Problems and Solutions for Corporations and Communities in Tapping Environmental Innovations

By Regis Maubrey

This paper examines the obstacles and solutions both private and public organizations confront in accessing innovations resulting from environmental protection efforts and in implementing sustainability policies. This idea of sustainable development, which itself represents a major innovation at the beginning of the 21st century in the environmental management domain, results from a variety of pressures that have been building up during the entire second half of the 20th century. This paper argues that the concept of sustainability will likely help remove resistance toward recent innovations in environmental technology, thus making them accessible by small and medium enterprises. It is therefore not sufficient to review issues and find solutions: both must also be communicated if we are to reach a consensus and formulate long-term policies that will guarantee their sustainable implementation. In practice, the problem of innovation for sustainable development has always been the dissemination, both inside and outside the innovating organization, of what an environmental approach implies. The solution proposed in this paper is to engage in an on-going dialogue and interaction with public and private stakeholders. The recommendation, which is based on the case of the city of Dunkerque, is to start the process from the space component in order to find common ground between decision-makers and the population prior to disseminating possible solutions.


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