Sustainability as the driving force for business innovation

Climate change is the most important challenge facing our planet today. But what does it mean for your business?


If you missed out on the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit 2021, see Sunil Karkera, our VP & Global Managing Director, and Kjersti Lund, our European Head of Business, share their thoughts and insights here. Short on time? Read on for a bite-size summary of the event.

This year's annual Sustainable Business Summit brought together business leaders and experts from around the world to discuss how sustainability connects to the global economy under the themes 'The road to net zero', 'The financial case for sustainability', and 'The S in ESG'. An impressive lineup of speakers touched on these topics to help you drive sustainable innovation within your organisation. Want to know more? Let's dive in.

First things first, what is sustainability?

You've probably come across sustainability and what it means to the environment, the need to adjust natural resources, and how they're distributed worldwide. But sustainability is much broader than that; it also looks at social and economic responsibility. This means understanding how to create long-term solutions for future generations that take people and the planet into account. Our European Head of Business, Kjersti Lund, talked to The Index Project's Liza Chong about the importance of defining—or perhaps redefining—sustainability within this context.

Design for the user.

Kjersti and Liza agreed that to push sustainable transformation within businesses and organisations, it's key to acknowledge the broader social context that sustainability lives within. For design thinking, this means putting the user at the centre of the solution.

Challenges along the way.

Business sustainability faces many challenges, but undoubtedly, one of its most significant is the fact that you often have to pave the way as you go along. Essentially what this means is that a lot of businesses struggle to make the strategies they create tangible. They simply don't have the tools or in-house knowledge to bring their concepts to life.

Another challenge is how success is measured. Today, businesses tend to focus on growth 'at all costs', but it's a mentality they have to move away from. The end goal shouldn't be profit margins but ensuring a quality of life for future generations and the planet.

It's not just about reducing.

This year, one of the key themes—‘The road to net zero’—centred around the global initiative towards a net-zero emissions global economy by 2050. But sustainable innovation shouldn't be just about reducing; it has to focus on adding, too. Creating new solutions for people that simultaneously recognise environmental, social, and financial responsibilities is how sustainability can drive business innovation forward.

Want to know more about the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit 2021? Have a listen to Sunil Karkera and Kjersti Lund’s thoughts and insights here.