It’s only a small step from radical transparency to giving up your ‘IP’ – but it feels like a big one.
We’re seeing it more and more: companies that genuinely care inventing a new ‘green’ technology, and giving it to their competitors. Here’s a list to get you thinking about what your company can hand over:
Ecover: developed a much greener detergent formula and ran ads asking its competitors to steal it. That was back in 2002.
Levis: invited 20 competitors to their Eureka Innovation Lab to learn how to save water in jeans production.
Patagonia: partnered with Yulex, a plant-based biorubber company, to work out how to make wetsuits from the guayule plant rather than neoprene. ‘We can now grow our wetsuits, instead of drilling for them’. Then they gave it away.
Tesla: Elon Musk opened all Tesla’s electric car patents to ‘good faith’ use.
H&M: Working with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), the H&M Foundation is getting close a breakthrough in the chemical recycling of clothing.The final technology will be made available for anyone in the industry to use on a licensed basis.
What’s the benefit to the company? Great PR, increased consumer trust… and a long term more sustainable marketplace.