• last updated : 02 September, 2023

Why Patents are Essential in Tracking Global Sustainability Innovation?

Category: Blog

In 2015, all United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been defined as a blueprint for tackling serious issues of the present time, for which all the stakeholders—the UN, the member states, the private sector, and others—are working together to accelerate progress on SDGs. Progress toward the SDGs requires transformation not only at the policy level but also at the level of innovation and technological transformation. Therefore, it is also imperative for business leaders to align their business strategies with sustainability. 

Business stakeholders across the world have now realized the significance of the SDGs. According to a study conducted by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (the Commission), around 35 CEOs and civil society leaders reveal that sustainable business models have the potential to unlock new market and economic opportunities worth up to US$12 trillion and can increase employment by up to 380 million jobs by 2030. 

As drivers of innovation, economic growth, and employment, businesses can develop solutions that can eventually help in achieving the SDGs. Innovation is driven by technology. Technological advancements can bring in sustainable innovation on a large scale. According to a study by the World Economic Forum and PwC, two-thirds of the 169 SDG targets could be achieved by technological innovation. Technological innovations are fostered by patents. Patents provide a strategic and unbiased view of global approaches to innovation. Therefore, we developed a dashboard through which companies and other business stakeholders can track innovation toward sustainable development goals and make significant contributions towards sustainable innovation. 

Why are patents essential for tracking and measuring sustainable development innovations and technologies? 

1. Patents can be used to monitor and evaluate research institutions and businesses with respect to their specific SDG-related innovations 

Which countries are investing in technologies that could improve the world? Do patent inventions show a strong focus on technology that may end up advancing sustainability? How are research institutions and businesses collaborating in SDG areas? How can transparency be increased on the world’s most pressing issues? These are some of the questions to which our SDG Analytics dashboard provides answers, where we have connected the world’s patent applications to the SDGs to track sustainable development innovation & technology

2. Patents also highlight the importance of businesses in addressing the world’s environmental and humanitarian challenges

To achieve sustainable development goals in a collaborative effort, business plays a vital role in making this effort successful. Therefore, the pressure on business leaders is increasing to take sustainability into account and make strategic decisions accordingly. For successful implementation of a strategy for sustainable development, assessment and tracking of sustainable technology and innovation hold a great deal of significance. By mapping patents to the SDGs, we have been able to measure the sustainable development technology-related investments of businesses and monitor which organizations are leading in the efforts to be more sustainable.

3. Determine which countries are and will be contributing the most in addressing the sustainability issues

The world’s patent applications mapped to SDGs reveal the contribution of countries in addressing sustainability concerns. It helps to view and compare the emphasis of these countries on technologies that promote sustainability and human prosperity.

4. Patents help in the successful tracking of SDG-centric innovation and decision-making

Identifying new opportunities and whitespaces or gaps in sustainable technology to track progress toward sustainable innovation can be performed by analyzing the patent literature linked to Sustainable Development Goals. They also allow us to: 

  • Gain competitive advantages in future-oriented technologies 
  • Support strategic decision-making for sustainable investments 
  • Track the progress of investments in sustainable R&D and technology over time

5. Identify technologies corresponding to SDG targets and indicators

Patents help users gain different insights into sustainable development technology and innovation. To dig deeper and identify the underlying technologies disclosed in each SDG, we created multilevel taxonomies, using our explainable AI-based ‘Taxonomy Builder’ tool, corresponding to different targets and indicators defined under each SDG. This can lead to better sustainability decision-making, informed R&D, and investment strategies to support corporate communication to educate employees, customers, and shareholders.  

Mapping the SDGs to Patent Literature 

By mapping Sustainable Development Goals to the patent literature, XLSCOUT and NGB are on a mission to help organizations embrace the SDG agenda and recognize it as a driver of business strategies, innovation, and investment decisions. Our vision is to connect the business goals of the organizations with the SDGs and continuously track technological & competitive insights to make serious contributions to Sustainable Development Innovation & Technology. 

The SDG analytics dashboard provides an analysis of each of the 17 SDGs by linking patent documents to the SDGs through the targets and indicators. The targets and indicators of the SDGs can be broadly linked to the underlying technologies for achieving SDGs as indicators have been defined for tracking the progress of SDGs and the technologies are disclosed in the inventions claimed in the patents. This laid down the approach of mapping patents to SDGs through targets and indicators. With our technology and competitive dashboards, we are giving organizations a way to get actionable insights into the sustainability investments of their competitors in each Sustainable Development Goal. 

Join us live in a webinar and launch event of the “XLSCOUT Sustainable Development Goals Analytics Dashboard” on Thursday, October 27th, 2022, at 13:00 (JST) to learn more about the dashboard, our methodology, and various advantages of the SDG dashboard.  

For further information on the SDG Analytics Dashboard, click here. 

To know more, get in touch with us. ( Fix a meeting )