Using insights from institutional literature, the resource‐based theory of the firm, and internationalization, we explain variations in the diffusion of organizational eco‐innovations. Studies have previously reported that the drivers of eco‐innovation are regulatory pressures, technology push, market pull, and firm factors. But relatively little attention has been paid to nontechnological forms of eco‐innovation, such as environmental management systems (EMS). Consequently, how exactly to encourage EMS adoption across sectors is still unclear. We attempt to address this question by combining sectoral panel data (2009&-2014) from a number of sources in Spain. The econometric analysis reveals that environmental policy is driving the adoption of ISO 14001 largely due to differences across sectors in energy and pollution intensity. In addition, the adoption of ISO 9001 increases the use of ISO 14001 in industry because of complementarities between the two systems. Third, in highly internationalized sectors, firms adopt a greater amount of ISO 14001.
complementarities; ems; environmental policy; internationalization; iso 14001; organizationaleco-innovation