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Environmental Technologies Strategic Partnerships

The Benefits of Strategic Environmental Technologies Partnerships

When it comes to playing the environmental technologies game, strategic partnerships between companies will inevitably lead to progress within the environmental sustainability industry. Why? Because in addition to accomplishing wider, more altruistic goals, these partnerships benefit both parties involved.

From a business strategy perspective, for example, you can take the risk aversion and expedited pathway to innovation and release new, validated solutions into the market faster.

In this post, we’ll look at what strategic partnerships entail, how they benefit the parties involved, and what they mean for the future of the environmental technologies industry.

The Ins & Outs of a Strategic Partnership

So what exactly is a strategic partnership and how does it work? 

At its most basic, a strategic partnership is a business partnership that involves the sharing of resources between two or more companies with the aim of benefitting all involved. These partnerships are usually made between non-competing businesses and share both the risks and rewards.

In order for a strategic partnership to be successful, some core tenets need to be in place. These include a long-term commitment, a strategic alignment of values, and continued evolution and agility. As Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, Co-founder & Chairwoman at Applied Sustainability GmbH, writes for The Sustainability Report, “Organizations must collaborate to tackle climate change—but partnerships must be values-based, long-term, and agile to achieve success.”

The Benefits of Strategic Partnerships

While strategic partnerships can benefit all parties involved, many organizations simply aren’t taking advantage of them. In fact, according to MIT Sloan’s report “Joining Forces: Collaboration and Leadership for Sustainability”, less than half of businesses (47%) are “engaging in sustainability-related partnerships”.

This is a huge missed opportunity, as strategic partnerships can benefit businesses in numerous areas, including technological development and innovation, environmental impact, and business strategy. Let’s take a closer look at each of those now.

Technological Development and Innovation

Businesses engaged in a strategic partnership can help one another stay apprised of the latest technologies and industry developments. Given the incredibly dynamic world we live in, the environmental technologies industry landscape changes daily. Especially when organizations want to make a difference when it comes to sustainability, they must stay on top of the latest scientific research, new thinking, and emerging technologies.

This task—which at times may seem insurmountable—can be achieved with much less friction when you’re partnered up with another company with similar values, goals, and agility.

Environmental Impact

As the Harvard Kennedy School states in their report “Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, “Partnerships are a valuable tool to drive change toward more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable growth.” They go onto list an additional host of perks of strategic partnerships:

  • Address market failures, governance gaps, and trust deficits
  • Improve the acceleration and scaling of business engagement in sustainable development
  • Serve as a platform for convening and coordinating the diverse actions of numerous actors
  • Build mutually reinforcing linkages between different sectors and sustainable development goals

Business Strategy – Why not just develop branches of the same technologies in house or merge the organizations?

Last but not least, these partnerships can also benefit the business strategies of both parties.

As Nigel Twose, director of the Development Impact Department, International Finance Corporation, at World Bank Group told McKinsey, “The effort needs to help each partner organization achieve something significant. Incentives such as ‘we’ll do this for good publicity’ or ‘we don’t want to be left out’ are not sufficient.”

Identifying clear, strong incentives—like ensuring the long-term endurance of a profitable resource, maintaining a license to operate, or increasing input (e.g. of fish stocks, clean water, forests, etc.)—can not only ensure partners are aligned, but can help inform and improve overall business strategy.

The Future of the Environmental Technologies Industry

These types of strategic partnerships are only going to increase as time carries on. If you want to get your foot in the door now in order to pull ahead of the competition in the future, today is the day to get started looking for a strategic partner.

At ZS2, we employ strategic partnerships so that we can more efficiently and effectively bring the best green building materials and methods throughout each region of North America. To learn more about how we deploy strategic partnerships at ZS2 and the future of sustainable construction, contact us.

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