Innovation Basics: How to address 5 Sustainability pressures

By Michael Watkins

Posted on

Changing the world, one idea at a time has to start somewhere. Even the organizations that regularly bring about revolutionary change had a first step to take on their journey. In the Innovation Basics series, we focus exclusively on what that first step could look like for newcomers to the innovation world. Follow this guidance to achieve faster, better innovation.

If you were to ask every business in the world what its main priorities are and map the answers on a word cloud, sustainability would undoubtedly be one of the biggest words there. It’s a subject that every member of every industry is having to consider as they head towards the future. In this blog, we’ll look at the sustainability pressures businesses face from regulation, economic areas, brand loyalty, technology, and the environment and offer advice on how you can begin to overcome them.

Sustainability is very often the area that newcomers to innovation identify as a focus. If your innovation program delivers a positive solution to a sustainability issue, it should be able to do the same in other, more business-specific areas.

This doesn’t mean that sustainability problems are necessarily any more complex. Sometimes, they just feel more overwhelming because pressures around a company’s sustainability credentials come from several different areas.

Sustainability Pressures:

Some of the sustainability pressures companies are dealing with include:

Addressing these Pressures:

Identifying these specific pressures and where they’re coming from is one thing. Knowing how your organization can go about solving them is quite another. When you’re starting out, focus on what sustainability issues exist in your business right now and think about ways to improve.

Wazoku customers have found sustainability success through:

  • Competitions – run an internal competition with a prize to start generating ideas from your company
  • Community – small improvements add up to something bigger, so consider making changes in your supply chain to deliver sustainability innovations
  • Open R&D – crowdsourcing ideas from those who exist outside of your industry can lead to great out-of-the-box thinking
  • Customers – using your existing customer base to identify areas for improvement brings focus to your early innovation attempts

In this blog, we’ve introduced the topic of sustainability and outlined why it’s such a key focus for so many businesses. We’ve identified a lot of the pressures that come from different areas and how they impact organizations in different ways. Finally, we’ve suggested ways in which companies can begin to turn the tide on unsustainable practices and take the first steps on their innovation journey.

Read the next blog in our Innovation Basics series: 3 Key Benefits of Co-creation

Want to use innovation to tackle sustainability problems?

Check out our Sustainability in Innovation guide

By Michael Watkins

Michael is Wazoku's Product and Brand Marketing lead. Away from the office, he's our resident film buff, so if you want some recommendations for a night in front of Netflix or a trip to your local cinema, get in touch with him!