Class 207, FEA-5
Adviser: Prof. Dr. Roberto Sbragia
Comission: Profs. Drs. Felipe Mendes Borini, Isak Kruglianskas, Diógenes de Souza Bido e Cláudia Terezinha Kniess
The adoption of environmentally sustainable technology routes is a sound strategy for companies that want to maintain or improve their market positions and contribute to the prevention and adaptation to global climate change. In this perspective, this study evaluated the influence of cooperation in R & D and of eco-innovations on the socioeconomic performance of 221 manufacturers of electric and electronic products. The theories of Gaia, Holism and the evolutionary theory of innovation predominantly guided the study. Data were collected in 2017 and processed via SmartPLS®3. Through the Structural Equation Modeling technique, the conceptual model of the study was validated with 99% reliability, showing that the cooperation in R & D and the eco-innovations satisfactorily explained the socioeconomic performance of the companies surveyed in 51.3%. Three hypotheses have proved that cooperation in R & D with technological partners positively influenced the introduction of product eco-innovations, process eco-innovations and organizational eco-innovations in the companies investigated. Two hypotheses have shown that product eco-innovations and organizational eco-innovations have positively influenced the companies’ socioeconomic performance. An unproven hypothesis showed that process eco-innovation has not positively influenced the companies’ socioeconomic performance. From the eco-innovation attributes, three have not been statistically validated: the simplification of packaging, the simplification of construction and the energy efficiency of developed products. Although the non-validated attributes demonstrate technological backwardness of the electrical and electronic products, there is a predominance of an environmentally sustainable technological route in companies, which is a visible competitive edge. The implications of this study are noteworthy from the emerging paradigms of the circular economy and of the green economy. If cooperation in R & D and eco-innovations have enabled satisfactory socioeconomic outcomes, in companies which are distinct users of minerals and electricity, then it falls down the paradigm of polluting innovation that ignores that natural resources are finite. It is clear that the Triple Bottom Line paradigm, which considers the balance between the environmental, social and economic dimensions, has a viable basis for the industry of the third millennium. Companies have the responsibility to anchor technological change at every link in their value chains, since the extraction of raw materials from nature up to the education of consumers for the conscious use and disposal of products. It is possible to suggest that not correcting the technological route based on the economic paradigm of excesses on the world's resources can be qualified as a harmful corporate responsibility to the Planet. In addition, polluter-based industries and value chains seem to be doomed to disappear. The results of this study are restricted to the sample of industries investigated in Brazil. Studies investigating eco-innovation and gains in reputation and longevity have potential for future research. Other themes emerge in symbiosis and industrial biomimetics, eco-innovation systems in Smart Cities, social eco-innovation, marketing eco-innovation and eco-innovations in Industry 4.0.
*Abstract provided by the author