Why Sustainability Requires Innovation
This chapter aims to explain why innovation is becoming part of the role of the Sustainability Executive and is essential for those organisations that are embarking on ambitious strategies. It starts with an overview of the evolution of sustainability, moving on to discuss new thinking and trends before considering what this means for the Sustainability Executive and their function. The skills needed by Sustainability Executives, and the sustainability department, are very different for organisations moving into the third level where their aims become a strategic imperative. Innovation is set to play an increasingly important part in the role of the Sustainability Executive. Insights from sustainability can also support mainstream innovation processes by identifying new opportunities and filtering out bad ideas. Levels 1 and 2 require organisations to develop new processes, standards for operations and reporting – traditional 'command-and-control' tools where technical subject matter expertise is vital.