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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 682; doi:10.3390/su8080682

Drivers for the Adoption of Eco-Innovations in the German Fertilizer Supply Chain

1
University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Am Krümpel 31, Osnabrück 49090, Germany
2
Management Studies Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen 6706 KN, The Netherlands
3
Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 174, Bonn 53115, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Beatriz Junquera
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-innovation and Competitiveness)
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Abstract

Use of fertilizers has enabled a massive increase in crop production yields. However, this has come with severe negative externalities (e.g., greenhouse gas emission; eutrophication of non-agricultural ecosystems). Eco-innovations are one option to reduce the environmental impact of fertilizers without compromising fertilizer productivity. Although numerous eco-innovations in the domain of fertilizers are available, they have not yet seen a sufficient adoption rate. In this paper we explore main drivers for adoption of eco-innovations in the German fertilizer supply chain based on empirical investigations at three levels of the fertilizer supply chain: producers, traders, and farmers. We strive to take a “chain perspective” on environmental concerns and knowledge of fertilizer specific eco-innovations. The study was carried out in two steps: initially we conducted exploratory expert interviews with eight actors of the fertilizer supply chain. The statements generated thereby fed into a questionnaire answered by 57 participants stemming from fertilizer production (n = 12), traders (n = 34) and farmers (n = 11) level. Findings suggest that drivers for eco-innovations are perceived differently by the various actors in the fertilizer supply chain. Overall knowledge on eco-innovations decreases downstream the chain. By taking a chain perspective on the adoption of eco-innovation, our paper contributes to the emerging body of literature on drivers for eco-innovation, and also maps out managerial implications of fostering the implementation of eco-innovations in the fertilizer supply chain. View Full-Text
Keywords: innovation adoption; innovation network; knowledge exchange; innovation system thinking innovation adoption; innovation network; knowledge exchange; innovation system thinking
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Hasler, K.; Olfs, H.-W.; Omta, O.; Bröring, S. Drivers for the Adoption of Eco-Innovations in the German Fertilizer Supply Chain. Sustainability 2016, 8, 682.

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