Sustainable Innovation: Explanation and Examples

It makes sense that business innovation and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

The evolution of technology and the demand for sustainable innovation is becoming one of the main drivers of revenue growth for businesses across industries. So closely intertwined are the two concepts that today’s sustainability leaders are 4 times more likely to be considered innovation leaders compared to non-sustainability leaders, as you can see in our downloadable infographic.

But what does “sustainable innovation” mean? In many ways, it means traditional innovation boosted and driven by concern for resources and the environment. It involves leveraging ideas, concepts, and products that achieve economic viability due to environmentally aware designs and practices.

Businesses are embracing the idea that resources shouldn’t be used faster than they are replenished and that waste generation shouldn’t exceed the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. This belief is driving innovations in all areas of business.

Three Ways Sustainable Innovation Transcends Ordinary Innovation

Compared to innovation in general, sustainable innovation is more disruptive, fueled by a better rationale, and is more collaborative.

Sustainable innovation is disruptive because it can result in better business models, improved processes, streamlined resource flows, reduced waste and cost, and create new market segments entirely, making it harder for corporations to defend the status quo.

It has a stronger rationale because sustainability is a concept that’s changing how consumers shop. They are looking for more than just high-quality products. Consumers want to buy from companies that align with their values. Whether it’s fair working conditions or climate change, metrics are used to determine how ethical and sustainable an organization is and a key factor for consumers in choosing whether to support a business.

Finally, sustainable innovation is more collaborative because it is a cross-discipline concept. Companies must reach out across industries to unlock the value of sustainable innovations. It changes the corporate “value chain” to more of a “value web.”

Sustainable Innovation is Good Business

Sustainable innovation is good for business in many ways. For one thing, it addresses consumer demand for greater sustainability. In addition, with sustainable innovation, businesses achieve economic performance because of (rather than despite) environmentally and socially aware operations. The result is a cleaner, healthier, fairer, and more stable world – a higher tide that propels economic growth across the board.

Woman standing in triumph with her arms raised.

Sustainable innovation is just plain good business.

Moreover, ignoring the need for sustainability is becoming more difficult. The fact is that population growth and higher levels of waste mean that environmental concerns will only continue to grow. As these concerns increase, so does the market power of the sustainable business, with non-sustainable businesses ultimately being left behind.

Innovative Ideas for Sustainable Development

Sustainable innovation is happening all around us, and that is something to celebrate. Here are just a few of the many sustainable innovation examples taking place in the world today:

  • The Green Building Initiative (GBI) establishes standard best practices for building new and upgrading existing structures. The goal of this initiative is to make buildings more resource-efficient, healthier, and environmentally sustainable.
  • In-store supermarket herb gardens significantly reduce plastic packaging needs for fresh herbs. Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn started using them in 2017. Customers can cut their own herbs in the store and only buy as much as they need.
  • Many types of sustainable plastics are being introduced. Some are not made from petroleum like traditional plastics, and others use carbon-neutral production. One company is making plastics from carbon emissions that would otherwise be released into the air.
  • A green alternative to plastic cutlery, Bakey’s edible alternative comes in 3 different flavors—plain, savory, and sweet. They’re 100% natural and will biodegrade if not consumed.
  • The PowWow Energy app is a simple mobile app that notifies farmers when sensors in their irrigation systems indicate problems. It allows farmers to monitor their own water usage data and identify pipe leaks or breaks right away. This way, they can avoid waste while maximizing crop yields.
  • Created by researchers at the University of Warsaw, B-Droid is developing robotic bees that can pollinate crops as effectively as their organic counterparts. B-Droid’s mission is to help boost the natural bee population by giving robotic bees more high-labor pollination tasks.
  • Joro is like Fitbit for your carbon consumption. It’s an app that sucks in your purchase data and analyzes it for its relative carbon impact so that you can see how much of a footprint that you are leaving behind each day. It also has great features like the ability to immediately offset your flight once you purchase one.
  • UBQ just may save plastic recycling as it automatically transforms unsorted heaps of garbage into reusable plastic pellets that can be used to make a number of new products.
  • Developed by Daan Roosegaarde, the Smog Free Tower measures almost 23 feet high, sucks in polluted air, and cleans it via a process of ionization before releasing it back into the atmosphere.
  • Gates has funded Heliogen, which recently hit a new milestone. By using artificial intelligence to direct a field of mirrors to reflect sunlight to generate heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius (about a quarter of what you’d find on the surface of the sun). This means we can sustainably generate heat that is used for manufacturing.
  • We are still at the beginning of electric flight, but Harbour Air’s e-plane has already flown the first fully electric flight.
  • An important aspect of protecting against the worst impacts of climate change is reforestation and protecting those green spaces still left to us. It turns out that drones can plan trees 150 times faster than other methods and Dendra Systems has a goal of planting 500 billion trees!
  • One idea emerged in an IdeaScale challenge: ROCAPET. The recycling of plastic bottles and combining it with processed sand to make a new form of roadway material.
  • The Commission of Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recently collaborated with IdeaScale to implement a crowdsourcing initiative that enabled youth aged 18 to 26 to submit their ideas to North America’s top environmental officials, meet with CEC officials, and receive $5,000 in project seed funding.
  • In 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) partnered with IdeaScale to launch the Living Progress Challenge, which aimed to find out which software applications and digital services users would create to improve people’s lives. With hundreds of submissions to choose from, four solutions would be selected and deployed with the help of HPE technology and expertise.

Sustainability and innovation are natural partners because innovation is about making things better in the long term. If you’re ready to put innovation to work and get measurable results, we invite you to download our disruptive innovation infographic.

Launch Your IdeaScale Community Today!

Schedule a Demo

Sustainable Innovation: Explanation and Examples

It makes sense that business innovation and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

The evolution of technology and the demand for sustainable innovation is becoming one of the main drivers of revenue growth for businesses across industries. So closely intertwined are the two concepts that today’s sustainability leaders are 4 times more likely to be considered innovation leaders compared to non-sustainability leaders, as you can see in our downloadable infographic.

But what does “sustainable innovation” mean? In many ways, it means traditional innovation boosted and driven by concern for resources and the environment. It involves leveraging ideas, concepts, and products that achieve economic viability due to environmentally aware designs and practices.

Businesses are embracing the idea that resources shouldn’t be used faster than they are replenished and that waste generation shouldn’t exceed the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. This belief is driving innovations in all areas of business.

Three Ways Sustainable Innovation Transcends Ordinary Innovation

Compared to innovation in general, sustainable innovation is more disruptive, fueled by a better rationale, and is more collaborative.

Sustainable innovation is disruptive because it can result in better business models, improved processes, streamlined resource flows, reduced waste and cost, and create new market segments entirely, making it harder for corporations to defend the status quo.

It has a stronger rationale because sustainability is a concept that’s changing how consumers shop. They are looking for more than just high-quality products. Consumers want to buy from companies that align with their values. Whether it’s fair working conditions or climate change, metrics are used to determine how ethical and sustainable an organization is and a key factor for consumers in choosing whether to support a business.

Finally, sustainable innovation is more collaborative because it is a cross-discipline concept. Companies must reach out across industries to unlock the value of sustainable innovations. It changes the corporate “value chain” to more of a “value web.”

Sustainable Innovation is Good Business

Sustainable innovation is good for business in many ways. For one thing, it addresses consumer demand for greater sustainability. In addition, with sustainable innovation, businesses achieve economic performance because of (rather than despite) environmentally and socially aware operations. The result is a cleaner, healthier, fairer, and more stable world – a higher tide that propels economic growth across the board.

Woman standing in triumph with her arms raised.

Sustainable innovation is just plain good business.

Moreover, ignoring the need for sustainability is becoming more difficult. The fact is that population growth and higher levels of waste mean that environmental concerns will only continue to grow. As these concerns increase, so does the market power of the sustainable business, with non-sustainable businesses ultimately being left behind.

Innovative Ideas for Sustainable Development

Sustainable innovation is happening all around us, and that is something to celebrate. Here are just a few of the many sustainable innovation examples taking place in the world today:

  • The Green Building Initiative (GBI) establishes standard best practices for building new and upgrading existing structures. The goal of this initiative is to make buildings more resource-efficient, healthier, and environmentally sustainable.
  • In-store supermarket herb gardens significantly reduce plastic packaging needs for fresh herbs. Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn started using them in 2017. Customers can cut their own herbs in the store and only buy as much as they need.
  • Many types of sustainable plastics are being introduced. Some are not made from petroleum like traditional plastics, and others use carbon-neutral production. One company is making plastics from carbon emissions that would otherwise be released into the air.
  • A green alternative to plastic cutlery, Bakey’s edible alternative comes in 3 different flavors—plain, savory, and sweet. They’re 100% natural and will biodegrade if not consumed.
  • The PowWow Energy app is a simple mobile app that notifies farmers when sensors in their irrigation systems indicate problems. It allows farmers to monitor their own water usage data and identify pipe leaks or breaks right away. This way, they can avoid waste while maximizing crop yields.
  • Created by researchers at the University of Warsaw, B-Droid is developing robotic bees that can pollinate crops as effectively as their organic counterparts. B-Droid’s mission is to help boost the natural bee population by giving robotic bees more high-labor pollination tasks.
  • Joro is like Fitbit for your carbon consumption. It’s an app that sucks in your purchase data and analyzes it for its relative carbon impact so that you can see how much of a footprint that you are leaving behind each day. It also has great features like the ability to immediately offset your flight once you purchase one.
  • UBQ just may save plastic recycling as it automatically transforms unsorted heaps of garbage into reusable plastic pellets that can be used to make a number of new products.
  • Developed by Daan Roosegaarde, the Smog Free Tower measures almost 23 feet high, sucks in polluted air, and cleans it via a process of ionization before releasing it back into the atmosphere.
  • Gates has funded Heliogen, which recently hit a new milestone. By using artificial intelligence to direct a field of mirrors to reflect sunlight to generate heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius (about a quarter of what you’d find on the surface of the sun). This means we can sustainably generate heat that is used for manufacturing.
  • We are still at the beginning of electric flight, but Harbour Air’s e-plane has already flown the first fully electric flight.
  • An important aspect of protecting against the worst impacts of climate change is reforestation and protecting those green spaces still left to us. It turns out that drones can plan trees 150 times faster than other methods and Dendra Systems has a goal of planting 500 billion trees!
  • One idea emerged in an IdeaScale challenge: ROCAPET. The recycling of plastic bottles and combining it with processed sand to make a new form of roadway material.
  • The Commission of Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recently collaborated with IdeaScale to implement a crowdsourcing initiative that enabled youth aged 18 to 26 to submit their ideas to North America’s top environmental officials, meet with CEC officials, and receive $5,000 in project seed funding.
  • In 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) partnered with IdeaScale to launch the Living Progress Challenge, which aimed to find out which software applications and digital services users would create to improve people’s lives. With hundreds of submissions to choose from, four solutions would be selected and deployed with the help of HPE technology and expertise.

Sustainability and innovation are natural partners because innovation is about making things better in the long term. If you’re ready to put innovation to work and get measurable results, we invite you to download our disruptive innovation infographic.

Launch Your IdeaScale Community Today!

Schedule a Demo

Sustainable Innovation: Explanation and Examples

It makes sense that business innovation and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

The evolution of technology and the demand for sustainable innovation is becoming one of the main drivers of revenue growth for businesses across industries. So closely intertwined are the two concepts that today’s sustainability leaders are 4 times more likely to be considered innovation leaders compared to non-sustainability leaders, as you can see in our downloadable infographic.

But what does “sustainable innovation” mean? In many ways, it means traditional innovation boosted and driven by concern for resources and the environment. It involves leveraging ideas, concepts, and products that achieve economic viability due to environmentally aware designs and practices.

Businesses are embracing the idea that resources shouldn’t be used faster than they are replenished and that waste generation shouldn’t exceed the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. This belief is driving innovations in all areas of business.

Three Ways Sustainable Innovation Transcends Ordinary Innovation

Compared to innovation in general, sustainable innovation is more disruptive, fueled by a better rationale, and is more collaborative.

Sustainable innovation is disruptive because it can result in better business models, improved processes, streamlined resource flows, reduced waste and cost, and create new market segments entirely, making it harder for corporations to defend the status quo.

It has a stronger rationale because sustainability is a concept that’s changing how consumers shop. They are looking for more than just high-quality products. Consumers want to buy from companies that align with their values. Whether it’s fair working conditions or climate change, metrics are used to determine how ethical and sustainable an organization is and a key factor for consumers in choosing whether to support a business.

Finally, sustainable innovation is more collaborative because it is a cross-discipline concept. Companies must reach out across industries to unlock the value of sustainable innovations. It changes the corporate “value chain” to more of a “value web.”

Sustainable Innovation is Good Business

Sustainable innovation is good for business in many ways. For one thing, it addresses consumer demand for greater sustainability. In addition, with sustainable innovation, businesses achieve economic performance because of (rather than despite) environmentally and socially aware operations. The result is a cleaner, healthier, fairer, and more stable world – a higher tide that propels economic growth across the board.

Woman standing in triumph with her arms raised.

Sustainable innovation is just plain good business.

Moreover, ignoring the need for sustainability is becoming more difficult. The fact is that population growth and higher levels of waste mean that environmental concerns will only continue to grow. As these concerns increase, so does the market power of the sustainable business, with non-sustainable businesses ultimately being left behind.

Innovative Ideas for Sustainable Development

Sustainable innovation is happening all around us, and that is something to celebrate. Here are just a few of the many sustainable innovation examples taking place in the world today:

  • The Green Building Initiative (GBI) establishes standard best practices for building new and upgrading existing structures. The goal of this initiative is to make buildings more resource-efficient, healthier, and environmentally sustainable.
  • In-store supermarket herb gardens significantly reduce plastic packaging needs for fresh herbs. Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn started using them in 2017. Customers can cut their own herbs in the store and only buy as much as they need.
  • Many types of sustainable plastics are being introduced. Some are not made from petroleum like traditional plastics, and others use carbon-neutral production. One company is making plastics from carbon emissions that would otherwise be released into the air.
  • A green alternative to plastic cutlery, Bakey’s edible alternative comes in 3 different flavors—plain, savory, and sweet. They’re 100% natural and will biodegrade if not consumed.
  • The PowWow Energy app is a simple mobile app that notifies farmers when sensors in their irrigation systems indicate problems. It allows farmers to monitor their own water usage data and identify pipe leaks or breaks right away. This way, they can avoid waste while maximizing crop yields.
  • Created by researchers at the University of Warsaw, B-Droid is developing robotic bees that can pollinate crops as effectively as their organic counterparts. B-Droid’s mission is to help boost the natural bee population by giving robotic bees more high-labor pollination tasks.
  • Joro is like Fitbit for your carbon consumption. It’s an app that sucks in your purchase data and analyzes it for its relative carbon impact so that you can see how much of a footprint that you are leaving behind each day. It also has great features like the ability to immediately offset your flight once you purchase one.
  • UBQ just may save plastic recycling as it automatically transforms unsorted heaps of garbage into reusable plastic pellets that can be used to make a number of new products.
  • Developed by Daan Roosegaarde, the Smog Free Tower measures almost 23 feet high, sucks in polluted air, and cleans it via a process of ionization before releasing it back into the atmosphere.
  • Gates has funded Heliogen, which recently hit a new milestone. By using artificial intelligence to direct a field of mirrors to reflect sunlight to generate heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius (about a quarter of what you’d find on the surface of the sun). This means we can sustainably generate heat that is used for manufacturing.
  • We are still at the beginning of electric flight, but Harbour Air’s e-plane has already flown the first fully electric flight.
  • An important aspect of protecting against the worst impacts of climate change is reforestation and protecting those green spaces still left to us. It turns out that drones can plan trees 150 times faster than other methods and Dendra Systems has a goal of planting 500 billion trees!
  • One idea emerged in an IdeaScale challenge: ROCAPET. The recycling of plastic bottles and combining it with processed sand to make a new form of roadway material.
  • The Commission of Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recently collaborated with IdeaScale to implement a crowdsourcing initiative that enabled youth aged 18 to 26 to submit their ideas to North America’s top environmental officials, meet with CEC officials, and receive $5,000 in project seed funding.
  • In 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) partnered with IdeaScale to launch the Living Progress Challenge, which aimed to find out which software applications and digital services users would create to improve people’s lives. With hundreds of submissions to choose from, four solutions would be selected and deployed with the help of HPE technology and expertise.

Sustainability and innovation are natural partners because innovation is about making things better in the long term. If you’re ready to put innovation to work and get measurable results, we invite you to download our disruptive innovation infographic.

Launch Your IdeaScale Community Today!

Schedule a Demo