green innovations

5 Reasons Sustainability Drives Innovation

Sustainability is one of the key emerging trends in recent years. But much like innovation, it is a maturing discipline with few established business practices and lots of evolving methodologies. Sustainability champions at organizations often face the same challenges that innovation champions do: lack of senior level buy-in, lack of process, lack of resources. The benefits of successful sustainability and successful innovation are similar, as well: a competitive advantage, improved profit margins, and better brand sentiment from employees and customers.

Unlocking the One Trillion-Dollar Sustainable Innovation Opportunity

Last week Unilever announced research showing that one-third of consumers now purchase its brands based on their good social and environmental performance, but went on to suggest that brands are missing an opportunity from not promoting sustainability effectively. Getting this right could unlock a further $1trn market opportunity for sustainability innovators.

The Super Heroes of Solar

What is the real value of participating in innovation programs? In this article Rob Hoehn looks at his favourite example, working with the Department of Energy. They started by asking the public what the most pressing problems were when it came to making solar a cost-competitive resource for every citizen and then asked that same crowd to come forward with possible solutions to the top-voted problems.

Cut Costs in Health Care by Treating it Like Pollution

We seem to have a problem. Health care costs are doubling every thirteen years in the US, (Regalado 2013). By 2030 they will devour a third of the US federal budget (Regalado 2013). In spite of this, the US was ranked last in 2011 by the Commonwealth Fund in quality of health care among similar countries (Wikipedia 2013). We can sense the impending disaster and it seems the hope is that our usual panaceas for all problems, policy, technology or better education, will someday deliver us from our pains. But how?

Heading for Mass Extinction

Global diversity is in crisis. Scientists have recently announced that our planet is in the middle of the sixth global mass extinction event and this time it’s man-made. Not since the time of the dinosaurs have so many species been under threat and it’s not just the environmental infrastructure which should be giving us cause for concern.

Innovation: Force Fields for Change

This article relates selected multidirectional patterns of change—“force fields”—in the business environment to innovation strategy within the context of Zen philosophical principles. Three force fields are selected for brief evaluation: 1) domestic vs. global markets, 2) economic growth vs. environmental quality, and 3) entrepreneurs vs. customer base. Given the omnipresence of force fields in the 21st century, businesses should maintain flexible structures for innovating both incrementally and radically. They also need to engage in collaboration at all institutional levels. Collaboration can facilitate the Zen objective of integrating conflicting ideas, a key feature of innovation over the long run.

A paradigm shift for SMEs: Leveraging Sustainability as a Driver for Innovation

SMEs have sustainability on their radar. Their main goal is economic sustainability. To achieve this goal, they can take ecological and social sustainability as an opportunity for innovation instead of just considering it as a mere cost driver. Thus innovation and sustainability become the two sides of the coin called profitable growth.

Case: Open Innovation in the Biorefinery Industry

Last year I came in contact with the co-founder and advisor of the Biorrefiniria Brasil open innovation community, José Augusto T. R. Tomé. He started an interesting venture within the chemical sector, a venture focused on biorefinery. Read further to learn more about his vibrant innovation community and open innovation in general.

Innovating Nature

With global warming implicated in current droughts, storms, impending extinctions, sea level rise, and other harbingers of climate change, some experts are looking past the debate for placing the blame on humanity and questioning whether technological solutions could improve or injure humanity and the ecosystem which protects us. With geoengineering, the manipulation of the planet’s environment on a large scale, scientists are trying to innovate on nature for the sake of human survival, but could these technologies actually do more harm than good?

2019-04-30T07:03:34-07:00August 22nd, 2012|Categories: Trend Alert|Tags: , , , , |

Cardboard’s Increasingly Diverse Future

Cookers, bikes, beds, tents, a school club, computers, vacuum cleaners, coat hangers - they are part of a growing range of new applications for cardboard, old and new. A combination of trends is enabling this growth: consumer expectations to reduce and reuse packaging continue to rise; new processes are enabling more effective cleaning of paper for re-use; emerging nations are focusing on frugal innovation and new products to support growing aspirations and local markets.

2019-04-30T07:05:03-07:00August 8th, 2012|Categories: Trend Alert|Tags: , , , , |

Food Packaging: Less is Sometimes More!

Food packaging has often focused on two primary consumer aspects; convenience and preserving the quality of the food. Consumer’s environmental and health concerns and corporation’s supply chain and energy cost goals are driving innovation in food packaging; creating a growing demand for changes.

Hanging Gardens of Metropolis

Cities have long attempted to bring the rural into the urban, whether the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or Singapore’s new Gardens by the Bay, but urban agriculture is increasing with green roofs and other forms of urban farming as the population of cities continues to expand. Based largely on the theories of Dickson Despommier, architects have been designing the ultimate in city-based agribusiness, vertical farms inside of high rise buildings which some have dubbed plantscrapers.

50 Great Innovators, One Better Future

Sustainability may still not be on the top of everyone's priority list, but those who do take green action get results, and big ones. Chris Sherwin, Head of Sustainability at Seymourpowell, shares his reaction to this year's Fast Company 50, where a few pleasantly surprising sustainability innovators could be found among the trend setters.