Inderscience Publishers

The determinants of energy intensity for the design of environmental strategies in the Mauritian textile sector

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The paper analyses the forces which influence energy intensity in the textile and clothing sector for environmental and energy policy in Mauritius. Using the stochastic frontier analysis, the study finds that energy intensity is statistically lower for export–oriented enterprises, most likely, because of the competitive environment. Foreign ownership also reduces energy per output. However, higher capital–labour ratio and new investments are found to increase energy intensity and a U–shape relationship is found between firm size and energy intensity. It is also found that export–driven firms are relatively more technically efficient in relation to energy usage. The study concludes that there may be synergies between the twin objectives of economic competitiveness and sustainable production patterns and that eco–efficiency may be a critical success factor to survive in a highly competitive market. Environmental strategies which may benefit the Mauritian textile sector include access to clean production techniques, skill development and a targeted approach toward small and big firms.

Keywords: energy intensity, energy efficiency, environmental strategies, stochastic frontiers, technical efficiency, export–oriented enterprises, textile sector, Mauritius, textiles, clothing sector, environmental policies, energy policies, competitive environments, foreign ownership, capital–labour ratio, new investments, U–shape relationships, firm size, export–driven firms, exports, energy usage, synergies, economic competitiveness, sustainable production, production patterns, eco–efficiency, CSF, critical success factors, competitive markets, clean production, production techniques, skill development, targeted approaches, large firms, small and medium–sized enterprises, SMEs, sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable economy

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