SOFT&GREEN Insights

Innovation, competitiveness, sustainability

What meaning can we give to the “innovation and sustainability” duo? According to many experts, key variables must be considered for a company’s competitiveness; without these elements it is much more difficult to achieve positive results and maintain them in modern times.

Can we say that sustainability requires innovation, or does innovation require sustainability, its values and its methodologies? If we look at the final result of the innovation process, the traditional approach usually results in the creation of products and services that meet specific needs through methods that can be more economical, comfortable or rewarding than existing ones. A sustainable approach instead offers solutions that meet these needs in a satisfactory manner but using, for example, fewer resources with less environmental impact.
More generally, the introduction of environmental values into corporate strategies leads to a greater focus on innovation in business models, which is a change that also has positive effects on competitiveness.

An innovation becomes sustainable if environmental policies are applied to the entire life cycle of products or services, therefore the entire corporate structure must be involved in all the various stages: from design to the production process, from logistics to marketing.
For this to happen, they must be included within the corporate culture in order to rethink processes which must then be continuously monitored.

All this then brings us back to the value and importance of skills within a company. Professional skills favouring the development of these dynamics are necessary, also in Italian SMEs. Hence the need to communicate and inform, network and allow those who already have knowledge in these areas or are interested in furthering them to be involved.