Process and Purpose of the Sustainable Innovation – Literature review Example

REVIEWING THE PROCESS AND PURPOSE OF THE SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION By Reviewing the Process and Purpose of the Sustainable Innovation
The concept of sustainable innovation is not friendly among most business leaders. Most corporate leaders are convinced that taking care of resources or engaging in sustainable development activities add extra cost to their business. This is of particular interests in the tourism industry whereby trade is dependent on the natural world. In the tourism sector, sustainable development or innovation contribute direct costs to a business. This paper presents a critical review of sustainable innovation; the paper will also evaluate relevant theories and models related to sustainable development.
Current trends in the tourism sector demonstrate the significance of sustainable innovation in the business sector. According to the The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), sustainable tourism is meeting the needs of the tourist (customers) while protecting the host regions for future needs (Daly, 2008, p.123). This definition is the basis of the sustainable innovation project. Although the definition gives a precise opening to the paper, it lacks a universal perspective. This is because the description is only applicable to the tourism industry and related areas. The project aimed to create an accreditation that would be piloted in the UK by all franchises operating under the IHG umbrella. The issues of environmental sustainability are spread to all sectors of a business and therefore it cannot be evaluated through a single approach. The project captures the issue of sustainability through the respective of an investor (The International Ecotourism Society, 2000). This is evident from the planning approach applied to complete the project. For instance, the planning did not include a visit to a consumer organization or a government organization. The conduct of the project was fair although there were observable inconsistencies. The project had several achievements. The achievements of the project can be measured by evaluating the level at which the project achieved the objective. The project achieved more than 70% of its objectives and therefore it had a fair outcome.
Sustainable Management Theories, Models, and Frameworks
There are two main concepts or approaches to the theories of sustainable development. Studies of sustainable innovations can either be approached from either a strong or a weak sustainability (Hamedinger, 2003). From the two concepts, scholars have been able to develop sustainable management theories, models and frameworks. The project adopts the green economy model. This is one of the most established theories and it broadens the scope of the paper. The theory tackles issue of sustainability from an economic approach. The theorists assume that sustainable developments can only be achieved through commercialization of sustainable development activities such as environmental conservation (Arrow, 2005). The concept is significant in business application since it encourages the use of resources to create environmental sustainability. Although this theory has a systematic approach to the issue of sustainable development, it fails to capture all the areas of interests within the subject (Bell & Mores, 2008, p. 23). Furthermore, the theory fails to cover the entire scope of the project. Presumably, the project would have utilized environmental utilization space. According to this theory, environmental sustainability is limited by the carrying capacity of the environment. Therefore, sustainable development efforts are limited to the amount of resources within a particular environment (Lindley, 2001, p. 56). The model needs to have been incorporated into the project since it defines certain important limits that need consideration. Further, the project needed to incorporate human right approach models, which considers environmental sustainability as an essential aspect of human survival.
Reflection
I believe that the project has an appropriate application of theories and models that relates to sustainable development. However, the theories are biased towards the management aspect of environmental sustainability. This overlooks many issues such as the role of corporate in ensuring environmental sustainability. Furthermore, the project interprets environmental problems using economic approaches. This is a significant aspect when dealing with a multidisciplinary issue such as sustainable development.
From the project description and implementation, I have learnt that:
Sustainable development is a multidisciplinary aspect and it has multiple approaches
Economic approaches to sustainable development only solve economical issues and neglects ethical issues that are related to sustainable development.
The project provides a systematic approach to project management that would be significant to my profession.
The project identifies sustainable development challenges that affect modern day business.
The project examines the need to have practice corporate social responsibilities within a business organization
The IHG’s case that there is always room for accreditation within any business environment
I have also learnt that sustainable innovations are instrumental to business advancements and adaptability
The project illustrates how to breakdown a complex problem into its constituent elements for practical analysis
References
Arrow, K et al 2005, "Economic Growth, Carrying Capacity, and the Environment." Science, 268: 520 -521.
Bell, S & Mores, S2008, Measuring Sustainability Learning from doing, Earthscan, London.
Daly, H 2008, Towards some operational Principles of Sustainable Development, Ecological Economics, 2, pp 1-6.
Hamedinger, A 2003, The Analysis of Indicators as Socially Constructed Policy Instruments: benefits and challenges of ‘interactive research’, Local Environment, 8 (6), pp 627-240
Lindley, J 2001, Virtual Tools for Complex Problems: An Overview i of the Atlas Regional Interactive Sustainability Atlas for Planning for Sustainable Development, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 19(2), pp 141-151.
The International Ecotourism Society (2000). Ecotourism Statistical Fact Sheet, viewed July 12, 2013, < http://www.active-tourism.com/factsEcotourism1.pdf>