Green Certification Pressures and Sustainability Performance: From Environmental Symbolic Drivers to Process Innovation

Hung Nguyen, George Onofrei, Mohammadreza Akbari, Ying Yang, Frank Wiengarten

Research output: Book chapterChapterpeer-review


Despite the expected positive performance, findings have often been mixed with debate on green certification adoptions under various pressures. A better understanding of these pressures and associated organizational environmental and process management systems can help firms deploy resources appropriately and effectively. Many of these pressures have been referred to as symbolic adoption rather than actual implementation. Using diffusion of innovation and signaling theories, this study argues that process innovation can take an important role in facilitating sustain-able performance improvement in both actual and symbolic environmental adoptions. The empirical study from 680 manufacturers in ten different countries showed that pressures on green certification triggered process innovation and eventually enhance firms’ positioning and sustainable measures. However, pursuing green certification did not automatically guarantee all sustainable measures, especially in terms of busi-ness performance. This study found that process innovation can mediate this relation-ship to enhance business and environmental performances. Manufacturers may first see unfavorable benefits from direct implementation of green certification; however, accumulative efforts with process innovation could be paid off. Besides, the environmental symbolic drivers also facilitated the process of innovation and environmental improvement but not business measures. These results enhance the development of organizational processes to accommodate resources for sustainable green supply chain strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBusiness Innovation for the Post-pandemic Era in Vietnam
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789819915453
ISBN (Print)9789819915446
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Environmental management
  • Manufacturing
  • Process innovation


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