Why Sustainability Is Now The Key Driver Of Innovation Essay

Why Sustainability Is Now The Key Driver Of Innovation Essay

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In a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, “Why Sustainability is now the Key Driver of Innovation”, the contributors argue against the common view: that as businesses become more environmentally friendly they become less competitive and profitable (Nidumolu, Prahalad, & Rangaswami, 2009) The contributors go on to say that companies who initiate environmental sustainability will develop competencies that competitors won’t be able to match and that ultimately, “sustainability will always be an integral part of development” (Nidumolu et al., 2009). In the year 2016, their statements are still valid and applicable to the biggest corporations in America. The largest corporation by revenue in America with over 482 billion dollars is Walmart (“Wal-Mart”). Their market cap is over 214 billion with their second biggest competitor, Target, having a market cap of over 49 billion (“Wal-Mart”). Although Walmart has a distinctive revenue advantage over Target and the industry, their sustainability operations rival each other. Their initiatives in sustainability incorporate sustainable product design, sustainable processes, and sustainability in supply chain management that have led to the increase in their triple bottom line: profit, people and the planet.
Quoting Andrew Winston, an expert consultant and author in green management, from the title in his HBR article: Target is “Taking Sustainable Products Mainstream”. In the article, Winston states Target’s natural and organics section increased 17% in 2014, which is four times higher than Target’s total grocery sales (Winston). Target’s commitment to stainability products is evident with their introduction of the “Sustainable Product Index”. Target’s sustainable products index evaluates pr...


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...lp identify manufactories who conduct child labor (“Crafting”). GoodWeave has certification labels that ensure customers the rugs they buy were created without the use of child labor. GoodWeave predicts that there are over 250,000 children in the handmade rug industry and their hope is get the number down to zero by 2020 (“Crafting”).
Both Walmart and Target are working toward complete environmentally sustainable operations. Their goal for sustainability led to their collaboration in 2014. For the increase in sustainable, environmentally friendly beauty and care products, Walmart and Target held a conference in Chicago with the nation’s top beauty and car suppliers (Kumar). The toxicity of chemicals in products and the product packaging were topic of concern at the meeting. Their collaboration what due to their goals of providing a socially responsible service.

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