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Prioritising sustainability-driven innovation protects the planet, improves profitability, and opens up tax relief opportunities to innovate further. So why wouldn’t you?

Smart organisations are increasingly realising that using their core business to deliver financial returns and ease the pressure on society’s most pressing problems positively impacts their short and longer-term value.

Yet rewind not so many years, and the driver for most companies pursuing sustainability was linked purely to social responsibility. Conversely, it was the very thing putting organisations off embarking on the journey. Investment in new equipment and processes, limited ‘sustainable’ supplies to feed the business and an expectation that customers wouldn’t be willing to pay more for ‘green’ products led to a perception of added costs and zero financial benefits. With many manufacturers, for example, competing with operations in countries not facing the same pressures, it was feared their competitiveness in the marketplace would take a major blow.

Fast forward to today, and recent surveys highlight that more than 90% of CEOs believe sustainability is significant in their organisation’s success. According to one McKinsey report, many companies are actively integrating sustainability principles into their business. And we believe it’s with good reason.

We all have our part to play in protecting our planet. We can see how quickly the ice caps are melting; the warmer oceans are becoming; the intensely destructive weather patterns, and more. If we don’t change how we live, do business or the products we sell, our every day lives will suffer irreparably, and our economy too.

The case for adopting sustainability as a core business strategy is compelling

Sustainability can drive innovation, and innovation has always formed the foundations of long-term business success. According to Bessant and Tidd (2007), throughout history, organisations which have innovated successfully have been rewarded with growth, profits, and access to new markets.

As more and more companies get on board with sustainability-driven innovation, the competitive landscape is shifting, forcing others to follow suit. Add to that the UN’s universal call to action to have the world poverty-free, protect our planet and for everyone to enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030, and there is only one direction organisations can move in to stay relevant.

Adding value to products, technologies, processes, and operating models while contributing to the reduction in socio-environmental impact isn’t a new challenge, but one that’s increasingly important. Integrating environmental, social, and financial considerations with research and development can put businesses on the front foot, giving them a competitive advantage.

Bringing together innovation and sustainability strategies delivers positive change to people, communities, the planet and when done right, profitability too. In the search for contributing to sustainability, better design and new technologies can create operational efficiencies, reduce costs, open up new markets and enhance brand reputation. Companies investing in a more strategic plan around sustainability have an opportunity to shape customer demands and supplier processes too, creating a ripple effect and so broadening their impact.

It’s clear to see how embracing sustainability within your business opens up many opportunities for innovation. Reducing waste and minimising the use of key resources such as energy, carbon, water and materials within products and processes to make operations sustainable, or developing ‘green’ products, could open the door to R&D Tax Credits too. That means more money to invest in further innovation and the short and long-term benefits that brings to your business. So, what could you do today to build a better business tomorrow and buy our planet more time too?

Better your business today and innovate further tomorrow with R&D tax credit claim support from RIFT. Contact RIFT R&D today on 01233 653008 to find out how we can maximise your benefits.