Implementing Sustainable Innovation
This chapter considers how Sustainability Executives can take practical steps to manage innovation. Sustainability Executives need to develop new skills as they progress through the phases. It is not surprising that the organisations that are considered leaders in sustainability are also often at the forefront of innovation. Sustainability functions in such organisations are able to use existing innovation processes to support sustainability goals. The majority of Sustainability Executives will be working in businesses that are in the first phases of sustainability and have a very operational focus so that innovation processes are less developed. Most organisations have suggestion boxes for environmental improvements and many run small green ideas schemes. This approach has a role to play in engaging workforce but in our experience yield little in terms of good ideas, which is why they generally are soon forgotten. The role of the Sustainability Executive should be about creating correct framework to promote, encourage and nurture innovation rather than personal creativity.