You are here: Home The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability Company Performance Performance: Products and Services P4.2: R&D and Capital Investment
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P4.2: R&D and Capital Investment


Companies will Use Sustainability as a Primary Filter through which all R&D and capital investments are made. 50% of R&D investment will be focused on Developing Sustainability Solutions.
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Investing in Innovation

In April 2013, Ikea joined Nike as an investor in Netherlands-based, DyeCoo Textile Systems, a company who developed a water-less fabric dyeing process. This innovative technology uses recycled carbon dioxide to color fabrics and is expected to eliminate the need for water and reduce the energy used in conventional textile dyeing. Read more…

Check out Roadmap in Action for more examples of how companies are implementing the Ceres Roadmap.
Companies should set revenue and R&D targets for making existing products sustainable and developing new products and services that contribute solutions to sustainability challenges. Companies should also integrate sustainability considerations into the criteria and decision-making process that determine capital allocation product research and development. Environmental and social risks and opportunities should weigh as heavily as commercial criteria in selecting investments.

Many business capital investments are long-term in nature, with payback horizons that extend into a future where regulatory and resource constraints and sustainability concerns are likely to be quite different from today. In order to ensure that capital investments bear positive returns in a more sustainability-focused world, companies should test the economics of major investments against a variety of potential future sustainability scenarios. These scenarios can serve as both a positive and a negative screen, by, for example, reducing the projected rate of return for projects with high environmental or social impact, and improving the economics of more sustainable capital investments.

Low-income consumers in developing economies present particular sustainability challenges but also untapped opportunities for innovative solutions. They may have at best limited access to resources essential to life such as reliable water supplies, affordable housing and healthcare, let alone products and services regarded as necessary in developed countries, such as banking and communications technology.

Companies often have the core competencies necessary to respond to the need to extend access while doing so in a way that helps reverse negative social and environmental impacts and solve current sustainability challenges. Doing so successfully offers companies new avenues for profitable growth.


In The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on The Ceres Roadmap For Sustainability, we evaluated 600 of the largest U.S. companies on their progress towards meeting the expectations laid forth in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.

For this first report it was not possible to capture all of the data required to fully assess all of The Ceres Roadmap expectations.  For some Ceres Roadmap expectations, companies are not yet disclosing the information needed to assess their progress and in other cases, we did not have access to the type of data needed to adequately assess corporate progress.

We will be looking at additional indicators in the future to capture the meaning of the expectations more completely and will develop new indicators to capture data as it is more readily disclosed by companies.