Business of innovating: Bringing low-carbon solutions to market

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Source: GLOBE Foundation

Climate change-and efforts to mitigate it-are creating an increasingly uncertain future for businesses.

The long-term effects of a warming climate are enormously difficult to predict, but in the near term, new policies, technologies, and market preferences are already altering the competitive landscape of entire industries.

Today's policy environment, particularly in the United States, is creating an extraordinarily uncertain environment for business decision-making. In the face of such uncertainties, corporate executives must still make decisions that affect their company's strategy and competitive opportunities for years.

A number of companies have successfully identified, developed, and launched low-carbon innovations, and their experiences offer valuable lessons for others with similar opportunities.

The Pew Center's Business of Innovating: Bringing Low-Carbon Solutions to Market report will outline the unique challenges and opportunities for low-carbon innovation, and will describe seven best practices that companies are using to bring low-carbon solutions to market.

The research project included a detailed innovation survey of BELC members and other leading companies, a series of BELC workshops, broader research on innovation, and in-depth case studies of eight low-carbon innovation projects from four large multinational companies:

  • Alstom SA
  • Daimler AG
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Johnson Controls, Inc.

The report presents a set of practical lessons for organizations pursuing low-carbon innovation strategies.

The results should be of interest to corporate decision-makers who are developing or considering low-carbon innovation strategies and to others seeking to understand how companies can effectively bring low-carbon innovations to market, including financial analysts, institutional investors, state and federal officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scholars, and participants in international efforts to address climate change.

The report is being authored by Andrew Hargadon, the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California.

He is the author of How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate (Harvard Business School Press 2003).

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