For the third year running, Verdantix was commissioned by WWF-UK to conduct the research for the WWF Green Game-Changers report on insights for mainstreaming business innovation. This report follows on from last year’s Green Game-Changers report, which focused on small-scale sustainability innovators, and reviews the progress of large firms to adopt and scale-up innovations. Based on a global market scan coupled with primary research, 10 case studies, organised by innovation type, show that innovation is often driven by smaller business models.
“Verdantix were delighted to be a part of this important project for the third year running,” commented Abbie Curtis, Analyst and author of the report. “It’s imperative that large firms look closely at their business models and the competition out there to ensure that they reap the business benefits offered by more sustainable, innovative ways of doing business and don’t get left behind.’’
This study features 10 case studies on large corporates that have taken steps to innovate their business models towards sustainability, in the categories of: dematerialisation, open loop, renewable and low carbon and restorative. The 10 organisations selected to be featured have gone above and beyond product and process optimisation and are on the road to innovating their business models towards a more sustainable future. These include: B&Q, DONG Energy, Hertz, Philips and Umicore.
Umicore, a $3 billion multinational firm, has successfully transformed its business by moving away from mining and refining activities to a cleantech and recycling model that embeds sustainability and open loop innovation into the business.
At the business unit level, Hertz, the car rental firm, launched ‘Hertz on Demand’ in 2008 which provides hourly, flexible and fuel efficient rentals. It is a more economical option for urban consumers and achieves sustainability benefits by shifting the economy towards dematerialisation and away from traditional ownership models. This shift mirrors the emergence of smaller alternative models in the market such as ZipCar and WhipCar.
“Firms looking to move towards a more sustainable business model should focus on a number of activities: monitor emerging models, push beyond product innovation, get buy-in from the top, reassess the value chain and collaborate externally.” commented David Metcalfe, CEO of Verdantix. ‘’By engaging with the external market firms will be compelled to think more ambitiously and innovatively.’’
The report, Green Game-Changers: Insights for mainstreaming business innovation is available for download at www.wwf.org.uk.
Note To Editors
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