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Eco Innovation in Tough Times


I was sitting with executives from a company in the lifecycle assessment space this morning.  As we were discussing the industry trends, I couldn’t help thinking about recent articles I’d read in the Wall Street Journal.  Eco-innovation is under a lot from pressure from the economic squeeze companies are feeling.

What does that mean to producers of products?  Can they put green initiatives on the back burner?  Will we see a return to high-impact practices of the past?  How should companies balance financial and green imperatives?

While there will be spot relief given to companies where distress and hardship can be shown, the climate is unlikely to produce a significant reversal in the trends of green drivers.  In the US, the new President has already given signals that eco-regulations will be strengthened.  Businesses will need to continue examining how to map out and operationalize green strategies.

However, this shouldn’t be viewed negatively.  Eco-innovation is an opportunity to find innovative paths that can bolster a company’s financial perform while making a beneficial contribution to society and the environment.  Pursuing a green strategy that considers cost profile and performance characteristics of implementation strategies can provide an expanded value proposition to consumers that doesn’t upset the financial equation.  Innovations that optimize product design or logistics can yield dual eco and cost savings benefits to the company.

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