The Swedish innovation system for sustainable transitions – Insights from innovation output data

Nya Fest Session 3: Sustainability and energy transitions in economic and business history organized by Mattias Näsman and Josef Taalbi


Josef Taalbi, Philipp Jonas Kreutzer


This study makes use of historical emission statistics and a database on Swedish innovations, 1970-2019 to investigate the historical evolution and current state of Sweden’s innovation system for environmental sustainability. Departing from environmental innovations identified in the database, we identify trends in innovation and technology-driven CO2 abatement across industries. Moreover, we use innovation networks and Input-Output analysis to trace the influence of systemic network stimulus for innovation and abatement outcomes. The results suggest that technological innovation has had an important role to play in CO2 emissions reduction, and that there has been an intensified rate of environmental innovation from the 1970s, and in recent years. The results point to the automotive and pulp and paper industries as leaders in environmental innovation and CO2 emissions abatement, while the Swedish innovations system for sustainability also has significant bottlenecks in parts of the transportation sector.


No PDF available.