Organizational studies highlight the role of innovation for competitiveness, but few of them address ecological sustainability as one of the variables in this relationship. The traditional model only considers economic growth to be anchored in the dimension of innovation, disregarding the environment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of ecological sustainability on the relationship between innovation and global competitiveness. To reach the goal of the manuscript, a database was used that included indicators from 119 countries present in the Global Competitiveness Report of WEF and the Global Innovation Index. The data were treated using regression analysis with mediation techniques. The results suggest significant mediation of ecological sustainability in the relationship between innovation and global competitiveness. This work shows the importance of ecological sustainability to increase country’s innovative activity and consequently its competitiveness. Additionally, it draws attention to the gap in studies that present these relationships at the country level. In terms of practical contributions, the findings support the recommendation for companies to focus on actions to environmental and innovation management improving sustainability and increasing organizational performance and long-term survival. Finally, this research also draws attention to the lack of an important indicator of ecological sustainability in a report addressing countries’ competitiveness.
Keywords: World Economic Forum; competitiveness of nations; ecological sustainability; innovation; mediation.