ul. Zagórska 48
Change is a phenomenon accompanying human beings within every single aspect of their activity. Continuous growth of all elements of social and economic life of humankind has led to the situation in which change has become the one and only constant element of contemporary life.1 Changes are especially important in the process of conducting business activity as the continuous development of science alongside the increase of globalisation force businesspeople to adjust to the occurring changes on a constant basis. Yet this process guarantees neither growth nor competitive advantage to companies, both of which constitute the basis of organisation’s existence in the conditions of free market economy. In order to provide itself with growth and competitive advantage a company needs to create reality, and one of the elements enabling a company to reach this goal is the implementation of innovations within every aspect of the performed business activity.
Among numerous innovations to be implemented by companies within the conducted business activities ecological innovations deserve special attention as their importance continues to grow. As environmental protection is becoming one of the main issues troubling today’s world it is vital for all and every changes and novelties introduced onto the market to be eco-friendly in their characteristics.
The ecological trend and new concepts of performance of business activity such as sustainable growth or social responsibility of business are also important in relation to the implementation of eco-innovations inside companies. Implication of eco-friendly innovations considerably influences the image of a company and goods it offers, hence eco-innovations are more and more frequently becoming a crucial element of development strategy of companies2.
In compliance with OEEC terminology an eco-innovation is a new or considerably improved product, process, management method or organisation structure which leads to reduction of pollution in comparison with alternative solutions.3. Thus eco-innovation constitutes a combination of innovation and ecology whose implementation results in the decrease or total elimination of environmental degradation. In case of companies the benefits from implementation of eco-innovations are naturally the financial aspects connected mostly with the reduction of production or logistics costs, increase of market share through the creation of eco-friendly image of the company and reduction of expenditures related to environmental fees.
Companies may implement one of the four basic types of eco-innovations which include:4
The most desired eco-innovations are those related to products and processes due to the fact that their implementation brings the largest profits both to the company and to environment.
1. M. Brojak – Trzaskowska, Determinants of innovative growth of companies illustrated by selected types of services, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego, Szczecin 2012, p. 7.
2. B. Lapreche, D. Uzunidis, Eco-Innovation, Knowledge Capital and Evolution of the Firm, The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. X No. 3, 2012, p. 30.
3. Eco-Innovation In Industry Enabling Green Growth, OECD, 2009, p. 40.
4. Ibidem, p. 41.