Resource limitations and environmental concerns have made sustainable operations of assets and pollution one of the major global issues. The economy’s overall development may not go “hand in hand” with the reduction of pollution and sustainable management of resources. Building a sense of balance between high resource consumption and the development of economic relics is a constant challenge that forces organizations to run through eco-friendly professional deeds having high worth.
Innovation in technologies and how they are applied is the key to enabling industry to create new business values while benefiting people and the planet. Over the last few years, the growing importance of the ecological question has led many executives to modify their business policies. Integration of “green” issues in strategy formation has significant financial, managerial and organizational implications for the corporate world.
Green innovation or Eco-innovation is a process that contributes to new products and technologies intending to reduce environmental risks, like pollution and negative consequences of resource exploitation system, thus requiring firms to re‐design their value chain activities and processes. Green innovation can lead organizations towards attaining sustainable competitive advantages. Today, GI has become a crucial tool for businesses to increase their market share and stay alive in the long run. A successful GI improves the market position, attracts customers, provides green services and gains a competitive advantage. Because of these benefits, GI is on the agenda of managers of many organizations and researchers.
We have divided it into product/service innovation and process innovation. The ultimate goal of product/service innovation is to improve the functioning of products and services for customers and clients. The Innovation process has resulted in building up cost efficiency and organizational flexibility. They contribute to mitigating environmental risks, augmenting resource efficiency, increasing recycling, improving environmental performance, supporting strategic goals, enhancing positive performance in an organization, giving a lift to economic performance, bringing about ecological reputation, in addition to diminishing the use of hazardous products and non-operational technologies.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the UN show that environmental sustainability (SDG 13), employment opportunities and economic growth (SDG 8), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), healthiness and well-being (SDG 3), and responsible production and consumption (SDG12) are most challenging issues for developing nations. The solution to all these issues lies in green innovation.
The Environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) indicated the positive association between environmental degradation and economic progress. However, with the advent of green innovation, we can revisit this relationship. It provides access to modern types of machinery and ultimately promotes economic progress keeping in mind environmental sustainability. It advances the progress of green technologies, which can observe and reduce the patterns of carbon emissions. From this, we can successfully conclude that actual sustainable economic progress is impossible without green innovations.
The business world is under pressure today to stay ahead of the ever-increasing social issues and trends. While the push toward sustainable technologies and products to save the environment is not new, it has never been more significant than it is today. One such business is IKEA. With its People & Planet Positive sustainable strategy, Swedish furniture brand IKEA believes that consumers shouldn’t have to choose between environmentally friendly products and affordable, stylish ones. IKEA encourages its customers online to lead a lifestyle that is not harmful to the environment. These are some of its environmentally conscious company practices:
- Using solar panels in 90% of its buildings in the United States
- Sourcing all the cotton used in its products from sustainable sources
- Switching all its lighting to energy-efficient LEDs
- Making new commitments to spending $1 billion on climate actions
IKEA is a prime example of a company that not only says it supports environmentalism but demonstrates its dedication by embracing it in everything it does as a business.
Embracing green innovation is the way toh embrace what lies ahead of us. Conscious and continuous innovation will place us miles ahead in this race against climate deterioration. Alan Eddison said, “Modern technology owes ecology an apology.” Let our innovations be our apology and a gift to our children.