WS5: Transformative Change for a Green Industry: Nordic Experiences and Challenges

Publicerad: 8 oktober 2018


Patrik Söderholm, Luleå University of Technology (

Hans Hellsmark, Chalmers University of Technology (

Johanna Mossberg, RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden (

The literature has devoted increased attention to so-called sustainability transitions, which refer to the long-term transformation processes that shift established socio-technical systems (e.g., the energy system, industrial processes, etc.) into more sustainable modes of production and consumption. For instance, it is widely recognized that reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sectors, e.g., iron and steel production, can likely not be realized without the development of zero-carbon technologies.

Sustainability transitions are typically characterized by relatively long development periods during which technology-specific systemic structures, i.e., actor networks, institutions, value chains, etc., must be put in place and aligned with the emerging technologies. This suggests, it is often argued, that the development of sustainable technologies will be subject to multiple market, system and institutional failures. This, in turn, requires the use of mixes of policy instruments, e.g., technology push instruments, demand-pull instruments, and systemic instruments supporting various functions at the innovation system level.

This session invites research papers addressing how new, zero-carbon technologies can be developed and adopted in various industrial sectors, e.g., iron and steel, pulp and paper, mining, cement, etc. Both conceptual and empirical papers are welcome. These could address how various institutional, economic and political factors may support or hinder key technological development processes, including how various policy mixes can be designed and implemented to facilitate such processes. Empirical research that investigates key experiences from historical sustainability transitions in industrial sectors, not least in the Nordic countries, are encouraged; what challenges characterized these transitions and how were these overcome? The role of the (green) state in governing the sustainable transformation of industry also represents topical issue.