Sustainable innovation differs slightly from traditional kinds of innovation. Both involve creating new services, processes, and products. What sets sustainable innovation apart is its contribution to the needs of future generations. In other words, businesses must take global changes into account, such as global warming and human rights, rather than just looking for profit.
These innovators think about the long-term and do not just focus on their own business. Instead, they seek to look after the natural environment and build a green future. Sustainable innovation is also generally embedded in their DNA. Continue reading to learn more about why sustainable innovation is important for SMEs in the fight against climate change.
Why does it matter?
Innovation is the way we will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the proposed timeline. This kind of disruptive innovation will help us to fundamentally change our ways so we can achieve a sustainable world. Ultimately, innovation advances and supports environmental efforts.
In terms of your business itself, innovating is what will help it exist and grow. To do this, you must implement sustainability practices across your complete supply chain. Sustainability and innovation work together. Mixing the two means creating green technology and solutions that will benefit your business and the planet.
What are the current challenges in innovation?
With anything comes challenges, and that is no different when it comes to innovation for SMEs. The biggest one is that small enterprises usually have a lack of resources, namely revenue, to invest in innovating. Additionally, some may have a fear of change because to innovate means doing something differently.
This goes hand in hand with not having a growth mindset. Another challenge is not having adequate benchmarks to assess the value of innovating. Finally, if the business does not have an innovation ecosystem, innovating can be challenging. While there are lots of challenges, they can be overcome with the right team and leadership.
Innovation can make your business more efficient
Sustainable innovation can help your business in a variety of ways. It is essential to your success in today’s highly competitive environment. Innovation makes your business more efficient. It results in higher productivity, which means the same input generates a greater output.
When productivity increases, more services and goods are produced, which means your business grows. Innovation excites both your team and your customers so you can foster a greater working environment which will reap only positive results.
Being innovative helps you stay connected to your customer base
Customers today are increasingly invested in businesses that strive to help the planet. Therefore, innovating and creating green products and services will only help you better connect to your customers.
As your ethics begin to match theirs, customer loyalty rises, and you also acquire new customers who care about the planet, too. Customers understand the power of their purchases, and they will invest the time to research your social and environmental impact.
Customer expectations are evolving, and organisations are facing numerous climate risks. Innovating helps businesses reduce their impact on the planet while improving their efficiency and better connecting with their customer base. SMEs may have fewer resources than bigger businesses, but that should not stop them from being the drivers of innovation.