Environmental Technology and Innovation Drivers and Policy Measures

Summary notes from the NMRIPP Conference, Copenhagen, 2–3 September 2008

image of Environmental Technology and Innovation Drivers and Policy Measures

This report compiles summary notes of the NMRIPP Conference on "Environmental Technology and Innovation - Drivers and Policy Measures", held from 2-3 September 2008 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The NMRIPP Conference was held as a concluding event of the Green Market and Clean Technologies (GMTC) project. Starting in 2006, the GMTC project has been conducted by four Nordic research institutions and was funded by the former Nordic Council of Ministers Working Group for Integrated Product Policy (NMRIPP), today called the working group for Sustainable Consumption and Production (HKP). The overall aim of the GMTC project has been to provide analysis of the ways in which the development and diffusion of environmental technologies can be enhanced. Key publications originating from the GMTC project include three sector reports covering (1) the building sector, (2) the pulp and paper sector, and (3) the mobile phone sector, as well as one synthesis report outlining investigations and lessons in sector specific and general environment and innovation policy for cleaner technologies. The purpose of the 2008 NMRIPP Conference was to present and discuss Nordic and global experiences on drivers and challenges for environmental innovations in different sectors and to discuss the role and implications of public policy to facilitate environmental technology and innovation. Approximately 70 participants representing Nordic governmental, business and research organisations attended the conference. This report summarizes the presentations and open discussions of the NMRIPP Conference and should be used for better understanding of relevant problems as well as opportunities.



Policy recommendations

A general conclusion from the conference discussions is that the principals and functioning of markets for greener technologies/eco-design do not fundamentally differ from markets for “conventional” technologies. For the majority of consumers price and functionality are likely to remain the dominant parameters in their buying decisions. Only a limited segment of the market is likely to pay a premium for environmentally advantageous products, unless the product does also offer other functional benefits over a “conventional product / technology”. Least-life cycle cost thinking is still insufficiently practiced in many markets, especially among private consumers.


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