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Open AccessArticle

Classification of Sustainable Activities: EU Taxonomy and Scientific Literature

Department of Management, Università Politecnica Delle Marche, Piazzale R. Martelli 8, 60121 Ancona, Italy
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Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6460; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166460
Received: 16 July 2020 / Revised: 6 August 2020 / Accepted: 7 August 2020 / Published: 11 August 2020
In March 2020, the European Commission published the EU Taxonomy, a classification system of economic activities that can be considered environmentally sustainable. Motivated by this policy initiative, we propose a bibliometric analysis, based on the Web of Science database for the period January 1990–March 2020, regarding the extant scientific production related to the EU Taxonomy environmental objectives and macro-sectors. We find that a considerable number of scientific works—161,595 publications—have investigated Taxonomy-related areas, showing that the EU Taxonomy defined a working method, based on the cooperation among regulators, academics, and industry, representing a valuable example of evidence-based policy making. Furthermore, topic modelling analysis shows that extracted papers focused on improvements in production processes, innovation, and environmental performance. Thus, exploiting time and geographic patterns of the scientific publications, we perform a multivariate analysis to investigate its relationship with subsequent levels of pollution. Our evidence shows that, for the past, a higher level of EU Taxonomy-related publications is associated with a lower level of CO2 emissions, supporting the view that scientific production has a societal impact in terms of environmental sustainability. Accordingly, now that EU Taxonomy-related topics have been incorporated into policy measures, further positive environmental effects are expected from here on out. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable economic activities; environmental objectives; Taxonomy; sustainable finance; carbon emissions sustainable economic activities; environmental objectives; Taxonomy; sustainable finance; carbon emissions
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Lucarelli, C.; Mazzoli, C.; Rancan, M.; Severini, S. Classification of Sustainable Activities: EU Taxonomy and Scientific Literature. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6460.

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