Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability series

Edited by Rolf Wüstenhagen, Jost Hamschmidt, Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik

In recent years our understanding of corporate sustainability has moved from exploitation to exploration, from corporate environmental management to sustainable entrepreneurship, and from efficiency to innovation. Yet current trends indicate the need for radical innovation via entrepreneurial start-ups or new ventures within existing corporations despite difficulties with the financing and marketing of such efforts. Presenting both conceptual and empirical research, this fascinating book addresses how we can combine environmental and social sustainability with economic sustainability in order to produce innovative new business models.
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Chapter 6: Too Much of a Good Thing? Innovation Driven by Environmental Ambition

Luca Berchicci

Extract

6. Too much of a good thing? Innovation driven by environmental ambition Luca Berchicci Many scholars in the environmental new product development (ENPD) field argue that by going green, corporations may reduce costs, capture emerging market and gain first-mover advantage (Hart, 1995; Porter and Van der Linde, 1995). Nevertheless, the ambition to develop environmentally driven innovations often clashes with the less than exciting performance of these products once introduced. Some of the products are developed to the prototype stage and then abandoned. Do green innovations fail due to the intrinsic uncertainties of every innovation process or do they have additional complex attributes, which make green innovative projects more risky? This chapter addresses this issue, in particular exploring the role of environmental concerns in new product development. Here ENPD is defined as the development of new products rather than the redesigning of existing products according to environmental criteria, following market rules rather than regulatory ones. Although concerns for the natural environment may lead to the discovery of new opportunities for innovation (for example, Sharma, 2000), we do not know exactly how the environmental concerns may influence the exploitation of new opportunities, such as the development of new products and services. The concern for the natural environment is pervasive among both consumers and business organizations and it is therefore an important phenomenon that needs more scholarly attention (Banerjee, 2001; Bansal, 2003). In organization and the natural environment studies, many scholars suggest that the recognition and integration of environmental concerns into...

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