Research papers

Towards a comprehensive development of eco-innovation indicators in forestry sector: an application in the Italian Alps


The concept of “eco-innovation” has been increasingly used in environmental policy to analyze an innovation system taking into account social, ecological and economic pillars of sustainability. The aim of this study is to develop a set of eco-innovation indicators suitable to analyze the forest-wood chain at local level. The study was structured in three steps: literature review on eco-innovation indicators; defining a set of eco-innovation indicators suitable for the forestry sector; testing of eco-innovation indicators in a pilot area (Province of Trento, Italy). Eight indicators and sixteen sub-indicators suitable for the forestry sector were identified. The eco-innovation indicators were quantified using official statistics and new data collected by administering a questionnaire to 114 forest-wood chain actors. The results show an average efficiency of the timber processing and a medium-high level of enhancement of the wood residues generated by production process. Conversely, the level of collaboration between actors of forest-wood chain and institutional actors (universities, research institutes, R&D agencies) could be improved with the aim of increasing the diffusion of eco-innovation knowledge and information. The eco-innovation indicators developed by this study emphasize environmental impacts and negative externalities of innovation process in the forestry sector.


green innovation; environmental innovation; performance indicators; forest-wood supply chain

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