Innovation, Intellectual Property (IP), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), and sustainability are now very important interconnecting concepts in both the business, corporate & academic worlds. Their proper management should support creating positive changes globally and also help to address various global climate and IP challenges. An overview of their key linkages are summarized below:

1 . Innovation and Sustainability:

Innovation plays a crucial role in driving sustainable developments and climate change improvements globally. Innovation normally involves developing and implementing new ideas, advanced technologies, and innovative processes to address environmental and social challenges globally. Sustainable innovations are becoming more and more important now. Those innovations that focus on creating innovative solutions that will help to minimize the negative impacts on the environment, promote social well-being, and support economic growths will be particularly useful and relevant. International experiences have shown that sustainable innovations are becoming more valuable & important than other innovations which are non-sustainable.

2 . Intellectual Property (IP) and Innovation:

Intellectual Property (IP) normally refers to the legal rights that are granted to individuals or organizations for their inventions, designs, trademarks, and creative works. International experiences have shown that IP protection (IPR) will normally encourage innovation by providing exclusive rights and incentives for inventors and creators. It will enable them to commercialize their ideas, attract investment, and foster further research and development (R&D) in sustainable technologies. Hence it is crucial that sustainable companies develop good IP and innovation strategies as part of their key business focuses and priorities.

3 . SDGs and Sustainability:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals established by the United Nations so as to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world by 2030. The SDGs encompass a wide range of interconnected global issues such as poverty eradication, climate action, clean energy, responsible consumption, and gender equality. In order to contribute to achieving each of the SDGs, it will require good international collaboration plus innovations with good sustainable practices across different sectors. International experiences show that companies that are demonstrating their contributions to specific SDG goals will often enjoy better brand values and sustainability reputations.

4 . ESG and Sustainability:

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria are being used by different countries and companies to assess the sustainability and ethical impacts of various investments and business practices. International experiences have shown that companies applying the ESG framework will help their CEOs and executives to better consider important factors such as environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and corporate governance practices. International business experience has also shown that companies that prioritize ESG considerations with good ESG strategies will normally create better long-term value with sustainable profitability while minimizing their negative impacts on the environment and society.

5 . Linkages between Innovation, IP, SDGs, ESG, and Sustainability:

These complex concepts are mutually reinforcing and interdependent. Innovation will help sustainable companies to drive progress towards achieving the various SDGs by developing sustainable technologies, products, and services etc. Intellectual Property protection (IPR) will help companies to incentivize and reward innovation plus fostering sustainable developments. Good ESG considerations will help companies to enhance their corporate values and develop better strategies plus plans. These will also help guide better corporate investment decisions for companies that embrace sustainable practices and contribute to the SDGs. Collectively, these important factors and linkages should contribute to the transition of sustainable businesses globally towards a more sustainable and inclusive future with enhanced business values.

6 . Sustainable Business Values

It is very important to recognize that IPR, SDG and ESG are not creating “opposite” forces for companies to generate extra expenses which will counter their profitability growths. International experience has shown that these will help to maintain sustainable business values for leading sustainable companies globally.

In addition, SDG & ESG plus IPR are now often seen by modern sustainable businesses and their CEOs plus senior executives as the key driving forces to help them in developing sustainable and profitable growths for their sustainable companies globally.

A good business example is the application of the sustainable subscription business models. Such business models are designed to be circular and recyclable right from the start. These will help sustainable businesses to better manage their businesses, value chains and goods in a sustainable and circular manner rather than in the older conventional poorer unsustainable linear funnel fashions.

It is also important to appreciate that all these various important concepts are very complex. They are also continually evolving with new legislations by various countries and international organizations, eg G20/B20, ISSB, SFCs and stock exchanges globally. Hence their practical implementation varies greatly across different organizations and sectors in different countries.

We have also been discussing these important issues and changes in the I3PM SDG and ESG Committee. We really appreciate the important implications and linkages of IP with SDG and ESG. We believe that it will be timely and important to propose and develop a new type of IP strategy which puts SDG/ESG plus sustainability and circular economy at its centre.

For example, we have heard about the Fortress IP strategy (pharmaceuticals) or about the Value Added IP Strategy (High Tech Products with differentiating features). So we are planning to discuss these more and to develop a new IP strategy with strong linkages to sustainability plus SDG and ESG. We propose to keep this as an important ongoing topic of discussion and developments in our international committee meetings. We also believe that good integration of IP and branding strategies with SDG and ESG should contribute to developing sustainable business values and enhance their competitive advantages for sustainable companies globally.

About the blogpost author:

EurIng. Henry K. H. Wang is an international executive, author & speaker with extensive high level business experience globally. He is President of Gate International & was a former director of both Shell China and SABIC in Riyadh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts FRSA & Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineering. He is a board member of London University SOAS SCI Advisory Board. He has been invited to join the G20/B20 International Taskforces & Action Councils. He has also been invited to join the IASE Advisory Committee plus the I3PM SDG/ESG Committee. He has published over 100 papers and speeches plus 6 books globally. His negotiation paper was selected as one of Top Five UK Management Papers of the Year. He has been invited to speak at international conferences plus lectures at leading universities and business schools globally. He is advising leading international organisations and companies on management, leadership, Climate, SDG, ESG and sustainability.