Eco-innovations in the functioning of companies

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Abstract

The development of entrepreneurships in the 21st century cannot occur without taking care of the natural environment. The article presents issues related to eco-innovation.

Despite the opportunities offered by eco-innovations, implementation of such initiatives remains to lead to various difficulties. They vary across countries and sectors. The insufficient number of enterprises in Poland and other European countries implement adequate level of eco-innovations. The main aim of this paper is to indicate the causes of this status and activities aimed to develop eco-innovativeness. The benefits and risks connected with implementation of innovative products and technologies were also discussed.

Furthermore, the advantages of and barriers to their implementation into companies were analysed. The entrepreneurs from the least eco-innovative countries emphasize serious barriers, including uncertain demand from the market, uncertain return on investment or too long a payback period for eco-innovation, lack of funds within the enterprise, insufficient access to existing subsidies and fiscal incentive. They are especially afraid of the financial risks, which raises uncertainty and leads to refraining from innovative initiatives. The possibilities were indicated for the entrepreneurs who face problems with the implementation of innovative solutions. Particular attention was paid to the European Union activities for the development of eco-innovations. Numerous programs supporting their implementation were indicated. The article also presents examples of eco-innovation in water and sewage enterprises. It was emphasized that planning of eco-innovative solutions should be based on comprehensive information about actual benefits and possibility of threats to the environment which can be caused by implementation of eco-innovations. The study presents the example of threats resulting from different methods of sewage sludge management.

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