By: Chuck Frey
Greenovate! is an excellent idea catalyst for any organization that is looking for ways to innovate in ways that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
An ambitious new book dares to ask “What if…?” within the context of technologies and solutions that are not only environmentally responsible and sustainable, but also profitable and scalable. Greenovate! Companies Innovating to Create a More Sustainable World by Tyler McNally, Ronald Jonash and Hitendra Patel, have collected a diverse set of stories that prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is possible to make a living and make a difference in our world.
What are “greenovations?”
According to the authors, “Greenovations create and capture new value by meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
Rather than extol the principles of sustainable, green innovation, Greenovate! takes a different approach: It highlights the stories of the companies, non-profits and agencies that have succeeded in creating green, commercially appealing and successful products and services.
Each story gets a two-page spread, which summarizes the innovation, what makes it sustainable and the results on the left-hand page. The right-hand page then drills down to briefly explore the drivers, barriers, enablers, impact and what’s next about each innovation – in other words, how did the innovation come about? What was its impact on internal and external stakeholders? And what’s next for the organization and/or the innovation?
This format provides the reader with a compact, well-organized snapshot of the innovation itself and the dynamics behind its creation.
An amazing diversity of ideas
The innovations featured in Greenovate! are surprisingly diverse, including:
- Using recycled plastics as building materials
- A bioremediating parts washing system
- Using shipping containers as shelters
- Microloans for local farmers
- Intelligent street lighting that dramatically reduces energy consumption
The authors point out in the book’s forward that its publication is not an end unto itself. Rather, it is the first of a new series of Beyond Eureka! books that will highlight innovations that are leading the way across a range of themes, beyond sustainability.
In addition, an IXL Greenovate! website will soon be launched that will enable readers to continue the conversation about the connection between innovation and green business practices.
Greenovate! is an excellent idea catalyst for any organization that wants to increase its positive impact on the environment. By highlighting barriers that companies faced and the clever ways they overcame them, the book is also a great source of inspiration for firms that may feel hamstrung by the limitations and challenges they face.