Tima Bansal reveals preliminary findings from management researcher Richard Adams on sustainability-oriented innovation and outlines its three stages.
October 12, 2012
Working Session on Sustainability-Oriented Innovation
"Innovation inevitably requires you to be uncomfortable and have your ideas challenged. It's very hard to challenge your own ideas," stated Tima Bansal, NBS Executive Director.
At the Innovating for Sustainability Forum, attended by more than 50 practitioners, Bansal revealed preliminary findings from management researcher Richard Adams on sustainability-oriented innovation.
Bansal introduced the innovation framework developed from 127 academic and industry resources. The framework presents three stages of sustainability innovation: operational, strategic, and transformative.
Rob Grant, Owner and Founder, GrassRoots (Canada's largest green lifestyle retailer)
Sharing their own successes in sustainable innovation, participants hope to extend their impact and influence other organizations to embrace sustainability.
Reconciling the demand of society with sustainability was recognized as a key opportunity to innovate and create sustainable products customers want. Participants identified three key points to capitalize on this opportunity successfully:
Differentiate your sustainable product from “greenwashing” by building a relationship with customers and establishing trust and credibility.
Collaborate with suppliers and competitors to green the supply chain for products in global demand.
Use social responsibility initiatives to inspire innovative solutions for communities you serve.
A Prelimary Framework for Sustainability-Oriented Innovation
In 2016, Bansal and a team of researchers were awarded new funding to research on innovating for sustainability. "The Innovation Project" will explore how companies can systematically embed sustainability into innovation processes.