Sustainable Innovation Processes in the Asphalt Paving Sector: Analysis of Actors, Interactions, and Institutions

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Abstract

Road pavements play a vital role in transportation systems worldwide, contributing to economic development and competitiveness. However, their development has negative environmental impacts, prompting a shift towards the need for sustainable practices. While the asphalt paving industry has made progress in adopting sustainable innovations, their implementation has been slower than desired. Existing literature often overlooks the social dimension of innovations, including the role of actors, interactions, and institutions. This study aims to fill this research gap by adopting a multi-actor perspective and exploring the social aspects that shape sustainable innovations in the asphalt paving sector, using the Dutch context as a case study. By combining thematic analysis and semantic network analysis, this study identifies the key concepts and their relationships that represent the socio-technical regime where sustainable innovation processes take place. Specifically, the network analysis displayed three main clusters of concepts. Cluster 1 highlights the multi-actor attribute of the asphalt paving sector, with the public sector playing a central role. Cluster 2 focused on testing, validation, and scaling up, highlighting the influence of assessment tools and actors evaluating sustainability. Cluster 3 centered around the early stages of the innovation process, emphasizing the influence of managers and specialized staff. Overall, the findings highlight the importance of collaboration, effective communication, policy and assessment frameworks, and intra-organizational interactions in driving sustainable innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2024 Transportation Research Board (TRB) 103rd Annual Meeting
PublisherTransportation Research Board (TRB)
Number of pages17
Publication statusUnpublished - 2024

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