1. bookVolume 27 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2018
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Ecolabnet service packages as a response to the needs of manufacturing enterprises in the SME sector of the Baltic Sea Region

Published Online: 20 Nov 2021
Page range: 265 - 271
Received: 15 Jul 2021
Accepted: 24 Sep 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2018
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Nowadays, the competitiveness of the economy, which is determined to a large extent by the innovative activities of enterprises and institutions, is of great importance for economic development. An important type of innovation is eco-innovations. Eco-innovations are currently a very timely topic undertaken by researchers, but also an important element of the activities of many companies. As a network of service providers for eco-innovations in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises, ECOLABNET fits perfectly in this trend. It aims to support, enable and empower companies to undertake sustainable eco-innovation activities in the Baltic Sea Region and beyond. The aim of this publication is to present the results of research on the eco-innovation needs of SME enterprises of the Baltic Sea countries and potential collaboration in this field with external entities. The services developed as packages of eco-innovation services in Ecolabnet that can meet the identified needs were indicated. The survey was conducted between March and May 2019 and covered SMEs in six countries: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. The subjects of the study were manufacturing companies that improve their products or services. The aim of the research was to gain an understanding of the needs and challenges related to eco-innovation in the context of sustainable development, to identify the future eco-innovation needs of manufacturing SMEs and collaborations with external actors, and to determine how and through which services the Ecolabnet can meet these needs and contribute to the growth of the enterprise. The manufacturing enterprises in this survey were motivated to eco-innovate. However, they lack knowledge on eco-innovation in its broadest sense, and therefore, urgently need the help of external experts, business partners, and networks in this area. The survey covered three areas: Business, Development, and Technology/Production. Business topic areas that entrepreneurs placed a high emphasis on were: branding and communication, supplier relations, customer insights and financial aspects. Within the needs in terms of development put most emphasis on product design, process development, bio-based materials and biodegradable materials. In the last category of identified needs Technology/Production respondents indicated increasing process efficiency, energy optimization and material efficiency. The research results also indicate that product design as well as branding and communication are urgent needs in the field of external expertise. Of the potential needs, the respondents also indicated customer insights, other alternative materials, business models, value chain assessment, and service design.

Keywords

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