Sustainability and Innovation Capabilities in an Innovation Award Winner Company

Nathália Pufal (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS School of Management – EA)


The stimulus for economic development is innovation. The constantly quest of new ways to deliver value results from the need for competitive advantage. The introduction of social and environmental perspectives in the economic debate has made emerge a new element that turned to influence the strategy of companies, besides generating a new competitive scenario: the sustainable development. It is clear, therefore, the increasing requirement for firms to incorporate environmental issues in their processes. Companies face, so, a new paradigm, where innovating and considering the sustainability of the process is crucial to remain active and competitive in the market. This paper aims to identify the influence of the environmental dimension of sustainability on the innovation capabilities of a company. A case study was conducted with a company that won the Brazilian Innovation Award in 2013, due to a sustainable project. The results show that the environmental dimension is a determining factor for the arrangement of the company's innovation capabilities. It is suggested then an order of importance of the company’s capabilities to achieve innovation through sustainability: (1) management; (2) operations; (3) transaction and (4) development.


Sustainability; Environmental dimension; Innovation capabilities; Innovation Award

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