“Last year, at the July 18 Role of Business in Environmental Innovation Working Meeting, BCLC and Shell gave a preview of the Environmental Innovation Map. At the time, the map displayed only 25 projects, and the projects were deemed innovative based on a case-by-case evaluation.
Over the past year, with the help of the Institute for Sustainable Development, we are proud to share that we have added a robust and detailed process for discovering and validating projects for the map. We began by identifying over 25 sustainability blogs and an additional 25 Google search terms to search routinely for interesting ideas and products. Using these sources, we assembled a large collection of potential projects for the map.
Once we had identified potential projects we ran them through a strict validation process. To be considered for the map, a project had to meet at least one of nine criteria – which included such markers as ‘technical efficiency,’ ‘creative partnership,’ and ‘unusual for industry.’ Most of the projects that made the final cut for the map demonstrated multiple characteristics of innovation, with some projects exhibiting five or more of the criteria.
After we selected project for inclusion on the map, we divided them based on how they were making an impact. The four sub-groups we selected were:
- Leadership – projects that showcase the ways that the business community is changing its impact and relationship with the environment.
- Social Interaction – projects that help consumers, activists, and other stakeholders communicate and convene over shared goals.
- Products – projects that highlight products that solve environmental challenges in unique ways.
- Processes – projects that showcase businesses that are creatively changing how they make their products to lower environmental impact and boost the bottom line.
After the whole process was complete, we had a group of over 110 projects to display on the map. The projects demonstrated the versatility and creativity of the business sector. Represented on the map were projects from small companies like Chapel Hill Car Care Center and large companies like Coca-Cola. The map also showcases novel products such as the Edison2 Very Light Car and Nest’s next generation thermostat.
We encourage you to visit the map to discover the full spectrum of projects. We are proud of the map’s progress and of its usefulness in sharing the ways businesses are finding solutions to environmental challenges. If you know of any outstanding examples that should be included on the map, please let us know, and if there are ways we can improve the map we welcome your suggestions.”
By Claude Griffin, Social Investment Manager Environment, Shell Oil Company