Sustainability Transitions in Established Industries: The case of European Commercial Transport Vehicles
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
With the increasing trends in trade of goods and services as well as the expansion of road infrastructure and networks, commercial road transport has dominated a significant share of inland and urban logistics in the world and particularly in Europe. This includes not only the basic supply of citizens’ needs through long-haul traffic and short-distance city trucks but also by providing urban services such as courier delivery, household waste pickup and refuse collection as well as passengers movements by public bus transport and inter-city coach transit.
Meanwhile, concerns over air quality problems and environmental sustainability of road transportation have soared up as more and more vehicles travelled on fossil fuels resulting in more pollution, particularly in dense urban areas. The problem is not only limited to the air pollution and adverse health effects caused by exhaust gas emissions, but also dependency on fossil fuels as non-renewable sources of energy and as a major contributor to global warming and climate change over the long time.
Having said that, the purpose of this thesis is to provide an understanding that could be helpful in envisioning sustainability transitions in an established industry setting which is dominated by a very few number of incumbent firms who retain majority of the market share as well as current technological paradigm which mainly determines the choice of technological solutions in this field.
Study results suggest that sustainability transitions can be envisaged through evolutionary processes that include both technological and institutional change at the same time. Regarding technological change, the role of incumbent firms must be considered as important sources of knowledge, skills, experience as well as R&D investment capital and the pool of critical human expertise that would otherwise remain unexploited if their competences were not effectively absorbed in synergies for sustainability transitions. This is termed as regime-driven transformation in this study.
Meanwhile, continuous landscape pressure have to be maintained through effective regulatory frameworks that govern further reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions and to engage incumbents in a collectively shared envisioning of sustainability transitions. This can be enabled by bringing back the role of institutions as an alternative (complementary) entry point to the existing literature on sociotechnical transitions. In doing so, the predominant notion of institutions as the rigid and static structures that constrain innovation is questioned. Instead, it is suggested that institutions can provide resources and structures for actors to engage and for technologies to advance and thus to facilitate long-term sustainability transitions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 86 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1707
Sociotechnical transitions, Multilevel Perspective, System Innovations, Environmental Innovation, Systems of Innovation, Institutions, Environmental policy, Environmental regulation
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Environmental Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114399ISBN: 978-91-7519-130-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-114399DiVA: diva2:789773
2015-02-26, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Coenen, Lars, Docent
Magnusson, Thomas, Associate Professor
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