Harvard Business Review on sustainability and innovation

The latest HBR has an 11 page article entitled “Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation” by Ram Nidumolu, C. K. Prahalad, and M.R. Rangaswami.

I’ve just bought a copy of the PDF for $6.50. It’s definitely worth it.

The authors, on first scan at least, are focused on looking at technology and organisational innovation and what it can do for both income and profits.

Being HBR, one wouldn’t expect much on the moral case/imperative for sustainability.

The authors appear early on, not to much have time for CSR: “most executives treat the need to become sustainable as a corporate social responsibility, divorced from business objectives”.

Ouch. But right in many instances.

Nidumolu, Prahalad, and Rangaswami have found that companies on the journey to sustainability go through five distinct stages of change:

(1) viewing compliance as opportunity
(2) making value chains sustainable
(3) designing sustainable products and services
(4) developing new business models; and
(5) creating next-practice platforms

There’s preview of the article here.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Toby, I read this paper as well, it gave me a very interesting correlation on how Sustainability is about to disrupt the economy. I jointly studied "Disruptive Technology" and "Sustainability". Some of my thoughts are in my blog.

    Check out my blog at http://abhilashmekala.blogspot.com/

  3. an informative post. Thanks for the review about sustainability and innovation.

  4. Very interesting information. Enjoyed the post.

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