Technology and Sustainability: the two ingredients of innovation

Technology is a key tool in a company’s innovation process. Once upon a time, rethinking your business model from a digital view was just a possibility or competitive advantage. Today, it is a necessity to survive in an ever-changing environment. So, can technology teach us lessons about the rise of sustainability in business?

Sustainability is another ingredient which allows companies to innovate their business model and enhance their competitive advantage. That is, to make a profit, but to do so by generating a positive impact on society and the environment. The way that businesses could improve the world and the lives of the people who live there has always fascinated me. It has also dictated the academic path I have followed, focusing on sustainable practices in management.

To better understand the importance of this strategy, just think of the success of companies such as TOMS and BlaBlaCar. Their business models allowed them to help society and the environment. It also allowed them to increase visibility and enter saturated markets while saving costs. They both planned their business models and strategies to contribute to a better world and, so far, it is paying off. 

What does it take to rethink business models with a view to being sustainable? 

To this question, I don’t think there is a universal answer or formula. However, looking at what I have learnt so far I could come up with two crucial factors:

  1. A new mentality

It is important to understand that to face a transformation process, you need to change your mentality starting from the market itself and not the product. Try to get out of business logic to think with the mind of the audience. Knowing what drives consumers to sustainable products and why is the key.

  1. Motivated people

Change begins and ends with people. Within the company, the motivation behind the change of direction must be clear and shared all over the supply-chain. If the members of your organisation do not believe in sustainability and technology then change will never happen. 

I  joined Fairforce because it represents the perfect intersection of technology and sustainability. I am very proud to be part of this community and I am sure that we will accomplish great things; we have a new mentality and plenty of motivated people!