The Greening Dutchman: Philips' Process of Green Flagging to Drive Sustainable Innovations

Marlen Gabriele Arnold, Kai Hockerts

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Sustainability innovation research often focuses on the interrelation and the interaction of influencing factors and actors while neglecting the importance of firm internal initiatives. Based on a longitudinal case study of the Dutch company Royal Philips Electronics, we develop the concept of ‘green flagging’ as a groundbreaking corporate sustainability innovation strategy. This paper describes how Philips uses this approach in its Green Flagship Program (GFP). Philips' GFP is particularly interesting since it sets specific targets across all its business units, thus driving the integration of sustainability innovation into its core business. This study suggests that the impact of sustainability innovations can be improved by focusing on sustainability as an explicit goal as well as processes and projects instead of merely concentrating on content and structure. We discuss the possibilities and limitations of these findings for theory and research on sustainability innovation strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)394–407
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Corporate Sustainability
    • Intra-Company Initiatives
    • Sustainability Innovation Ecopreneurship

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