Huber, Joseph
New Technologies and Environmental Innovation

Book cover of "New Technologies and Environmental Innovation"

In this insightful book, Joseph Huber investigates the life cycle analysis of technological and environmental innovations (TEIs). TEIs are new technologies, products and practices which have benign environmental effects and which can increase eco-efficiency. More importantly, they can also improve “metabolic consistency”, thus laying the foundations for a sustainable industrial ecology.

The author studies a large number of TEIs from a variety of diverse fields including energy, agriculture, chemistry, biotechnology, materials reprocessing, construction, vehicles and consumer goods. He finds that TEIs can offer real and sustainable solutions to almost all of today’s environmental problems. However, for this to happen the author calls for a paradigm shift from “downstream” to “upstream” in the manufacturing chain and technologies’ life cycles, and a corresponding shift in environmental policy from command-and-control regulation to coordinated innovation.

By combining the sustainability approaches of “sufficiency” and “eco-efficiency” with the concept of “metabolic consistency”, this book opens up new horizons for ecological modernisation. It will prove valuable reading for academics and students of the social and technical sciences with an interest in environmental technology. Researchers and practitioners of industrial innovation will also gain useful insights, as will policymakers and environmental analysts in government, businesses and NGOs.

Joseph Huber is the Chair of Economic and Environmental Sociology at the Martin-Luther-University, Halle, Germany.

“Joseph Huber’s book contains a wealth of information on technological environmental innovations. The scrutiny of this material leads to powerful conclusions, with which scholars should concern themselves. Highly recommended.”
– Rend Kemp, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

“This timely and impressive volume brings technology back into the centre of discussions and debates on environmental reform. In articulating an ecological modernisation perspective, Joseph Huber presents an inspiring, optimistic and at times provocative assessment of the potential and suture role of radical technological innovations in greening production-consumption cycles.”
– Arthur P.J. Mol, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Huber, Joseph :
New Technologies and Environmental Innovation. –
Cheltenham : Edward Elgar, 2004. –
384 pp, Hardback

Technological innovations / Economic aspects ;
Technological innovations / Environmental aspects ;
Green technology / Technological innovations ;
New products / Environmental aspects ;
Product life cycle / Environmental aspects ;
Industrial ecology


Part I: Technological Environmental Innovations (TEIs)
1. Introduction: Upstreaming Environmental Action
2. TEIs in Discourse Context
3. Environmental Innovation Discussed in More Detail
4. Trends and Visions of TEIs
5. Conclusions: Upstreaming Environmental Policy
Part II: Innovation Life Cycle Analysis
6. Innovation: Definitions and Distinctions
7. The Innovation Life Cycle
8. Selective Dynamics: Connectivity and Timeliness
9. Interactive Dynamics: Cooperation and Competition
10. Location Matters: Regional Clusters and National Innovation Systems
Systematics of Technological Environmental Innovations

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Prof. Dr. Joseph Huber

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Soziologie
Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 26–27
D-06108 Halle (Saale)

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Soziologie
D-06099 Halle (Saale)