New challenges and Opportunities for green industry development


Overview of special issue

Industrialization accompanied by the industrial revolution and technological innovation has been the main driving force behind the economic growth and dramatic increases in living standards seen in the past two hundred years, while the natural environment has paid the price for such progress. Energy unsustainability and climate variability, as well as environmental pollution, are major threats to the sustainable development of the economy and society, especially in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The call for the development of the green industry has become a consensus among the academic, political, and business fields. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has launched the green industry development initiative, and defined the Green Industry as “economies striving for a more sustainable pathway of growth, by undertaking green public investments and implementing public policy initiatives that encourage environmentally responsible private investments”. It contains two main components, which are the greening of existing industry, and the creation of new green industries, meaning that we need not only to improve industrial production processes and resource efficient productivity through policy making and regulation, but also to establish new green industries through emerging green technologies and green services.

Although green industry has drawn much attention and has significantly improved, yet the research framework for this is neither systematic nor comprehensive. Literature from different disciplines offers diverse but fragmented perspectives on green industry and sustainable development. For instance, the environmental economics literature attempts to understand the impact of the resource endowments of the green economy on sustainable development from the perspectives of industrial structure and regional trade. The corporate strategy literature emphasizes the impact of the external institutional environment and corporate governance on sustainable strategies and the contribution of green industry development. The innovation policy literature focuses on understanding how transformative innovation policies address the challenges of sustainable societies. The engineering literature expects to reduce the environmental burden and enhance the capacities of clean production and sustainable production through technological upgrades in new energy, materials and chemicals. Therefore, this gives us a great opportunity to understand the green industry and sustainable development more comprehensively and fill the research gaps through cross fertilization among multiple disciplines. This special issue not only seeks high-quality submissions that provide significant contributions, whether theoretical or empirical, to favor a better understanding of the green industry and sustainable development through a multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and multilevel perspective, but also encourage authors to provide policy makers and entrepreneurs with more practical implications and suggestions.



Greening of industries

Sustainable strategies

Sustainable development goals

Environmental technologies

Clean production

Green energy and green power

Environmental policy and technological change

Carbon emissions peak and neutrality


Important Dates:

Submission window opens: 20th October 2021


Submission window closes: 15th February 2022