Promotion of Environmental Technology Export Governmental Initiatives and Business Concepts
Sammanfattning: This qualitative and quantitative study examines governmental initiatives and business concepts as approaches to promote the export of environmental technology. Here, environmental technology refers to technologies (products, services, organizational models, and large-scaled technical systems) whose development and use actually provide or intends to provide a better environmental performance than their relevant alternatives from a life cycle perspective. Using literature reviews, surveys and interviews, this thesis collects primary and secondary data from national government level, private Swedish environmental technology firms and Swedish municipality-owned firms.Three main research questions guide this thesis. These questions address how different governments in selected countries promote the export of environmental technologies and how private Swedish environmental technology firms perceive the effectiveness of governmental export promotion initiatives in realising export. In a complementary view, the thesis focuses on fundamental components of business concepts for export of environmental technologies by municipality-owned companies. These three units of analysis (i.e. – governmental initiatives, private companies and municipality-owned companies) are influenced by the characteristics of the environmental technology sector in Sweden.The main results from the study suggest three conclusions. First, governmental initiatives intended to promote the export of environmental technology are largely similar to approaches that intend to promote the export of “conventional” technology. These initiatives can be categorised as: financial aid programs, information programs, education and training programs, and trade mobility related programs. When it comes to perceived effectiveness of governmental promotion initiatives by private firms, results indicate that firms that accessed more than one type of governmental promotion, particularly those including financial support, perceived governmental promotion as contributing to realising export. For municipality-owned companies exporting environmental technology, the thesis proposes seven fundamental components of a business concept as: market (including regulation), finance, resources, activities, partnership (private-public partnership), ownership and responsibility, and legitimacy. Among these factors, regulation, public-private partnership, and legitimacy are particular to environmental technologies.These results suggest a dynamic balance between generic and tailored export promotion initiatives for environmental technology exporters, with much attention to program implementation as is given to program content formulation. The components proposed for municipality export opens up a potentially new research trajectory on environmentally conscious design that considers technological as well as non-technological changes based on large-scaled environmental technology systems for system-wide environmental improvements.
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