Analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on environmental innovations in manufacturing firms
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the manufacturing industry, and manufacturers have responded to the crisis in different ways. This study investigates Norwegian manufacturers’ response to the crisis, particularly how it has influenced their adoption of environmental innovations. More specifically, the study investigates whether firms choose “general” or “green” strategic responses to the crisis and how this influences the overall adoption of environmental innovations. In addition, the study investigates how the degree of environmental innovation adoption occurring before COVID-19 affects how the crisis impacted firms. The study adopts a quantitative research approach using survey data from 526 manufacturing firms—a representative sample of manufacturers in Norway. The findings reveal that those manufacturers the most environmentally innovative before COVID-19 were more impacted by the crisis. Moreover, firms adopted both general and green responses to the crisis, and the overall conduction of environmental innovations decreased during the pandemic. The main contribution is the empirical findings related to the overall impact of COVID-19 on sustainability-oriented manufacturing. The implications are discussed for both theory and practice.