Sustainable vs Conventional Innovation: The Future Divide
Innovation is the backbone of growth and development of any economy. It provides new technologies, products and services that make life easier for people. However, there is a growing concern about the kind of innovation that is taking place. Many people argue that conventional innovation is doing more harm than good to the environment and society. In contrast, sustainable innovation aims to create new products and services that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable.
Sustainable vs Conventional Innovation: Bridging the Gap
Sustainable innovation is a relatively new concept, and it is often in conflict with conventional innovation. Conventional innovation focuses on maximizing profits and shareholder value, often at the expense of the environment and society. Sustainable innovation, on the other hand, seeks to create innovations that are both profitable and socially and environmentally sustainable.
While the two approaches seem to be divergent, it is essential to recognize that they can complement each other. Sustainable innovation can provide conventional innovation with new ideas and technologies that are more environmentally friendly and socially responsible. For instance, electric cars are a sustainable innovation that can replace traditional internal combustion engine cars.
Conventional innovation, on the other hand, can provide sustainable innovation with the means to scale up and reach a broader audience. Conventional innovation has access to more resources, such as capital and technology, which can help accelerate the adoption of sustainable innovations. For example, the mass production of solar panels has significantly reduced the cost of solar energy and made it more accessible to consumers.
The Future Divide: Embracing Sustainability in Innovation
There is a growing consensus that sustainability should be at the core of all innovation. The future of innovation is, therefore, likely to be more sustainable and socially responsible. Sustainable innovation is essential in creating a future that is equitable, environmentally responsible and economically prosperous. It is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense.
As companies strive to become more sustainable, they are investing more in research and development of sustainable innovations. For example, many companies are developing products and services that use renewable energy, reduce waste, and mitigate climate change. These innovations are creating new markets and driving economic growth.
Governments and international organizations are also playing a critical role in promoting sustainable innovation. They are providing funding for research and development of sustainable technologies and creating policies that encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices. For example, the European Union has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and invested over €1 trillion in the green economy.
In conclusion, the future of innovation lies in sustainability. Sustainable innovation and conventional innovation can work hand in hand to create products and services that are both profitable and socially and environmentally sustainable. As consumers become more conscious of the impact of their choices on the environment, businesses that prioritize sustainability will be better placed to succeed. The future divide will not be between sustainable and conventional innovation, but between those who embrace sustainability and those who do not.