Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for the Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation

Sustainability as a Key Driver of Innovation

13.05.2015 | Raquel Sousa

Nowadays, many companies consider that the more environment-friendly they become, the more the effort will break their competitiveness because they believe that it will be more costly and will not deliver immediate financial benefits.

Sustainable manufacturing demands new equipment’s and processes and most of the customers do not want to pay more for eco-friendly products. That is the reason that most of executives treat sustainability as a corporate social responsibility not linked to business objectives.   

However, a study made by Ram Nidumolu about sustainability initiatives of 30 large corporations shows that if they become environment-friendly the costs will be reduced because they end up reducing the inputs. In addition, the process generates additional revenues from better products or enables companies to create new businesses. In fact, because those are the goals of corporate innovation, Ram Nidumoly finds that smart companies now treat sustainability as innovations' new frontier.

Indeed, the quest for sustainability is already starting to transform the competitive landscape, which will force companies to change the way they think about products, technologies, processes, and business models. The key to progress, particularly in times of economic crisis, is innovation.

By treating sustainability as a goal today, early movers will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match. That competitive advantage will provide benefits, because sustainability will always be an integral part of development.

Relevant themes: Sustainable innovation, Environment
Relevant tags: Technological innovation, Sustainability, Eco-innovation


  • Raquel Sousa - Increase Time SA (INCREASE TIME SA)

    Raquel Sousa

  • Lindsey Martin - Coventry University Enterprises Limited (CUE) 27.05.2015 15:07

    Lindsey Martin

    Great post – thanks.
    In the UK for quite some years now the NISP Network has helped its members reduce the amount of business waste they send to landfill; also reducing their carbon emissions. It does this by identifying links between companies so under-utilised resources (materials, energy, water, logistics etc) can be reused by others.