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Published: 2 June 2016

Over one-half of innovators reported innovations with environmental benefits

Over one-half of enterprises that adopted innovations in 2012 to 2014 reported that they had adopted innovations with environmental benefits. In manufacturing, the share was 71 per cent and in services, 50 per cent of innovations. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s survey on enterprises’ innovation activity in 2012 to 2014, which was part of an extensive EU survey.

Environmental benefits produced by innovations in 2012 to 2014, share of those that adopted innovations in 2012 to 2014

Environmental benefits produced by innovations in 2012 to 2014, share of those that adopted innovations in 2012 to 2014

Most commonly, enterprises mentioned more efficient energy use and a smaller carbon footprint as the environmental benefits produced by innovations. In practice, environmental benefits during production were reported as often as environmental benefits during end use. The main reasons for adopting innovations with environmental benefits were high energy, water or material costs, environmental regulations and improving the enterprise's reputation.

The total share of enterprises with innovation activity of the examined industries and size categories in 2012 to 2014 was 55 per cent. A majority of them had adopted innovations.

The survey’s mapping of the importance of digitalisation in enterprises’ business activity proved that digitalisation was clearly more important for enterprises that reported innovation activity than for enterprises that did not report activities related to innovation in 2012 to 2014. Of all surveyed enterprises, around one-third felt that the importance of digital products in business activity was high or moderate. The corresponding share among enterprises that reported innovation activity was 47 per cent and among other enterprises 21 per cent.

A majority of the surveyed enterprises did not feel they had utilised big data or public sector open data in the enterprise’s business activity in 2012 to 2014. Seventeen per cent of enterprises considered the importance of data use high or moderate in marketing, while, for example, 15 per cent of enterprises estimated that the use of data in managing the production process was of high or moderate importance.

The survey also asked about the prevalence of public procurement contracts and innovation activity related to their implementation. Altogether, one-third of all enterprises had procurement contracts in 2012 to 2014 to produce products for public sector organisations. Six per cent of them, or two per cent of all enterprises, reported innovation activity related to the implementation of the contracts in cases where the contract required innovations. By contrast, it was somewhat more commonplace that enterprises had innovation activity related to the implementation of the contract without the contract requiring innovation activity. This was reported by seven per cent of all enterprises.

Source: Innovation 2014, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mervi Niemi 029 551 3263, Heidi Pirkola 029 551 3246,

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Updated 2.6.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Innovation [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-4399. 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.4.2023].
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