GREEN OCEANExplore the business models of tomorrow and guide your organisation on to a sustainable course of action. Time is ripe for visionary leadership.
Green Oceans are open for those organisations with the right products, services and brands ready to go for the sustainable market shares. At the same time Green Oceans are challenging some fundamental ideas about business models and strategic principles. The essence of sustainable innovation is not necesarily concerned with products, technologies or marketing - but about being able to apply and integrate a new way of thinking.
The Scope of Sustainable Innovation
Sustainability is much more than environmental considerations or proper labor conditions. It also goes beyond greentech and (quick) technological fixes. Sustainability is for sure the business of tomorrow. But it is first and foremost a mindset. An inspiration to challenge how we organise our material realm in a way that provides economic surplus as well as a prosperous future for the planet and its people.
It is also a way of raising questions not only about our means but also our ends. Today we are spending vast ressources on greening a system that is not going to work no matter how much recycled trash we put into it.
From a higher perspective sustainable innovation becomes a question of changing the fundamental rules of the game and define new ways on how we can live and organise our society, values and life styles - as businesses, as communities and as individuals.
The Green Business Paradox
When navigating in Green Oceans important questions pop up, challenging how traditional strategic management principles, organisational and economic business models work in a sustainable market environment.
The issue becomes pressing when realising that the very same principles driving successful businesses around the world today, are in fact often major causes to the depletion of the natural and social environment.
Scale economies and outsourcing might be good for the economic bottom lines, but they are also some of the driving forces behind the best practice of shipping goods half way around the globe and back again before used.
Similarily, we see social unstability in the aftermath of production facilities moving between low-cost locations, determining the rise and fall of whole cities and communities, when a factory or business unit is relocated.
Even at the very basic level we find self-contradictory premises such as the classic sustainable argument of saving the environment with a green shopping cart. This relative truth has proved its backslashing effect, when consumers use their new green wonder products to fuel an increased consumption pattern leading to an even greater consumption level than before. Or simply consider the devastating environmental consequences if developing countries choose to get electric vehicles in numbers equivalent to fossil fuel cars driving in western countries today.
What remains evident is that sustainable businesses are facing a series of paradoxes when caught in-between the economic, social and ecological considerations. For the organisation seriously considdering positioning and branding itself on a sustainable practice and go beyond greenwashing, these are issues to be taken into careful consideration.
Green Ocean SolutionsMoving to a higher level, sustainable innovation will shift its focus from the green substitution trend, to questioning how we can fundamentally transform the modern way of mass-consumption to a sustainable model.
Such a Green Ocean strategy could for example focus on how to shift from a physical product-orientation to a service based business model that radically reduce material and energy consumption:
- Are products needed to drive a good turnover or can a shift to service solutions take income to an even higher level?
- How can a "Less is More" philosophy be translated into real solutions that use a minimum of energy/material but provide the same or even larger benefits for the user?
The other way around an ambitious target can be established that aims for net positive contributions (carbon emissions, material use, polution etc.) to the environment from each product sold. In general the exploration of possible positive effects of a product or service holds enourmous amounts of potentials both environmentally-wise as socially dealing with the whole value-chain and production process.
A third and very different example of a driver for sustainable innovation is the open source solution that increase the potential utility on development work manifold. Open source solutions can also be great tools for social effects through providing opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
All in all, there is a whole ocean of opportunities available for organisations aspiring to pursue a sustainable course of action - mostly it is a question of having the courage to join the race!
Take ActionCo·Creative offers strategic consulting services and assistance on the development and communication of Green Ocean solutions.
We also run creative workshops and camps for people-driven innovation activities.
Please contact Project Developer & Director, Søren Femmer Jensen for more info: +45 30 279 111 / email@example.com
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