Sustainable innovation at a company level drives economic, environmental and social improvement at a national level. Recent evidence has shown that businesses have increased the managerial attention and investments dedicated to sustainability. This paper aims to identify the most important drivers supporting companies to develop innovation activities oriented towards making the business models more sustainable. We explore microdata from the 2016 Innobarometer “EU Business Innovation Trends” (Flash Eurobarometer 433), covering 8635 companies from 29 countries. Using statistical classification methods, we identify the most important factors that are related to innovation activities that have the potential to shape the efficiency of raw material usage and environmental protection. The most relevant factors emphasized by our analysis are: innovation performance of the country (innovation), percentage of the company turnover invested in innovation activities, percentage of total turnover invested in acquisition of machines, equipment, software or licenses, percentage of total turnover invested in company reputation and branding, including web design, percentage of total turnover invested in software development.. Also, our analysis highlights the skills that are needed the most by companies in order to support their innovation activities targeting sustainability. Our results are useful for better understanding the attention that is given to sustainability by innovative companies, and what the main factors that boost innovation dedicated to sustainability are.
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