Title: Environmental technology and management in Dutch horticulture

Authors: Arno J. Van Der Vlist, Henk Folmer

Addresses: Economic Research Institute E.I.B., PO Box 58248, 1040 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. ' Department of Economic Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 72, 9700 AB Groningen, The Netherlands; Wageningen University, 6700 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands

Abstract: An important strategy for a firm to improve its environmental performance is adoption of environmentally friendly technology. However, technology switching is often hampered by high investments costs. If the environmental friendly technology would also lead to an increase in technical efficiency firms might more easily decide to switch technology. However, the empirical evidence for improved technical efficiency is still very scarce. In this article, we analyse technical performance under different environmental regimes in a sample of small and medium sized enterprises in Dutch horticulture. Some firms use traditional technology while others use modern technology. The latter is more environmentally friendly than the former in terms of use of energy and water. We apply a stochastic production frontier framework to analyse the impacts of environmental technologies on technical efficiency. The data is obtained from a stratified sample of Dutch greenhouse firms included in the so-called Farm Accountancy Data Network and the LEI Innovation monitor. The main result is that new, environmentally friendly technology improves technical efficiency.

Keywords: environmental technology; Dutch horticulture; innovation; stochastic modelling; production frontier modelling; technical efficiency; environmental management; The Netherlands; environmental performance; greenhouse firms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETM.2009.027195

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.11 No.1/2/3, pp.207 - 217

Published online: 17 Jul 2009 *

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