Consortial Benchmarking: WZL Honors Companies With Excellent Management of Sustainable Innovations

23/01/2024

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Consortial Benchmarking „Managing Sustainable Innovations“

  Consortium Copyright: © WZL Consortium and successful-practice companies

As part of the final conference of the consortium benchmarking "Managing Sustainable Innovations" on January 18th 2024 the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University in cooperation with the Complexity Management Academy GmbH, a top-class industry consortium, and the VDMA honored the five best companies in the management of sustainable innovations. The aim of the benchmarking project was to identify particularly successful methods, structures and processes in the systematic development and implementation of sustainable innovations. For their outstanding achievements the companies Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co., Festo SE & Co. KG, INNIO Group, Miele & Cie. KG und Wilo SE were awarded as "Successful Practices 2023".

"The five successful-practice companies have shown how sustainability in innovation management can no longer just be planned and discussed, but also properly implemented,"

says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt. Ing. Günther Schuh, Chair of Production Engineering at WZL

The "Successful Practices" were determined in collaboration with a jury of experts from successful international companies, who also formed the consortium for the project. The members of the consortium were ABB Stotz-Kontakt GmbH, AGCO Corporation, Advanced Medical Ballons GmbH, Dentsply Sirona Inc., Denso Automotive Deutschland GmbH, Endress+Hauser Gruppe, HAWE Hydraulik SE, KION Group AG, SMS group GmbH, thyssenkrupp presta AG sowie der VDMA e.V. as a partner of the study.

At the start of the project in February 2023, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University worked closely with the Complexity Management Academy GmbH and the consortium to identify the current challenges in the field. These challenges formed the basis for a detailed, written questionnaire study. The companies surveyed as part of the study provided information on their current status with regard to the management of sustainable innovations. In particular, the focal points of strategic orientation, innovation design, process integration and organizational implementation were examined taking into account the sustainability goals of finance, environment, social and governance.

128 companies took part in the benchmarking process. A detailed screening of 29 top performers resulted in the ten most promising candidates, which were presented to the consortium partners during the review meeting in August 2023 in order to identify the five successful-practice companies. The consortium partners visited the selected companies in October and November 2023 and analyzed their methods, structures and processes in the context of managing sustainable innovations on site.

During the final conference on January 18, 2024, the project findings were presented in the form of 12 core theses on the successful management of sustainable innovations. The examples of the five successful-practice compa-nies, which subsequently received their awards, demonstrated what successful implementation could look like in practice.

Further information on the consortial benchmarking "Managing Sustainable Innovations" can be found at the website of Complexity Management Academy.