CleanTech innovations require an ecosystem approach

CleanTech innovations require an ecosystem approach

CleanTech innovations require an ecosystem approach 8192 5881 Ingrid Willems

Earth’s climate is changing faster than the planet can adapt. A global zeitgeist of risk and insecurity has emerged. The 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identify the moral and existential threats that we must meet head-on. What is unique about this decade is the inconvenient challenge that, if we are to respond responsibly to global climate scientists’ warnings, we need to have halved carbon emissions globally by 2030.

In a 2019 Global Risks Report by World Economic Forum, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaption is ranked 2nd in both likelihood and impact which urges stakeholders to react now[1].


What do we mean by CleanTech?

The 2020s needs to see the development and acceleration of clean technologies that could have massive scale impact. CleanTech refers to any technology or process that delivers value using limited or zero non-renewable resources and/or creates significantly less waste than conventional offerings. CleanTech is cross-industry and covers nine main domains: clean energy, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, water and waste treatment, sustainable materials, sustainable food & agriculture, recycling and waste, resources & environment, sustainable buildings. These domains have the greatest impact to mitigate key sustainability risks that are either a result of input extraction or output releases to the environment.

The ecosystem approach realize the cross-industry value proposition of CleanTech

One of the unique things about CleanTech is that you can’t effectively talk about what you’re doing in a silo. It is all inter-related. If you do power storage, it relates to renewable energy and smart grid. If you do water, it’s connected to energy. If you do biofuels, it impacts food, water, and energy.

Companies that are impacted by specific SDGs related to resource usage (energy, water, sustainable consumption), are thus required to adopt an ecosystem approach to realize a specific cross-industry value proposition. Such companies operate often in highly unpredictable circumstances where the market needs to be shaped with many different stakeholders. An ecosystem approach offers the right governance model to offer flexibility and speed while enabling collaboration to deal with pressing and cross-industry climate objectives. 

CleanTech example  Smappee

Belgian CleanTech company Smappee focuses on smart energy management by gaining insights and control over energy consumption and production for greater energy savings. Their smart energy management offering is a critical enabler within the smart & sustainable building ecosystem which consists of many different players. Smappee views themselves as part of an ecosystem that brings real value to consumers through seamless product integration and services. For example, to deliver a smart electric vehicle charging value proposition, they collaborate with EVBOX to balance the energy usage between an electric car charging station and other appliances on-site.

Framework for implementing a ecosystem strategy

Based upon close collaboration with ecosystem pioneers, we have developed a framework for implementing an ecosystem strategy, answering crucial questions:

  • What is your ecosystem value blueprint?
  • What internal & external capabilities are required to make the ecosystem thrive?
  • What role should your organization play in an ecosystem?
  • What capabilities need to be in place to execute and evolve your ecosystem strategy? 

The strategic framework for Ecosystem Orchestrators

About WCD

Since 2016, WCD is on a mission to unlock collective intelligence within an organisation and across the boundaries of interconnected companies. WCD enables these organisations, business ecosystems, as well as the dynamic and co-evolving communities of diverse actors, to create and capture new value through increasingly sophisticated models of both collaboration and competition