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5 Benefits of Eco Innovation
Blog...5 Benefits of Eco Innovation

5 Benefits of Eco Innovation

Ecology News
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In this article, we’ll explain what eco innovation is, examples, benefits, and how your company could incorporate the ideals of eco innovation.
Ecology News
person holding a lightbulb

From terms like “eco-friendly” and “eco-design” – you may think you’ve already heard of all the “eco-like” terms to have ever existed, but have you heard of eco innovation?

Eco innovation refers to the idea of creating eco-friendly products or practices which will help promote sustainability without forsaking current revenue or momentum in a business.

In this article, we’ll explain what eco innovation is, examples, benefits, and how your company could incorporate the ideals of eco innovation.

What is eco innovation?

Eco-innovation, sometimes referred to as environmental innovation, is a new approach in business which aims to advocate for sustainability without compromising business performance or foregoing the competitive nature of a company.

Think of someone trying to go vegan, but loves milk chocolate – in order to maintain their newfound veganism, it will be in their best interest to find replacements to ensure they can stay vegan without giving up their favorite treats. The same concept goes for companies seeking to implement eco-innovation into their business practices.
what is eco innovation?

Eco innovation is important seeing as it is essential for people and businesses alike to alter the products and habits of their daily lives to elicit the necessary changes needed to combat climate change once and for all.

💡 Therefore, the main goal of eco innovation is to help mitigate excess emissions and aid in the climate change crisis – as making our daily habits and products used to be more environmentally friendly can help to drastically reduce our carbon footprint.

A few other reasons why eco innovation is important include:

  • Helps to combat various social inequalities 
  • Raises awareness regarding the need for change
  • Encourages greater technological production and future eco-friendly designs
  • Promotes the use of analytical tools to help measure and reduce emissions in conjunction with creating products in line with eco innovation

👉 The term, “eco innovation” makes use of the word “innovation” in order to accentuate the need for rapid action and adjustments for the sake of companies looking to improve their environmental, economic, and social pillars.

paper to go containers

What are some examples of eco innovation?

Some examples of eco innovation include the use of renewable energy such as via solar or wind power. 

People may often confuse eco innovation with sustainable or green innovation, even when the two terms aren’t exactly the same. This can result in misclassifying certain products or concepts under eco innovation when in reality they are not.
singapore generates plastic waate annual plastic water bottles

💡The terms “sustainable innovation” and “eco innovation” are often used interchangeably, but the two are not entirely the same. This is because eco innovation, while also concerned with benefitting society as a whole, primarily focuses on environmental reform – whereas sustainable innovation places a greater emphasis on ethical and social aspects. 

More examples of eco innovation include:

  • Geothermal Energy – A method of harvesting renewable energy via dry steam power
  • Solar Power – A way to produce electricity via the use of solar panels and UV rays
  • Wind Power – A form of renewable energy production via the use of wind turbines
  • Hydro Power – A method of generating renewable energy via water energy and the use of hydroelectric dams.
  • Green Infrastructure – Not only is green infrastructure beneficial for economic growth, but it can help to reduce the environmental impact created on behalf of buildings. 
  • Electric Vehicles (EV) – Cars, such as a Tesla, were made with sustainability in mind – and will continue to prove imperative in the fight against climate change as states like California ban the purchase of gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • Desalination – The process of removing salt from ocean water so that it can be used for drinking water or other sanitation purposes.
  • Climate Smart Farming – The new technologies used under sustainable farming and agriculture help to slash greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Sustainable Packaging – Efforts to find novel ways to package products in materials that don’t contribute to landfill is a prime example of eco innovation.
  • Smart Grids – These power grids help to maximize electricity usage to preserve finite resources.
  • Carbon Capture and Storage Systems – Specifically designed to remove excess carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere, carbon capture and storage systems (otherwise known as CCS for short) is perhaps the hallmark example of eco innovation.

👉 Generally, any eco-friendly effort to help mitigate excess emissions or produce resources in place of finite resources, such as renewable energy instead of fossil fuels – is considered an example of eco innovation.

charging an EV

What are the 4 categories of eco innovation?

The four categories of eco innovation are technological eco innovation, social eco innovation, organizational eco innovation, and regulatory eco innovation.

Eco innovation may take place out of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, and depending on why eco innovation is pursued or instilled within a company will determine which category the eco innovation will fall under.

The four main categories under eco innovations include:

  • Technological Eco Innovations – This type of eco innovation refers to new technologies being developed at hopes of helping to reduce the current environmental impact of an activity – such as electric vehicles being created to help mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions produced from driving.
  • Social Eco Innovations – This type of eco innovation refers to the development of products or practices which will help to encourage eco-friendly practices to become the new norm. This could involve efforts to promote sustainable campaigns and sharing new ideas to help make green living more approachable and accessible.
  • Organizational Eco Innovations – This type of eco innovation will refer to making changes in a company’s business model in order to improve environmental performance – which could include efforts to decarbonize their supply chain, implement energy efficient technology, or even recycle more at the office.
  • Regulatory Eco Innovations – This fourth and final type of eco innovation refers to companies that must adapt eco-friendly initiatives for the sake of complying with environmental regulations. This can include implementing ideals such as developing eco-labels or carbon pricing. 

👉 Ultimately, regardless of the type of eco innovation implemented on behalf of a company – eco innovations remain extremely beneficial for everyone involved: from the business itself, to customers, stakeholders, and the surrounding community.

smily face on sidewalk

What are 5 benefits of eco innovation?

There are several benefits to eco innovation – such as gaining the ability to access new markets and helping to adhere to environmental regulations before they become compulsory. 

Eco innovation isn’t just good for the planet, but it can reap several business benefits as well.

Here are 5 benefits of eco innovation:

New Investment Opportunities

Studies have shown that investors are more likely to take an interest in companies that express their commitment to environmental reform – and seeking to utilize eco innovation is a surefire way to accomplish this.

This means that eco innovation could help your company to close crucial investment opportunities.

Expand to New Markets

Eco innovations can help businesses attract new customers with their newfound interest in tackling sustainability. For instance, another company may hear about your company’s product or service when it is marketed as an eco innovation because they were specifically looking for a more eco-friendly product – and otherwise, may have never found your company to begin with.

Therefore, eco innovation can help your business expand to new horizons.

Increase Productivity

Eco innovation isn’t just good for the environment, but for the atmosphere inside your own office walls.

This is because eco innovation can help to improve the technological equipment inside your office and in turn, help to boost employee productivity.

The more efficient your in-office technology is running, the more inspired your employees will be to get creative and develop even more eco innovations.

Stay Ahead of Environmental Regulations

One of the many reasons companies seek eco innovation is to comply with upcoming environmental regulations, but in reality – eco innovation can help your company to stay one-step-ahead of the game.

This is because environmental regulations will often require companies to publicly disclose their emissions, which will motivate companies to reduce their environmental impact in order to prevent negative environmental backlash.

Implementing eco innovation can help to reduce emissions, help companies stay ahead of future environmental regulations, and prevent the potential hesitation associated with complying under these more stringent rules.

Greater Business Revenue & Profitability 

Recent studies reveal that an overwhelming amount of people prefer to purchase sustainable goods, which includes the entire process behind those products being made – such as how products are sourced or how workers are treated.

Did you know that 4 out of 5 people prefer to purchase sustainable products?

Eco innovation can help demonstrate to customers a company’s dedication to environmental reform and in turn, boost sales and profits as a result of increased consumer interest.

person crunching numbers

How can your company incorporate the ideals of eco innovation into your business practices?

Your company can implement eco innovation as long as your business takes the necessary preliminary steps to eco innovation.

Creating ideas to help reduce your company’s environmental impact may seem easy enough, but it’s imperative to first assess your business priorities and areas in which eco innovation could benefit the most from.

Here are a few questions to consider before taking the plunge into the world of eco innovation:

  • Overview of Your Respective Industry – Before diving into eco innovation, it’s important for your company to identify important trends in your respective industry – such as what customers and suppliers expect out of purchasing or collaborating with your product or service. This can help determine which eco innovations will prove most useful.
  • The 3 ‘R’s – The most basic first step of eco innovation is to assess how well your company is reducing, reusing, and recycling common office materials – and to adjust that usage accordingly.
  • Take Consumer Interest Into Account – Customers are ultimately what helps a business to sustain themselves. Therefore, it is essential for your company to take note of the wants and needs of loyal customers – especially if many of them are requesting specific adjustments to be made to a product or service to mitigate an excessive environmental impact.
  • Find the Financial Resources – Making serious changes to your business model via eco innovation may put financial strain on your business, which means there is no time to acquire savings like the present. Luckily, your company can get started via impact investments, green financing, and more. 

Once your company has addressed all of these concerns, your business can confidently move forward with various ideas for eco innovation initiatives.

Overall, eco innovation can help to build a more sustainable business whilst also helping your company to boost profitability and also creating happier and more satisfied customers, investors, and employees – all of which help your business to stay relevant and fight climate change at the same time.

What About Greenly?

If reading this article about eco innovation has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

It can be challenging to determine how eco innovation can find a place in your  business, but don’t worry – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you find ways to improve energy efficiency and decrease the dependency on fossil fuels in your own company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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