Gaia blog

Co-creating business value from sustainability

09.10.2019

Global brand owners, retailers, industrial companies and their suppliers are growing their businesses through introducing sustainable and innovative solutions to the market – and they are doing it together. It is clear that more value for business and improved customer experience can be generated through sustainability.

Business approach for sustainability generates more revenue in our value chain for every stakeholder. It also engages companies with their partners and vice versa. Value is created in a cooperative manner between management, sales, marketing, human resources, innovation and sustainability – and in an open exchange of information across and beyond company borders.

Inclusive co-creation and true collaboration help to design new and better products for customers and consumers and for a better price. They facilitate utilization of sustainable raw materials, cutting unnecessary costs, reaching new customer segments and markets and eventually becoming more successful. This means bigger revenues, avoided risks, cleaner environment and higher well-being. Sustainability is simply better business.

What is co-creation?

In short, co-creation is collaborative and systematic capacity and capability development. Inclusive, customer-oriented co-creation enables companies throughout value chain to see and seize their full business potential and providing superior value to their stakeholders. It is about going beyond single solutions or quick fixes, building trust and being open-minded to gain valuable insights.

Companies often start the development process from a product, which is natural, but if the search for alternative and better solutions is limited only to this perspective, companies risk losing opportunities that lie elsewhere in the value chain or in new business models. Innovative companies see products as tools they can use together for finding new ways to enhance the sustainability, responsibility and profitability of the entire value creation network.

Agile co-creation maximizes value creation

The road to carbon neutrality is long so we need to travel together. There is tremendous potential in applying circularity into design processes and business models to benefit the planet, people and business profit. This is the only way to design better products and services, reduce waste and to harvest those valuable materials back to the value chain to close the loop. More rounds mean bigger generated value from a single unit.

The global circular economy markets have been estimated to be worth over one thousand billion dollars. In Finland only, the business potential could be as high as EUR 1.5–2.5 billion even according to the most moderate estimates.

Saving the world through better business, together

We need to do everything in our power to stop climate change and to restore the land and biodiversity. Together, we can develop everyday products, services and new value chains that offer profitable and customer-oriented solutions to these complex global challenges.

Going beyond traditional value creation means producing net positive impacts on the society and environment throughout the entire value chain. By improving our business performance together by means of sustainability, we can truly make a difference toward wider positive impact beyond economic welfare.

This impact is not created only in the corporate sustainability teams, but in collaboration with marketing, innovation, sales, HR and management. Only by working together in multi-disciplinary teams and by utilizing the tools and methods of co-creation we can develop an agile and customer-oriented value creation network that is able to produce lasting sustainable value to business, people and the earth.

Let’s join our forces in reshaping the ways companies collaborate and create business value to achieve greater success and common good.

Lauri Larvus

Business Manager

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