E debbesi considerare come non è cosa più difficile a trattare, nè più dubbia a riuscire, nè più pericolosa a maneggiare, che farsi capo ad introdurre nuovi ordini. Perchè l’introduttore ha per nimici tutti coloro che degli ordini vecchi fanno bene; e tepidi difensori tutti quelli che degli ordini nuovi farebbono bene; la qual tepidezza nasce, parte per paura degli avversari, che hanno le leggi in beneficio loro, parte dalla incredulità degli uomini, i quali non credono in verità le cose nuove, se non ne veggono nata esperienza ferma.
“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things unless they have tested them by experience”.
(Machiavelli, 1515, Il Principe, Chapter 6)
Nowadays, both our economies and societies depend heavily on the environment and the world, in general, is faced with a multitude of sustainability challenges. In order to tackle the consequences of climate change, fundamental modifications and radical sustainable innovations are required. Therefore, sustainability transitions are necessary. Companies need to implement the triple bottom line, which is an accounting framework that includes a social, environmental and financial part, to meet the needs of today’s society without compromising the needs of the society of tomorrow. Nevertheless, studies show that companies alone are not able to overcome environmental challenges. Conversely, a comprehensive approach is required and both companies and governments need to shift their focus away from their financial interests and towards sustainable interests in order to achieve a successful transition to sustainability. Finally, the power of big companies should be reduced to stimulate sustainable innovation.