…Innovation is a relatively slippery beast at the best of times. Combining it with another slippery critter, Sustainability, might sound impossible to deal with. But Sustainability professionals must get a grip!
I’ve been thinking a bit about sustainability and innovation in the last few weeks. I thought some others might be doing the same and thought I’d gather some resources, even though I don’t really have many insights to share.
Available for the cost of an email address (we all have a dud email we don’t really care about, right?) is the stunning research by BCG and MITSloan, The Innovation Bottom Line. Among its insights are that companies who have a clear business rationale are much more likely to see benefits from sustainability innovations. They also conclude that there is something in the water in Australia and New Zealand, while the USA lags a little behind when it comes to business-model innovations and benefit from same.
You can read CoEXIST‘s 10 Qualities That You Need To Create A Sustainable Brand, which talks a lot about innovation, creativity and change.
You can review SEE’s how-to guide on Realising Sustainability and Innovation through Design, a very interesting piece on how using design can reshape process, products and people interactions.
Or download valueCSR’s Business Case for Innovation and Sustainability, which gives the main categories to think about in relation to building a business case for innovation and sustainability.
And if they don’t really get your attention, then have a look at InterfaceFlor‘s guide to Sustainable Innovation, written by their European Sustainability Director, Ramon Arratia.
IDEO’s Human Centred Design Toolkit is available from them if you give them your email address and is an excellent read on how to use design processes to see problems from human behavioural perspectives and create solutions that have an excellent chance of being adopted.
If that doesn’t do it, then try Jennifer Woofter’s 6 Reasons Your Sustainability Innovation Is Failing. She even gives some examples of disastrous innovations, like biodegradable but apparently very noisy crisp packets. It’s a good read…
By the way, big thank you to the ladies of 6heads who prompted me to think a bit about this stuff! They have some great thoughts about this topic at their blog.