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Towards a sustainable economy? Socio-technical transitions in the green building sector

O'Neill, Kirstie; Gibbs, David


Kirstie O'Neill


Making the transition to a green economy is a major policy driver in the UK and other countries. Entrepreneurs are suggested as being at the forefront of this transition and as a driving force for sustainability. These “green entrepreneurs” may represent a new type of entrepreneurial behaviour combining economic, environmental and social aims. In this paper, we present empirical work conducted with green entrepreneurs in the UK green building sector. Buildings have significant impacts on the environment, both in terms of materials and post-construction energy demands. Drawing on sustainability transitions theory, we examine the role of green entrepreneurs in affecting change and suggest that green building niches are less consensual than previously theorised. In theorising green entrepreneurs, we also point to the need to consider them within wider networks of activity rather than as lone actors and the implications this has for policy.


O'Neill, K., & Gibbs, D. (2014). Towards a sustainable economy? Socio-technical transitions in the green building sector. Local environment, 19(6), 572-590.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 30, 2013
Online Publication Date Jul 22, 2013
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Local environment
Print ISSN 1354-9839
Electronic ISSN 1469-6711
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 6
Pages 572-590
Keywords Green entrepreneurs, Green building, Multi-level perspective, Sustainability transitions, UK
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Local environment on 22/07/2013, available online:


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