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The Drivers and Barriers of Sustainable Innovation: The World Business Council Report

“Sustainable development is a metaphor for opportunity and progress as well as a reminder of obligations and uncertainty,” says Andrew Dearing in a recent WBCSD report on the drivers and barriers of sustainable innovation. Eloquent and universal, this excerpt perfectly sums up the state of innovation today: hell-bent on evolving and embracing risk, but ever-vigilant when unearthing market needs and navigating disruption.

The report, a fully comprehensive and intellectual narrative crafted from in-depth research and discussions with over 1,500 participants, is filled with inspiring calls to action and applicable suggestions surrounding how businesses can discover new and unique ways to align innovation with market forecasts in order to develop a better framework for delivering sustainable value. Some highlights:

  • 7 core principles to assist organizations in creating ways to better address innovative opportunities
  • Examples and ideas for stakeholders on how to actively create and incorporate tools to improve sustainable development, set focused and measurable targets, and bridge the gap between customer and business needs
  • Truths about the reality of technology in developing sustainable innovation practices, and how to grow gracefully with technological change
  • How companies can organize themselves and harness opportunities in ways that will benefit society and create value that will keep them in business
  • Parameters for crafting sustainable business approaches
  • Overcoming the undesirable impacts of interdependent infrastructures, such as stranded assets and slow technical progress
  • Discussions on bringing design, smart technologies and the “new economy” together to drive growth in ways that reflect the changing concerns and values of a connected world
  • Statistics and case studies from surveying 80+ firms on how they manage innovation and the challenges associated with implementing sustainable development practices.

Companies struggling with driving innovation internally and externally will benefit greatly from the real-world examples and well-translated research, as will organizations focused on the future of a vastly interconnected marketplace. Read the full report here.

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