Is ethical innovation a recipe for growth?

On one hand, WalMart - the largest retailer has been improving its fleet fuel efficiency by 69% and becoming the nation’s leading commercial buyer of solar energy. Sustainability initiatives like putting pressure on its 100,000 suppliers to improve their environmental performance — has changed how thousands of products are innovated, made, packaged and sold globally. Consumerism driven cut throat competition on the other hand has paved the path of a gigantic endeavour of maintaining market supremacy. This unfortunate and mis-aligned focus has led organisations into innovating at a higher pace beyond the ethical boundaries with implicit global costs.

Institutionalising innovation with the aim to improve people's lives at no implicit cost to the other parts of the globe demands attention. 

"Ethical innovation is not only a survival tactic - it actually is a recipe for growth."
Incorrect focus for GDP as a measure of income at any cost

The fatal flaw in the 'profit at any cost' approach is a hidden root cause of societal detrement. Instead of growing organically and maintaining the pace of sustainable development - market forces have pushed the ethics out of the equation.

"Companies are competing & innovating for market share ruthlessly while making profits at any cost."
If we continue on the same path - another economic collapse and disaster awaits us in an even shorter cycle than ever experienced in the history of mankind.

GDP driven growth is neither sustainable nor real. When growth of countries is measured as an income statement (GDP) instead of wealth creation - there is an inevitable impact on the minds of business leaders and common consumption driven public.

We need to reinvent GDP at a policy level to ensure that it does not promote income at any cost. The fundamental change is required in converting the income statement to a balance sheet.

Here is the copy of my recent webinar on the topic - delivered at

One of the eminent ways to address this conundrum is with fortune companies taking this seriously for the sake of sustainable growth. Suppliers to corporates should be encourage, supported and coached to rethink their approach towards greener and value driven initiatives.

"Irrespective of the model or level of innovation we adapt, the focus has to shift from 'profit at any cost' to 'collaborative growth' with the wider society."

Whether we see this happening in our lifespan is another discussion - a fundamental change in transforming the traditional mindset of larger corporations is on the horizon.

Who will sustain, grow or perish - only time will tell.

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Thank you very much for the insights and suggestions.

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