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Eco-innovation practices in the brazilian ceramic tile industry: The case of the Santa Gertrudes and Criciúma clusters

Vieira de Souza, William Jeferson, Scur, Gabriela, Hilsdorf, Wilson de Castro
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.199 pp. 1007-1019
audits, business enterprises, ceramics, developing countries, environmental impact, industry, laws and regulations, markets, particulate emissions, sustainable technology, Brazil
Researchers and companies have presented a growing interest in eco-innovation. From an academic perspective, it is necessary to increase the number of studies performed in developing countries. Furthermore, the way in which a company can integrate innovation and sustainability into its industrial activities remains an open topic. In the ceramic tile industry, several environmental impacts can be generated throughout the production chain. This paper aims to identify how practices of eco-innovation have been implemented by ceramic tile producers of Santa Gertrudes, São Paulo State, and Criciúma, Santa Catarina State in Brazil, clusters that are responsible for approximately 80% of Brazilian production. The results show that most eco-innovations implemented are incremental and that process and product eco-innovations are consolidated in both clusters. This evidence shows that the clusters face unexplored opportunities for structuring organizational actions that may help companies organize their efforts towards sustainability. Another finding is that eco-innovation deployment in Brazilian ceramic clusters is mainly driven by specific legislation (e.g., particulate matter emissions) and market requirements (e.g., retailer audits).