Sustainable Innovation Toolkits

Sustainable Innovation Educational Toolkit

Based on lessons learned from the European project IMPACT we developed four certified higher education modules to teach good practices for sustainable innovation and sustainability-oriented cultural transformation. Four card sets for educators and trainers support teaching the four modules and its methods:

Download and use the toolkit ( Sustainable Innovation Educational Toolkit or Sustainable Innovation Practices Educational Toolkit (Print)) for your teaching and training. Please contact us for any questions – we highly appreciate your feedback!

Sustainable Innovation Practices Toolkit

Sustainable Innovation Practices Toolkit

Based on lessons learned from the European project IMPACT, this card-based toolkit supports the development of sustainable innovation culture:

  • Evocative Questions for Building Common Ground on Sustainability

Download the toolkit ( Sustainable Innovation Practices Toolkit or Sustainable Innovation Practices Toolkit (Print)) and use it to translate your organizational values and sustainable innovation strategies into daily practices. Please contact us for any questions – we highly appreciate your feedback!

Sustainability Innovation Pack – Maturity and Business Cases

How to realize the ecological and social values that motivate and guide sustainable entrepreneurs? How to create not only profitable, but also sustainability-oriented business models? How to improve the sustainability performance of an existing business? The Sustainability Innovation Pack consists of two card sets, which are an essential part of the Business Innovation Kit. These cardsets inspire workshop participants to realise the sustainability-orientation of organisations. First, users reflect on their current innovation maturity and define the level they are aiming for by considering five levels of sustainability innovation maturity. Second, they work through eight business case drivers to integrate ecological, social and/or economic sustainability issues into their business models and their components.

Sustainability Innovation Maturity

Which is your level of sustainability innovation maturity and what is your target level? Having agreed upon a shared values (purpose, mission, vision), reflect on your companies’ current level of sustainability innovation maturity and its future target level.

The card set describes five sustainability innovation maturity levels, including brief definitions of each level, characteristics in terms of innovation motivation and focus, and integration into an organisation’s overall innovation management. Examples and illustrations are given. The levels ascend from incremental innovations with a rather narrow scope (e.g. changes in existing products or services) to radical and more encompassing approaches (e.g. developing new business ecosystems within to solve complex sustainability challenges like regional energy transitions).

Business Case Drivers
How do you create your business case for sustainability through business model innovation? This exercise adds a corporate sustainability perspective to the facilitation process. Having agreed upon a shared normative vision for an innovation project and the target level of sustainability innovation maturity, ideas are developed for each business model component.
This set of eight business case driver cards proposes different levers to improve a business model’s sustainability performance in concert with, for example, costs, risks, reputation, and/or network creation. For instance, through offering cost efficient contracting models based on the idea of using and sharing technical equipment, instead of simply selling product units. The tool helps teams to align business models with the most essential business case drivers.

Related Resources and References

Lüdeke-Freund, F., Breuer, H., Massa, L. (2022). Sustainable Business Model Design – 45 Patterns. Berlin: Self-Published.

Breuer, H. & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2017). Values-Based Innovation Management – Innovating by What We Care About. Houndmills:

Breuer, H. & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2017). Values-Based Network and Business Model Innovation, International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 21, No. 3, Article 1750028.
Schaltegger, S.; Lüdeke-Freund, F. & Hansen, E. (2012). Business Cases for Sustainability: The Role of Business Model Innovation for Corporate Sustainability, Int. Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 95-119.