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Non-Public Bulk Consumers as Drivers of Eco-Innovations and Demand Side Related Innovation Policy

The central goal of this report is to develop a potential strategy to involve bulk consumers as procurers of eco-innovations and to support the diffusion. This study is embedded in the overall context of welfare optimization through eco-innovations for the society as a whole.

The report is divided into six chapters. First, the background of the project and the context of a demand-side eco-innovation policy are described. Subsequently, an overview on bulk consumers in Germany is provided which was created by a detailed literature analysis. Hereby, terms and definitions are clarified as well as important bulk consumers are put into order according to several product groups and their relevance/potential strategic importance. The following chapter introduces 30 eco-innovations which could possibly be interesting for the preliminarily identified bulk consumers and are then rated by experts. Furthermore, six case studies of existing eco-innovations, 19 expert interviews and an intensive literature analysis have been carried out. These approached resulted in an overview of supporting and hindering demand-side related factors for the diffusion of eco-innovations and an overview of environmental policy tools and measures.

Based on the previous analyses, three out of 30 eco-innovations were selected and within the framework of three workshops activation potentials for, interests of and problems of bulk consumers to use these eco-innovations were investigated. The study concludes that the approach to win bulk consumers for the demand-side of eco-innovations seems promising, but that it is only possible to make first exploratory claims what this strategic approach might mean for environmental policy. Finally, some concrete proposals to activate bulk consumers are elaborated.