Innovation and Profits with Sustainable Product Development

Sustainability in the context of sustainable product development generally includes the consideration of environmental, social, regulatory and economic factors for the development, production, use, and ultimate disposal of products. Sustainable new product development is an integral part of the entire innovation and new product development (NPD) lifecycle starting with the inclusion of sustainability principles and goals in your company’s strategic business objectives.

Decisions made throughout the new product development lifecycle will impact a product’s sustainability performance:

  • Innovation planning – the strategic areas and opportunities pursued.
  • Ideation – considering sustainability factors for developing ideas.
  • Concept development – including material, production, usage and disposal considerations at this early stage.
  • Product development – the design includes resource utilization, materials selection and sourcing, production processes, and what happens after consumption or retirement of the product.

Instead of being a burden, sustainability can drive innovation and sustainable product development for new markets, revenue streams and profits. Some examples of beneficial results from using sustainable new product development principles and processes:

  • Increased innovation driven by sustainability goals and performance measures.
  • Positive effect on brands from market and customer sustainability values.
  • Differentiated products and/or services based on environmental and social measures.
  • Reduced costs from decreased use of resources and eliminating waste
  • Increased access to markets with regulatory and rules compliance.


76% of executives say sustainability contributes positively to long-term shareholder value1
72% of executives consider sustainability as ‘extremely” or “very important” for managing corporate reputation and brands1
85% of CEOs say that sustainability creates new market opportunities2
75% of companies either broke-even or profited from sustainability initiatives3

You can use sustainability as a catalyst to drive and inspire innovation beyond the usual parameters and boundaries in your company. Establishing a sustainable new product development lifecycle can contribute positively to your business on multiple dimensions.

For more information and to learn more about how to include sustainability in your innovation and new product development processes:

1 McKinsey Global Survey
2 Capgemini

Print Friendly, PDF & Email