It’s not whether, but when.

I am almost finished reading Renato Orsato’s Sustainability Strategies which is also explained on SlideShare and on video

Competitive Environmental Strategies

Competitive Environmental Strategies

Orsato produces a number of interesting case studies illustrating strategies (that is to say CHOICES) about how to compete on price, brand, efficiency or compliance.  He pulls in Porter’s ideas about strategic choices (cost vs differentiation) as well as Resource Based View (ie products and processes) to create the diagram above.

Interestingly though, some of these choices lead to system innovation (think electric cars which need a charging infrastructure) and/or to ‘blue ocean’ opportunities (he calls this Sustainable Value Innovation, SVI). This often requires working with other organisations to reimagine products and services. There is perhaps some overlap here with Porter & Kramer’s Creating Shared Value (see previous posts) though Orsato does not dwell on this

Orsato’s central message is that it’s not WHETHER sustainability pays, but WHEN.

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