Innovation for Sustainability: Sceptical, Pragmatic, and Idealist Perspectives on the Role of Business as a Driver for Change

  • Paavo RitalaEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business In Association with Future Earth book series (PSSBAFE)


Business-originated innovation activities are increasingly seen as a driver for resolving global challenges in environmental and social issues. At best, innovation for sustainability—or sustainability-oriented innovation—is a way for firms to improve their competitiveness while also facilitating the greater good. Research and practice have shown that both facilitating and constraining forces are at play for businesses to actually adopt such a role. This chapter adopts the systems view to examine the issue through three perspectives: sceptical, pragmatic, and idealist. The system-level dynamics of innovation for sustainability are discussed by reflecting on these perspectives, their merits, their shortcomings, and possible ways forward.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lappeenranta University of TechnologyLappeenrantaFinland

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