Gestão & Produção
Print version ISSN 0104-530X
FERRO, Ana Flávia Portilho; BONACELLI, Maria Beatriz Machado and ASSAD, Ana Lúcia Delgado. Technological opportunities and competitive strategies of environmental management: the sustainable use of the Brazilian biodiversity. Gest. Prod. [online]. 2006, vol.13, n.3, pp. 489-501. ISSN 0104-530X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-530X2006000300011.
Biodiversity has been considered a strategic element due to, among other reasons, its potential as a raw material provider to many industry sectors. Nevertheless, the increasing degradation of the environment threatens this potential and therefore the urgency in promoting sustainable development. Motivated by this context, many companies are adopting, as part of their competitive strategies, the sustainable use of biodiversity so as to take advantage of new technological opportunities open in the environmentally responsible products market. Thus, the purpose of the present paper is to analyze how some Brazilian companies are using the potential of biodiversity as part of their competitive strategies in order to create favorable market asymmetries. It also acknowledges the advantages and limitations concerning this strategy. To illustrate these opportunities, this work presents the case of four national companies which work in the Brazilian environmentally responsible products market, focusing on phytoterapics, cosmetics, natural extracts and forestry. This study has pointed out that incorporating sustainable development principles does not seem to be simply a temporary strategy, but a strong tendency especially to industry sectors highly dependent on biodiversity as a raw material. Other issues addressed include the relevance of innovation to the generation of new proceedings and technologies as well as the importance of the conformation of a solid institutional environment.
Keywords : technological innovation; sustainable development; natural products; competitive strategies; environmental accountability.