Broadening to sustainability the perspective of industrial decision-makers on the energy efficiency measures adoption: some empirical evidence

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Energy Efficiency, 2018, 11 (5), pp. 1193 - 1210
Issue Date:
2018-06-01
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© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature. The industry should take further efforts towards increased energy efficiency, that is a major contributor to improve industrial sustainability performance, by implementing energy efficiency measures (EEMs). However, the rate of adoption of these measures is still quite low. Hitherto, EEMs and barriers to their adoption have been evaluated almost exclusively from the viewpoint of energy efficiency decision-makers, not accounting for the broader sustainability perspective. This work aims at understanding whether an industrial sustainability perspective can better address issues related to EEMs adoption, analyzing the question through different viewpoints and insights offered by industrial decision-makers of different industrial sustainability areas within a firm. By doing this, we aim at offering a contribution in the understanding of the low rate of adoption of EEMs. As case studies, we investigated 12 firms from Northern Italy. In comparison to previous literature, results show that an industrial sustainability perspective can better explain the real decision-making process of adopting an EEM. Indeed, people knowledgeable about different industrial sustainability areas may perceive different barriers about the same EEM. EEMs may be negatively affected by reasons related to other areas of industrial sustainability, while positive reciprocal impacts may exist among areas of industrial sustainability; thus, EEMs may have effects on areas other than energy efficiency, and these effects may be perceived only by such areas. The study concludes with some remarks for policy and industrial decision-makers and advice for further research.
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