Defining green innovation

Numerous definitions of green innovation (or closely related terms) exist. The following list presents selected definitions in chronological order (i.e. not sorted by its relevance or the number of citations). For full citation details, please see my paper Schiederig, Tietze, Herstatt (2012):

‘the creation or implementation of new, or significantly improved, products (goods and services), processes, marketing methods, organisational structures and institutional arrangements which – with or without intent – lead to environmental improvements compared to relevant alternatives’ (OECD, 2009)

‘a new concept of great importance to business and policy makers. It is about innovations with lower environmental impact than relevant alternatives. The innovations may be technological or non-technological (organizational, institutional or marketing-based). Eco-innovations can be motivated by economic or environmental considerations. The former includes objectives to reduce resource, pollution control, or waste management costs, or to sell into the world market for eco-products’ (Arundel and Kemp, 2009)

‘as innovations that consist of new or modified processes, practices, systems and products which benefit the environment and so contribute to environmental sustainability’ (Oltra and Saint Jean, 2009)

‘the creation of novel and competitively priced goods, processes, systems, services, and procedures that can satisfy human needs and bring quality of life to all people with a life-cycle-wide minimal use of natural resources (material including energy carriers, and surface area) per unit output, and a minimal release of toxic substances’ (Reid and Miedzinski, 2008)

‘as innovations which are able to attract green rents on the market. (. . .) the concept is closely related to   competitiveness and makes no claim on the “greenness” of various innovations. The focus of eco-innovation   research should be on the degree to which environmental issues are becoming integrated into the economic process’ (Andersen, 2008)

‘the production, assimilation or exploitation of a product, production process, service or management or business method that is novel to the organisation (developing or adopting it) and which results, throughout its life cycle, in a reduction of environmental risk, pollution and other negative impacts of resources use (including energy use) compared to relevant alternatives’ (Kemp and Pearson, 2007)

‘hardware or software innovation that is related to green products or processes, including the innovation in   technologies that are involved in energy-saving, pollution-prevention, waste recycling, green product designs, or corporate environmental management’ (Chen et al., 2006)

‘does not have to be developed with the goal of reducing the environmental burden. (. . .) It does however, yield significant environmental benefits’ (Driessen and Hillebrand, 2002)

‘new products and processes which provide customer and business value but significantly decrease environmental impacts’ (Fussler and James, 1996)