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Perspective: The Green Innovation Value Chain: A Tool for Evaluating the Diffusion Prospects of Green Products


  • Erik L. Olson

Address correspondence to: Erik L. Olson, BI Norwegian Business School, 0484 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: Tel: 47 46410554.


Although green products and technologies are heavily promoted by those worried about global climate change and sustainable development, they are frequently unsuccessful in displacing conventional “brown” products in numbers large enough to create meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource use. This paper introduces the green innovation value chain (GIVC) as a tool for analyzing the financial viability of green products using a multi-stakeholder perspective that includes manufacturers, distribution channels, consumers, the environment, and governments as separate links in the chain. Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, are used as an illustrative case and are found to be financially unattractive compared with conventional vehicles across the entire GIVC.