Abstract: Customers are considered to be major stakeholders whose demands and preferences have astrong influence on corporate strategies. In this sense, increased consumer environmental awarenesshas led to a growing demand for environmentally friendly products which, in turn, has compelledfirms to adopt innovative forms of integrating environmental protection into product developmentand production processes. Nevertheless, an "attitude-behavior gap" has been witnessed, whichimplies that consumers' environmental attitudes do not always translate into an actual ecologically compatible purchasing behavior and, consequently, eco-product innovations will not necessarily entail a positive economic impact for companies. This paper aims to analyze if the companies that invest in eco-product innovation are valued by consumers, showing higher growth. Specifically,we propose that eco-product innovation has a positive effect on a firm's sales growth. Additionally, we aim to analyze the consumers' preferences in relation to eco-product innovations considering two alternative approaches that companies can follow in this respect: eco-design and products with ecological use. The results obtained for an unbalanced sample of 5391 international companies corresponding to the period 2002-2017 (51,666 observations) show that proactive environmental innovation strategies are positively valued by consumers, having a positive impact on the companies' sales growth. Furthermore, consumers show a greater preference for environmental innovations ineco-design than for products with ecological use.
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