Do sustainability investments pay off? The influence of sustainable process innovation in manufacturing firms in the Netherlands, on firms’ total production costs.

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a global trend involving corporations, states, international organisations and civil society organisations (Sahlin-Andersson, 2006). Nowadays, climate change and sustainability are the order of the day. People become aware of the consequences of their own behaviour, as effect on the environment. With the ‘National Climate Agreement’ the Dutch government wants to combat climate change by focusing on emission reduction and on sustainability, throughout the whole society. By making agreements with different sectors, including the manufacturing industry, they hope to achieve the national climate goals. They encourage sustainable energy generation and energy savings by different measures (Netherlands, 2019). The main goal of this research is to explore if investing in energy-saving technologies, hereafter referred to as ‘sustainable process innovation’ does have an effect on the total production costs of an organisation. While in many publications a positive effect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on performance is assumed, there is no empirically proven evidence that this positive effect always exists. By analysing the results of the European Manufacturing Survey (EMS) of Dutch manufacturing firms, the researcher aims to answer the following question: “Do investments in sustainable process innovation, in manufacturing firms in the Netherlands, pay off?”. The result is expressed in the total production costs.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen