforts for cleaner production may lead to a change in unemployment and if so, under which conditions. Both politicians and scientists search for strategies which help to further enhance the quality of the environment and at the same time increase employment (Bovenberg and van der Ploeg, 1994,Goodstein, 1995).
Matteo Bartolomeo, René Kemp, Klaus Rennings, Thomas Zwick

Case Studies



The effects on employment of eco-innovations are examined using windows as a case study. Depending on the life cycle of the item under investigation, the employment effects during the various stages of production, installation, repair and disposal of a window are to be examined.
Mathias Binswanger, Daniel Schulthess


The topical questions related to recycling have recently been formulated by the EU-Commission: “Recycling is not only an environmental priority but is also intrinsically profitable in an increasing number of applications, thanks to energy-savings and economies in materials and of other types which recycling permits compared with traditional processes. It is vital, therefore, that the framework conditions (Chrw(133)) do not hinder the development of these activities and on the contrary, that Community action takes due account of the economic and job creation potential of recycling activities” (European Commission, 1998: 1). However, the EU-Commission recognises that recycling, especially the recycling of steel scrap and non-ferrous metals, has existed for a long time and experience shows that “in all cases, the growth of the traditional recycling industries has encountered limitations sooner rather than later, depending on the different materials concerned, in the fort of insufficient demand, precarious and, for the most part, not very competitive market structures and of unbalanced competition from virgin raw materials” (ibidem). Increasing awareness of the environment, political regulation of waste management, and growing demand on the part of society for recycled products have, however, helped to boost a renaissance of recycling not only as an instrument to attain long-term environmental objectives but also as an “example of the complementary character of industrial development and environmental protection” (ibidem).
Suhita Osório-Peters


Environmental impacts linked to the production, distribution and consumption of energy are definitely significant. In particular, the consumption of non renewable fossil fuels is responsible of both resource depletion, emissions and global warm­ing. The concern for the sustainability of human activity has driven the research to the revaluation of renewable resources and less polluting energy carriers. The use of biomass for energy (electricity or heat) has been considered as a valid alterna­tive to coal or oil, particularly with the new technological development allowing a significant reduction of emissions and a raise in efficiency of energy conversion.
Andrea Marsanich


This chapter offers an overview of the employment effects of four types of biotechnology for industrial production and agriculture. Employment effects and environmental effects are assessed at varying points of the value chain (from extraction, cultivation, processing, use, and waste management after use) but the focus is on employment effects at the point of production of the biotechnology and during its use.
Anthony Arundel, Ivo Demandt, René Kemp

Financial services

This case study will examine the case of ‘green’ loans, discussing the possible employment effects that they may give rise to. This will be done using the IMPRESS approach discussed in more detail below. In order to give context to the case-study there will be a brief discussion of the nature of innovation in services in general, and in financial services in particular.
Neville Reeve, Steven Glynn

National Survey Results


The Swiss survey

The basis of the investigation is a sample of 201 Swiss firms. About 76% of these firms have between 50 and 199 employees, 24% have more than 200 employees. It was further determined that 75% of the firms are located in German-speaking Switzerland, 21% are located in French-speaking and 4% in Italian-speaking Switzerland.
Najib Harabi, Annette Jochem

The German survey

The basis of the investigation is a sample of 401 firms. About 78% of these firms have between 50 and 399 employees, 22% have more than 200 employees.
Klaus Rennings, Thomas Zwick

The Dutch survey

The survey seeks to determine the employment and skills consequences of seven categories of environmental innovation for the innovating company and how such effects are related to factors such as the motivation for innovating (cost reduction, compliance with environmental regulations and so on) and to company and market characteristics (the basis for competition).
Anthony Arundel, Leann Chervenic-Poeth, René Kemp

The UK survey

The UK sample consists of 400 firms selected to reflect the UK economy as a whole — with the proviso that only firms with more than 50 employees were considered. The sample was selected using Dun & Bradstreet Marketplace Tool Ver 2. — October 1999. In realising the proposed sample, there were problems in obtaining sufficient interviews with, in particular, small service firms. Hence the use of a weighted share, to bring the achieved sample back into line with the originally planned sample, and make comparisons with other surveys more feasible.
Steven Glynn

The Italian survey

The universe of Italian establishments has been derived from data collected by Istituto Nazionale di Statistics (ISTAT, the National Statistical Office) through the Censirnento Intermedio dell’lndustria e dci Servizi (Intermediary Census on Industry and Services) that has been recently published. The definition of the sample has been implemented with reference to the structure of industry and service sectors as they were at December 3lst 1996.
Matteo Bartolomeo, Rita Canu


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