Eco-innovation offers an increasingly important competitive advantage and an integrative approach toeco-innovation often yields the best results
The termeco-innovation is used to describe products and processes thatcontribute to sustainable development. Eco-innovation is the commercialapplication of knowledge to elicit direct or indirect ecologicalimprovements. It is often used to describe a range of related ideas,from environmentally friendly technological advances tosocially-acceptable innovative paths towards sustainability. One of thefirst appearances of the concept of eco-innovation in the literature isin the book by Claude Fussler and Peter James (1996).
Eco-innovation requires a workforce that can consider problems from multipleperspectives and that can effectively work in cross-functional teams.For example, experience in chemistry and physics is required to tacklethings like photovoltaics, polymers and greener chemical production.
For an integrative approach, research and development need to encompass the entire life cycle, and this information needs to be continuously shared among the various work groups. Green innovation requires that youcontinuously evaluate a project from idea to commercialization withsustainability in mind, and ensure that each phase creates a feedbackloop that continually informs decision-making.
The commonbusiness basics of location, capital construction, and equipmentconsiderations, need to be viewed from a sustainability perspective. For some, the hurdle for green innovation is related to physicalinfrastructure rather than human resources or knowledge.
Greeninnovation is a significant challenge, but an integrative approachincreases the possibilities for significant rewards.