Sustainability is a broad concept. This case study focuses on both what companies do, as well as how they do them - looking at the impact on the environment and communities in which the organisation operates. — Edition 7
This case study focuses on how building an innovative culture has enabled Procter & Gamble to meet wider business objectives and maintain its competitive advantage in a rapidly changing market place. — Edition 6
This case study looks at how in 2008 Syngenta proposed an investment in new manufacturing capacity that would allow it to increase production of Amistar. It reviews the analyses that helped the company decide whether to proceed with this investment. — Edition 16
This case study looks at the research and development process as part of product development and its importance to environmental sustainability. — Edition 12
About the r&d industry
The R&D sector is involved with ideas and innovation. Businesses in this sector may be large multinationals or small SMEs, but all focus on developing new technologies and/or products and getting them to market, either directly through their own business or in partnership with other companies.
The R&D sector is often characterised by a high involvement with science, technology, or medicine. The focus might be on electronics, engineering, pharmaceuticals, or even consumer goods (e.g. soap or toothpaste). Research and development in these industries may incur huge development costs and face long timescales to put a product into full-scale manufacturing. There is therefore great importance attached to registering new ideas at outset to avoid losing out to competitors.
R&D businesses will register patents or new designs with the Intellectual Property Office to give them protection for a period of time, during which they will recover the costs of creating the product and make profits to reinvest in further R&D. Examples of major companies involved in R&D include Syngenta (agrochemicals) and NIVEA (cosmetics and skin care).