Sustainable innovation

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Innovation is obviously important for your company’s development and sustainable business. However, green innovation requires something a little extra for it to really take off. Therefore, in short, your new green sustainable product must be both cheaper and better than existing conventional solutions on the market.

Put another way: sustainability and green aspects can never stand alone in relation to the product’s strengths. If sustainability stands alone, the result is likely to be that your marketing and the product itself will fail. Finally, if the strength of the product lies in its quality and price, it can also help avoid green fatigue.

What will you get out of reading this article?

  • How to break into the market with your innovative sustainable product
  • What the right strategy for sustainable innovation is
  • Why green innovation is now necessary for your business survival
Watch the full Slow Forest Coffee video now to learn about sustainable innovation. Learn even more at grø under chapter 07

How to break into the market with your innovative sustainable product

First and foremost, for your new green product to succeed, it is important that you develop products to be at the forefront of the future. The future is impossible to predict, but this is an even more important point in developing sustainable products. Next, it’s important to ask yourself if this is a complete new product development or if it’s a re-development of an existing product.

Let’s start with an existing product, as the stages behind green innovation of an existing product are divided into different types:

Type 1 is directly dedicated to the redesign of a black product, and can take up to three years.

Type 2 is the idea development itself in relation to sustainability. Although ideas are easy to get compared to manufacturing and production, it is still an absolutely essential stage. It is precisely in the design phase where you determine how much CO2, how much impact on the environment and how biodiversity as well as social aspects will be affected by your product. You can read about the design phase on our free knowledge blog.

Type 3 comes after the design phase, which is called ‘eco-innovation‘: the actual development of the product. This phase can take anywhere from 5-50 years, because the complexity of products naturally varies. See even more about this in the green marketing course on green innovation chapter 7.

Let’s continue with green innovation of new products.

What is the right strategy for sustainable innovation?

There are now a myriad of methods and strategies you can use. We usually use a 5-step strategy.

The five different steps make pretty good sense, but also deserve a little elaboration:

  1. Innovate at the system level
    In short, a product never stands alone. The product is always part of a larger system. Of course, changing the whole system can be quite a task, but if you have a strategy and a plan, you can take one step at a time. If you succeed in innovating at the system level, your product stands very strong. This is also how we can actually achieve 100% sustainability
  2. Develop new materials
    Very easy on paper, incredibly difficult in practice. If you succeed, it can have big positive consequences. A good example is recycled plastic. There’s no getting around the fact that plastic is incredibly practical in many respects. Everything from kitchen utensils to cars. In other words, if you can develop a new CO2 or resource-saving material that changes your industry, you’ll be very well placed for the future
  3. Develop new technologies
    One of the biggest causes of CO2 emissions is, of course, fossil fuels. That’s why technologies like e-bikes, electric cars, solar roofs and home batteries are good examples of how new technologies can have a big impact on the world.
  1. Develop new business models
    New business models may sound a bit broad, but it kind of is. 🙂 You have a wealth of different options. A well-used solution is to create a leasing/subscription solution. Your business gets ongoing revenue and your customer gets a product that lasts longer.

  2. Restore the environment
    What if you could design a business model and product that actually restored good soil, created better conditions for people and helped keep CO2 in the soil?

Get more great examples and elaboration in our online video course on green marketing under chapter 7.

Why think about sustainable innovation?

Your company needs to be a sustainable business. We’re not just talking climate here. Of course, we are also talking about economics. If you don’t have a solid bottom line, it becomes very difficult to develop solutions that help the planet and people.

Where does sustainable innovation come in?

Innovation is important, but if you include sustainability in relation to the planet and people, you kill two birds with one stone:
1) You ensure both innovation and thus a healthy bottom line and
2) You are more ahead of the future as now possible.

Learn more about green innovation

We’ve developed an online video course where you get personalised tasks and can learn at your own pace. You’ll get company cases, expert testimony and more great examples.

The first 200 get free entry (worth 9,500).

Register now at grø

the website of the innovation

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