Sustainability in innovation is being increasingly recognized as an important consideration in the current efforts focused on balancing the needs for improved goods and services for the current and future generations with the concomitant impact on the natural resources. This paper analyzes the issues surrounding sustainability debate based on a review of rich literature available. It recognizes ecological, economic and social dimensions of sustainability and other important factors like equity, basic needs, public participation, complexity, uncertainty and irreversibility; and, incorporates them all in a systems based decision making framework. It also outlines an approach utilizing the concepts of intra- and inter-generational equity that could be utilized to determine sustainability of goods and services generated through innovative efforts. The proposed approach is expected to facilitate better informed decision making.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited