When companies pursue sustainability, it's often to show that they're socially responsible. They expect the endeavor will prove to add for their costs, deliver no immediate financial benefits, and potentially erode their competition. Meanwhile, policy makers and activists argue that it'll take harder rules and educated, organized customers to pressure companies to consider sustainable practices. But, the authors, the mission for sustainability can unearth a parent lode of business and technological improvements that yield both top-line and bottom-line returns. That mission has started to transform the competitive landscape, as companies redesign items, technologies, processes, and business models. By equating sustainability with innovation today, businesses can lay the footwork which will insert them in charge once the recession finishes. Nidumolu, Prahalad, and Rangaswami have discovered that companies around the journey to sustainability undergo five distinct stages of change: (1) viewing compliance as chance (2) making value chains sustainable (3) creating sustainable items and services (4) developing start up business models and (5) creating next-practice platforms. The authors outline the difficulties that every stage entails and also the abilities required to tackle them. This HBR Spotlight article provides a framework for identifying your company's eco-friendly possibilities and an introduction to the other organizations do with clean energy technologies and recycling programs.
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