chapter  4
19 Pages

Sustainable Innovation

WithNick Coad, Paul Pritchard

This chapter discusses examples from leading organisations where innovation has been undertaken specifically to achieve sustainable outcomes. Open innovation platforms are commonly used by business. Unilever are using their platform to ask for new ideas, designs and technologies for specific sustainability challenges that range from new food colours to safe drinking water and changing consumer behaviour. Encouraging individuals or teams to submit ideas for sustainability improvements can help employee engagement but often fail to come up with genuinely innovative or useful ideas. Designing a scheme to promote useful innovation is more difficult. Dedicating specific funds for innovation activity is widely adopted as good practice. A great example of new product innovation is provided by the case study on Procter and Gamble’s (P&G's) Ariel Excel Gel washing liquid, which was developed using open innovation and resulted in a dramatically improved environmental performance and superior cleaning.