Dissertation: Environmental Sustainability Has Been Increasingly Embraced

Pages: 50 (14123 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Environmental sustainability has been increasingly embraced as an important agenda by government agencies worldwide. Environmental sustainability and sustainable development have become a component of government planning and policymaking. At the international level, the United Nations and the World Bank have adopted environmental sustainability goals in large scale development and training. Sustainable development is being applied in both urban and rural and in both technologically advanced and technologically underdeveloped nations. Pressure is increasing on a wide range of organizations to use environmentally sustainable practices in producing their products and services. Nevertheless, there are few easily accessible tools to help managers make decisions that will have the desired environmental outcome -- without compromising other crucial goals. Following the global economic downturn that was caused by the Great Recession of 2008, many organizational leaders may view environmental programs as being so much fluff, particularly when profit margins are already razor thin and the future is uncertain. In sum, the solutions to improved corporate approaches to environmental sustainability are both simple, in that many of the options available are inexpensive, easily adopted and administered and complex, in that developing an integrated network in which these organization-wide solutions can be aligned with corporate goals is a challenging undertaking by any measure. It is certainly one thing to advocate "green" corporate policies and take action in a piecemeal and knee-jerk reaction fashion, but it is quite another to formulate truly responsive and effective environmentally sustainable corporate practices that achieve the dual goal of reducing a company's carbon footprint while contributing to its bottom line in the process. Multinational corporations must find ways to protect the environments of emerging markets if they hope to maintain sustainable economic development. Dumping refuse and products that will generate or become solid waste in these developing countries may produce unintended consequences by causing damage to the environment, network image, and business-to-business relationships. The aftermath of this potential conflict will eventually motivate emerging markets not only to increase the level of environmentally-related laws and regulations but also to stimulate the enforcement of existing legislation. It is clear that although an individual firm's environmental footprint can be small, collectively they contribute substantially to environmental damage globally. The negative environmental impact of business needs to be addressed and the volume of research that provides innovative and practical solutions to drive changes in behaviour and practice does not reflect its significance. This paucity of research perpetuates policy-makers and businesses poor attitude to the issue and allows them to continue to ignore the environmental damage caused by multinational enterprises. Given the long-term implications, the primary objective of multinational corporations should be to meet the current economic needs of the local environment without triggering potentially catastrophic environmental events. Paramount among other considerations is the need to ensure that emerging market initiatives should pursue economic, environmental, and social goals that are aligned with developing sustainable emerging markets. These initiatives necessarily require structural transformation and effective governance, since sustainable development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development strategic capabilities constitute the highest level of environmental responsibility, where the firm's overall strategy is driven by a strong sense of social-environmental purpose, calling for other firms (even competitors), governments (international, national, state, and local levels), environmentalists, academics, and others to work toward solving global climate change problems. Because such firms recognize the magnitude of the problems in the biosphere and their own internal limitations, they proactively organize research and technology consortiums to draw on the collective resources, skills, knowledge, and insights among multiple participants in deriving broad-based climate change solutions. Researchers have investigated the effects of various strategies for preserving the environment that are contingent on the behavior of consumers and business partners. Top management teams, including supply chain managers, are encouraged to promote product stewardship throughout their product's lifecycle, develop clean technology, and create strategic plans for promoting sustainability in emerging markets. Moreover, the research will show that environmental sustainability can be a path to improved performance and profitability for companies of all sizes and types, but particularly larger multinational corporations. Indeed, environmental sustainability is already a pressing issue ripe with problems, rich in learning possibilities, and potentially fruitful in respect of innovatory products, processes, new markets, and new regional opportunities. A number of large multinational corporations have already succeeded in translating their environmental sustainability initiatives into profits by aligning them with their overall corporate goals. As a result, these types of studies can help to fill in this gap in the current body of knowledge. Therefore, the overarching aim of this study was to develop timely and salient recommendation for the chief executive officer (CEO) of a large global company concerning a viable environmental and sustainability strategy. In furtherance of this primary aim, the objective of the study was to provide an outline and overview of the critical sustainability areas which should be included in the company's worldwide sustainability strategy. This aim is achieved through a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature, together with a critical analysis followed by a discussion of the findings that emerged from the research. This analysis is followed by a summary of the research in the conclusions, with a series of recommendations based on the primary themes that emerged from the research, designed for a CEO of a large global company seeking environmentally responsible and sustainable initiatives to help it achieve its organizational goals and develop a competitive advantage in the process. Finally, a reflective section presents the author's personal perspectives and insights that developed over the course of the research.

Table of Contents

Aims and Objectives

Literature Review, Analysis and Discussion

Conclusions

Recommendations

Reflective Assessment

Recommendations to a CEO of a Large Global Company for an Environmental and Sustainability Strategy

Environmental and economic priorities have too often been considered to be mutually exclusive -- that we can either have economic growth or environmental care at the expense of growth and prosperity. But environmental sustainability isn't an option, it's a necessity. -- Charlie Furniss, 2006

Aims and Objectives 500 words

In an increasingly globalized marketplace, identifying opportunities to achieve a competitive advantage represents a timely and valuable enterprise. In recent years, a growing number of companies of all sizes and types have realized a competitive advantage by implementing corporate strategies that are aligned with its goals while incorporating environmental sustainability initiatives. Many of these companies have managed to achieve a significant return on their investments in these environmental and sustainability initiatives, while others have fallen by the wayside of commerce despite their best efforts, making the study of the successful approaches a valuable enterprise as well. As Walker and his colleagues point out, though, this area remains better described than understood and there is a paucity of timely and relevant research available concerning these specific issues. For instance, Walker et al. emphasize that, "These issues go to the central challenge of environmental sustainability and business, for most businesses it is simply not core business. Standing on the periphery of the key tasks of business, to survive, grow, compete in a global world and make money for the owners and shareholders, environmental sustainability has yet to reach the psyche of many business leaders" (2010, p. 2). Further exacerbating the problem is a dearth of best industry practices, guidelines and other tools that managers need to implement and administer effective environmentally focused sustainability initiatives. For instance, Rusinko (2005) emphasizes that, "Pressure is increasing on a wide range of organizations to use environmentally sustainable practices in producing their products and services. Nevertheless, there are few easily accessible tools to help managers make decisions that will have the desired environmental outcome -- without compromising other crucial goals" (p. 54). Following the global economic downturn that was caused by the Great Recession of 2008, many organizational leaders may view environmental programs as being so much fluff, particularly when profit margins are already razor thin and the future is uncertain.

Consequently, studies such as this can help to fill in this gap in the current body of knowledge. Therefore, the overarching aim of this study was to develop timely and salient recommendation for the chief executive officer (CEO) of a large global company concerning a viable environmental and sustainability strategy. In furtherance of this primary aim, the objective of the study was to provide an outline and overview of the critical sustainability areas which should be included in the company's worldwide sustainability strategy. This aim is achieved through a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature, together with a critical analysis followed by a discussion of the findings that emerged from the research. This analysis is followed by a summary of the research in the conclusions, with a series of recommendations based on the primary themes that emerged from the research, designed for a CEO of a large global company seeking environmentally responsible and sustainable initiatives to help it achieve its organizational goals and develop a competitive advantage in the process.… [END OF PREVIEW]

Environmental Systems Capstone Project


Environmental Ethics Term Paper


Sustainability of Forest Logging in Tasmania AUS Essay


Environmental Engineering -- Contrails Are an Exhaust Case Study


Effect of Information and Communication Technologies on Environmental Sustainability Term Paper


View 234 other related papers  >>

Cite This Dissertation:

APA Format

Environmental Sustainability Has Been Increasingly Embraced.  (2011, August 14).  Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environmental-sustainability-been-increasingly/5416160

MLA Format

"Environmental Sustainability Has Been Increasingly Embraced."  14 August 2011.  Web.  18 October 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environmental-sustainability-been-increasingly/5416160>.

Chicago Format

"Environmental Sustainability Has Been Increasingly Embraced."  Essaytown.com.  August 14, 2011.  Accessed October 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/environmental-sustainability-been-increasingly/5416160.