Top 10 Sustainability Case Studies & Success Stories in 2024

sustainable business management case study

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Top 10 Sustainability Case Studies & Success Stories in 2024

Environmental and social practices have a significant impact on the long-term success of businesses. Some businesses outperform others in this area, giving them a competitive advantage. We will present ten sustainability success stories to executives searching for methods to close the sustainability gap between themselves and outperformers. 

We take a holistic approach to sustainability when presenting these case studies, seeing environmental and social challenges as a part of maintaining a sustainable business (see Figure 1). We also recognize that, while technology can aid in the improvement of corporate sustainability, changing business processes can be just as successful. As a result, we will provide a variety of scenarios that fully demonstrate the ESG framework .

1. UPS ORION: Improve transportation efficiency

Transportation activities accounted for almost 30% of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. (See Figure 2). For a company like UPS, which distributes goods across regions, transportation activities make up the bulk of GHG emissions. As a result, enhancing transportation efficiency is crucial for organizations like UPS to remain sustainable.

As a solution, UPS adopted an AI system called ORION which is a route optimizer that aims to minimize the number of turns during the delivery. Initiation began in 2012 and up today UPS has been working on developing it.

ORION saves UPS 10 million gallons of fuel per year, which means that in addition to the financial benefits, it decreases UPS’s carbon footprint by 100,000 metric tonnes per year, or the equivalent to removing more than 20,000 cars from the roads.

There are public cloud route optimizer systems which businesses can deploy without building hardware. These tools help firms to use their software as a service by paying a subscription cost.

To learn more about ensuring supply chain sustainability with technology you can read our Top 5 Technologies Improving Supply Chain Sustainability article.

Figure 2: US GHG emissions.

29% of US GHG emission belongs to transportation. It is followed by 25% electricity generation, 23% industrial emissions, 13% commercial and residential emissions and finally, 10% emissions are related to agriculture activities.

2. IKEA IWAY: Make business with ESG oriented corporations

Supplier code of conducts are established guidelines that require other businesses to demonstrate their operations’ social and environmental impacts. The objective is to reward companies that meet strong ESG standards. It is also one of the positive governance indications for organizations, as we highlighted in our ESG metrics article .

IWAY is the supplier code of conduct of IKEA forcing suppliers to meet certain environmental and humanitarian qualities to work with. The initiative has been in place for over 20 years, and over that time, IKEA has refined it based on their prior experiences. IWAY six is the most recent version of IKEA’s supplier code of conduct, which evaluates:

  • Core worker rights.
  • Safety of the working place.
  • Life-work balance of employees.
  • Water and waste management of potential suppliers.
  • Prevention of child labour. 

3. General Electric digital wind farm: Produce green energy efficiently

Wind turbine productivity varies greatly depending on the design, weather conditions, and geography of the location it is deployed. Using IoT and digital twins to collect data on each wind turbine and simulate possible modifications such as adjusting the direction of the wind turbine can assist corporations in locating their wind turbines in a wind farm more effectively (see Figure 3).

Furthermore, the performance of wind turbines declines with time and may require maintenance; employing sensors and digital twins can assist in determining the appropriate time for repair.

Figure 3: How digital twins can optimize wind turbine productivity.

Image shows how digital twins can monitor and improve performance of wind turbines.

The General Electric’s (GE) digital wind farms are based on these two elements. GE optimized over 15,000 turbines using sensors and digital twins technologies. Each wind farm can create up to 10% more green energy as a result of the digital wind farm initiative, which helps to enhance our worldwide green energy mix.

4. Swire Properties green building: Minimize GHG emissions

Swire Properties is a construction company that operates in China and especially in the Hong Kong area. In 2018, the company built One Taikoo Place which is a green building that aims to reduce GHG emissions of Swire Properties in order to align with sustainability goals of the company’s stakeholders.

Swire properties use 3D modeling techniques to optimize the building’s energy efficiency. Reduce electricity consumption by using smart lighting systems with sunshine and motion sensors. A biodiesel generation system has been installed in the building, which converts waste food oil into biodiesel. Swire Properties additionally uses low carbon embedded materials and a lot of recycled materials in their construction.

Swire Properties was able to cut GHG emissions intensity throughout their portfolio by nearly 20% because of the usage of digital technologies and low carbon integrated materials.

5. H&M Let’s Close the Gap: Deposit scheme for gathering raw material

In 2021, we consumed 1.7 times more resources than Earth generates annually because our economic outlook is based on production, use and disposal. Such an economy is not sustainable and that is the reason why the concept of circular economy (CE) is trending nowadays.

The most basic principles of CE is to use trash as a raw material for production through innovation, recycling, or repairing and reusing existing products.

H&M’s “Let’s Close the Gap” project began in 2013 as a CE best practice that collects and categorizes discarded clothing from customers. If the garment is in decent condition, they will restore it and find a new owner for it. If a garment reaches the end of its useful life, H&M will recycle it and reuse the material in new goods.

Customers who bring in their old clothes are rewarded with tokens that can be used to get a discount at H&M shops. Incentivizing customers creates a complete CE loop.

In 2019, 57% of H&M’s raw materials were sustainable, according to Forbes. By 2030, the company hopes to improve it 100 percent.

6. Gusto: Hiring female engineers to close gender inequality gap

Gender inequality remains a major social issue despite all the improvements. There are two common types of gender disparity in the workplace. The first is gender pay disparity, which occurs when companies pay male employees more and provide better working conditions than female employees in the same position. 

The second is occupational segregation, in which women are hired for non-technical jobs while men hold the majority of leadership roles. This was the situation at software firm Gusto, where female engineers made up slightly more than 5% of the engineering team at the beginning of 2015. 

Julia Lee , one of Gusto’s first female engineers, claimed that other engineers did not accept her ideas because she was a “female engineer.” Gusto initiated an HR drive to reduce gender inequality by prioritizing the recruitment of female engineers, prohibiting female workers from scrolling, and deleting masculine job ads like “ninja rockstar coder.”

Gusto was able to improve its female engineer ratio to roughly 20% by the end of 2015 thanks to the campaign. The average ratio among software businesses’ engineering teams was 12% in 2013, therefore this was a significant improvement in a short period of time.  

7. HSBC: ESG concerned green finance

Finance companies can help speed up the transition to sustainable business practices by supporting initiatives run by responsible businesses. By the end of 2025, HSBC has committed to investing $100 billion in sustainability projects. HSBC already has funded sustainability projects that require more than $50 billion in investment as of 2019, indicating that the corporation is on track to meet its objective.

HSBC created an ESG risk evaluation framework to assure funding for green projects in 2019. Since then, the framework has been improved. In 2021, HSBC’s ESG practices were rewarded with an AA rating by MSCI.

HSBC is also working toward a goal of using 100% renewable energy as their source of electricity by 2030. Company reduces its consumption of paper, and single used plastics for coffee and beverages.

For more information about best ESG practices you can read our Top 6 ESG Reporting Best Practices article.

8. Signify light-as-a-Service: Enhance production stewardship

The product-service system ( PSS ) is a business model in which producers acquire a product over its lifetime and rent or lease it to the users. PSS ensures product stewardship since the product always becomes the asset of the company. It encourages producers to provide high-quality, repairable items in order to extend the product’s useful life. As a result, it helps to close the circularity gap by ensuring better use of natural resources.

Signify, a luminaire producer, adopts such a business strategy where it demands a subscription fee according to usage period of their lightning systems. PSS allows Signify claims that PSS allows them to produce 0 luminaire waste and drops maintenance costs around 60%.

9. Airbus additive manufacturing: Manufacture lighter planes with 3D printing

AIMultiple expects that additive manufacturing will disruptive for the airplane manufacturing since:

  • It speeds up the manufacturing of parts compared to traditional molding techniques.
  • It is cheaper due to effective use of raw materials and time reduction of production.
  • It enables the manufacturing of lighter parts by up to 45% , resulting in lighter planes that burn less fuel. According to Airbus, additive manufacturing technology can reduce an A320 plane’s annual GHG emissions by around 465,000 metric tons, which is roughly the same as eliminating 100,000 automobiles from the road for a year. (An average car emits 4.6 tonnes of GHG per year). 

To effectively use 3D printers Airbus partnered with Materialise , a Belgium-based technology company  that specialize in additive manufacturing.

For more information regarding improving corporate sustainability by digital transformation you can read our Top 4 Digital Technologies that Improve Corporate Sustainability article.

10. Tata Power: Solar plants on the roofs

Rooftops offer a lot of empty space that can be used to install solar panels. Such initiatives have been taken in various parts of the world. Tata Power does it in India and generates green electricity by using idle places of buildings.

In 2021, Tata Power was able to spread their program throughout 90 Indian cities, producing 421 million watts of electricity, which is equivalent to nearly 40 thousand homes’ yearly electricity use in the US. (The average annual power usage for a residential utility customer in the US was 10,715 kWh in 2020, according to the EIA .).

We expect that in the near future the cooperation between energy and construction companies will enhance the use of idle places in buildings in a more effective way. Such an industrial symbiosis reduces both sectors’ ESG risk.

For more information on the top carbon footprint calculators, check our article, Top 7 Carbon Footprint Calculator Software/Tools for Businesses .

To learn more about corporate sustainability you can contact with us:

This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Görkem Gençer.

sustainable business management case study

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

AIMultiple.com Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience , Similarweb. Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics , Business Insider. Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are , Washington Post. Data management barriers to AI success , Deloitte. Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit , World Economic Forum. Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU , European Commission. Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge , McKinsey & Company. Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing , TechCrunch. We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million , Business Insider.

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sustainable business management case study

A wonderful collection of case studies on corporate sustainability. I enjoyed the read. I am convicted to delve into promoting sustainability in Africa.

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Hello, James! Thank you for your feedback. Awesome! That’s a great cause to pursue.

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Sustainability is a rising priority of governments, investors, and consumers. So how should companies react to, and get in front of, the complex and evolving expectations of these stakeholders in ways that create value?

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Redefining Sustainable Business: Management for a Rapidly Changing World hero image

Redefining Sustainable Business: Management for a Rapidly Changing World

Monday january 29, 2018, aron cramer.

President and CEO

Portrait of Aron Cramer

San Francisco

Aron is recognized globally as a preeminent authority on just and sustainable business. In addition to leading BSR, which has grown substantially throughout his tenure as President and CEO, Aron advises senior executives at BSR’s 300+ member companies and other global businesses and partners on the full spectrum of environmental, social, and governance issues.

Aron joined BSR in 1995 as the founding director of its Business and Human Rights program. He later opened BSR's Paris office in 2002, where he worked until becoming President and CEO in 2004. Aron has served on advisory boards to CEOs at AXA, Barrick Gold, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Recruit Holdings, SAP, Shell, and he serves as a director of the We Mean Business Coalition and RISE.

Aron speaks frequently at leading business and public fora and is widely quoted in top-tier media, such as the Financial Times , Le Figaro (France), The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal , Axios , and Politico . He is co-author of the book Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World , which spotlights innovative sustainability strategies that enable business success.

Prior to joining BSR, Aron practiced law in San Francisco and worked as a journalist at ABC News in New York. He holds a BA from Tufts University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dunstan Allison-Hope

Senior Advisor

Portrait of Dunstan Allison-Hope

Dunstan leads BSR’s work at the intersection of technology and human rights .

Previously, Dunstan led BSR’s information and communications technology , heavy manufacturing , and human rights teams.

He brings significant experience working on a diverse range of engagements and issues, including human rights due diligence, privacy and freedom of expression, sustainability reporting and strategy, and stakeholder engagement.

Dunstan facilitated the multistakeholder process of developing global principles on freedom of expression and privacy, which led to the launch of the Global Network Initiative in October 2008. He also helped create the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, a collaborative initiative of more than 100 ICT companies improving conditions in their supply chains. Dunstan participated in the process of creating the Global Reporting Initiative G3 guidelines, and he is a regular commentator on issues of corporate accountability, reporting, and human rights. He also co-authored the 2010 book  Big Business, Big Responsibilities .

Prior to joining BSR in 2004, Dunstan was part of British Telecommunications' corporate responsibility team.

Dunstan has an M.Prof. in Sustainable Development from Forum for the Future.

Alison Taylor

Portrait of Alison Taylor

Alison is Executive Director at Ethical Systems, a research collaboration on ethical culture, housed in New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business. Previously, Alison led BSR’s  sustainability management  practice and oversaw the  supply chain  practice and the  Sustainable Futures Lab . She focuses on approaches to sustainability through risk management, strategy, stakeholder engagement, transparency, ethics and governance, and organizational change.

Alison has also worked as a senior managing director at Control Risks, where she helped companies operate with integrity, particularly in high-risk environments, and for Transparency International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and IHS Global Insight. She has experience in strategic intelligence, market entry assistance, risk consulting, due diligence, internal investigations, enterprise risk management, and ethics and compliance. She speaks and writes regularly on risk and organizational culture. She is a board member of the ethics organization Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption. She is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern School of Business.

Alison holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Modern History from Balliol College, Oxford University.

Beth Richmond

Director, Transformation

Portrait of Beth Richmond

Beth helps companies create a more just and sustainable world through cutting-edge sustainability management . Beth leads BSR’s strategy practice, helping companies understand performance, identify priorities, and design effective sustainability solutions that increase resilience and deliver value for business and society.

Beth is also an active member of BSR’s  Sustainable Futures Lab and regularly advises companies on  climate change . Beth has led engagements in all of BSR’s major industry groups, touching all of BSR’s focus areas.

Prior to joining BSR, Beth served as the director of sustainability for a packaging manufacturer, where she was responsible for corporate-wide sustainability strategy and implementation. Beth also worked as a consultant to the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she developed benefit-cost analyses of proposed federal regulation and supported industry partnership development.

Beth holds a MEM from the Yale School of the Environment and a BA in Economics from Colby College.

Charlotte Bancilhon

Former Director, Sustainability Management, BSR

Drawing on BSR’s 25 years of experience working with companies and their stakeholders, from corporate headquarters to remote operations and sourcing locations, this report presents our view of how companies can transform their strategies, governance, and management so that they are fit for a disruptive world. It builds on interviews with 50 senior sustainability leaders at member companies and our 2017 survey with GlobeScan on the State of Sustainable Business .

Why read this?

The role of business in addressing sustainability challenges has never been more important than it is today. Progress has been made on a wide range of issues, including climate change, human rights, and transparency, since 1992, the year that BSR was founded.

However, many companies continue to struggle to incorporate sustainability into their strategies, governance, and management structures. This report provides a blueprint for putting sustainability at the center of business to enable companies to play their full part in the creation of a just and sustainable world. It focuses on how sustainability is implemented inside companies.

BSR has developed a new framework to help guide companies looking to adopt resilient business strategies.

  • Sustainability Management

Create resilient business strategies, governance, and management approaches that ensure achievement of sustainable business goals.

Download Act Section

Catalyze systemic progress by building mutually beneficial relationships and collaboration with stakeholders and partners across the entire value chain.

Download Enable Section

Promote policy frameworks that strengthen the relationship between commercial success and the achievement of a just and sustainable world.

Download Influence Section

Strategy and Valuation

The world is changing, with massive implications for business strategy and value creation. Whether it is new energy systems, disruptive technologies, new business models, changing demographics, hyper-transparency, or rising geopolitical uncertainty, the operating context for companies is evolving.

We believe the best response to this situation is not to continue integrating sustainability into company strategy, but to develop a completely new way of designing business strategy and creating value. The era of stand-alone sustainability strategies, with subsequent integration of sustainability into company strategy, needs to end; the creation of resilient business strategies that take sustainability as their foundation needs to begin.

There are three major changes that need to happen for this new era to emerge. First, we need to create resilient business strategies that take sustainability as their foundation. Second, we need to emphasize long-term value creation and find ways to move beyond short-term performance pressures that can prevent progress on sustainability. Third, we need new tools and approaches that prioritize and measure the impact of sustainability in a language that resonates with business.

The era of stand-alone sustainability strategies, with subsequent integration of sustainability into company strategy, needs to end; the creation of resilient business strategies that take sustainability as their foundation needs to begin.

Elements of Resilient Business Strategy

The creation of resilient business strategies that embrace sustainability requires that boards play a much more significant role in the sustainable business agenda.

We believe there are specific steps that companies can take to achieve this outcome. The increased attention generated by global sustainability challenges in recent years—everything from the UN Sustainable Development Goals to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—has significantly increased the pool of leaders in the private sector capable of and willing to rise to this challenge.

Research shows that boards and executive leadership are paying more attention to sustainability issues than ever before. Six innovations can be made to enhance the ability of boards to establish the resilient business strategies needed to create long-term value:

  • Emphasize long-term value creation over sustainability oversight and performance scrutiny.
  • Strengthen board stewardship of sustainability.
  • Align incentives to sustainability performance.
  • Recruit board members with expertise to understand the strategic implications of sustainability issues.
  • Provide training on material sustainability issues.
  • Create external advisory councils.

Leadership and Management

The creation and implementation of resilient business strategies will require new types of executive leadership that support organizational leadership on sustainability issues.

We believe this executive leadership transformation needs to take place in three areas—diversity, leadership style, and innovation.

We need to focus primarily on how sustainability supports growth—how does solving major sustainability challenges create new revenue opportunities for the company? This means integrating the global Sustainable Development Goals into business planning and ensuring that sustainability teams are focused on business development.

Leadership Transformation

Leadership Transformation

The creation and implementation of resilient business strategies will also require an overhaul of the sustainability function. We believe that the sustainability function should reimagine its future in four main ways: as the creator of value for companies, as futurists, as change agents, and as coalition builders. This requires a more deliberate, structured, and thoughtful approach to working with other functions. But if it succeeds in these four areas, then sustainability functions will thrive as an engine of innovation at a time when innovation is sorely needed.

New Job Descriptions for Sustainability Professionals

The sustainability function should reimagine its value and future in four key ways.

New job descriptions

Catalyze systemic progress by building mutually beneficial relationships and collaborating with stakeholders and partners across the entire value chain.

Engagement and Collaboration

Stakeholder engagement needs an overhaul. The practice of stakeholder engagement emerged to help companies build greater trust with societal groups that might negatively affect the delivery and success of their business strategies in a material way. However, all too often stakeholder engagement remains a limited reputational risk exercise that misses opportunities to support resilient business strategy.

It is time for an approach where stakeholder engagement practices are fully equipped to support all aspects of company strategy and operations and enable meaningful interaction with a rapidly changing external environment. We believe that innovation in stakeholder engagement offers the potential to integrate new ideas into business strategy, enable the business opportunities of the future, and support the development of more inclusive societies.

Implementing this new approach will see stakeholder engagement become a critical component of corporate value and the creation of resilient business strategies, rather than a tool to manage reputational risk and avoid crises. This will lead to fundamentally new thinking about how to structure organizations, drive innovation, and measure value.

We believe that innovation in stakeholder engagement offers the potential to integrate new ideas into business strategy, enable the business opportunities of the future, and support the development of more inclusive societies.

Companies need to transition from a spoke-and-wheel approach to stakeholder engagement, which puts the company at the center, to a systems-based approach that analyzes the broader environment.

Spoke and wheel

Spoke-and-Wheel

This approach, which puts the company at the center as the “spoke,” can be characterized by primarily focused and time-bound consultations with the companies’ most direct and visible stakeholders, who are seen and engaged through the lens of their relationship to the company, as opposed to in relation to the broader ecosystem.

Systems thinking

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking involves purposefully analyzing the broader environment in which the company operates, with an understanding that the company is just one actor in a wider social system that is linked to, and dependent on, external actors.

Effective stakeholder engagement will require innovation in three main areas: using systems-based approaches that capture more diverse voices; altering the purpose of engagement from consultation to collaboration; and reforming internal company engagement mechanisms to ensure that stakeholder perspectives support business strategy.

Three Dimensions of Innovation in Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder mapping

Reporting and Disclosure

Sustainability reporting has been disrupted in two important ways over the past decade, and these changes are only likely to accelerate further over the coming decade:

  • Breadth and Format : An abundance of disruptive technologies and new communications platforms has massively increased expectations for what, how, and when companies communicate.
  • Depth : The strengthening of expertise on a wide range of sustainability topics—from climate change and human rights to privacy and labor standards—has significantly increased expectations for the level of detail and sophistication provided by companies in their communications.

These disruptions are especially challenging for sustainability reporting because they run counter to the prevailing view that companies also need to focus on the sustainability issues that matter the most and reduce the length of sustainability reports.

We believe that sustainability reporting should not happen for its own sake, but have a clear and compelling purpose. BSR's vision for sustainability reporting is the achievement of two important outcomes: informed decision-making by stakeholders (including shareholders) and improved sustainability performance at companies. However, this vision can only be maintained in today's transformed communications context if the predominant model for sustainability reporting undergoes a significant overhaul.

Fortunately, the solution is within reach. Companies can fulfill the purpose of sustainability reporting by deploying a model based on two simple ideas: a triangular reporting framework that targets different types of information at different report users and a much closer connection between "numbers" and "narrative."

Sustainability teams need to be story-makers, not storytellers, yet too often reporting reduces bandwidth for half the year and prevents us from doing our job.

Company Law and Regulations

We believe that companies can be bolder in developing a point of view on the company law and regulatory frameworks that are needed to achieve sustainability and be more proactive in advocating for that point of view.

This report so far has focused on actions companies can take to improve their strategy, governance, and performance. However, it is unlikely that this will achieve its potential without legal frameworks that create incentives for all companies to take the steps we have outlined here. Without reforms on items such as due diligence and disclosure requirements, there are limits on how far companies can go in creating a just and sustainable world.

The "know and show" model in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights also provides an excellent conceptual foundation for legal and regulatory frameworks for other due diligence and disclosures on sustainability.

Show + Know

Advocating for Sustainable Business

The essence of sustainable business is ensuring positive outcomes for society, and the business voice in critical debates is an important tool that companies have at their disposal.

The sustainable business movement has focused much of its attention on ensuring that environmental, social, and governance issues have been integrated into business strategies and operations. This makes good sense, as we believe that it is the core of business that presents the greatest opportunity to mitigate sustainability risks and maximize the positive impact of business.

At the same time, companies have an important role to play in the public debate as well. This can include policy, but also business practices that can support sustainable development. We live in an age of major public debates of huge significance to sustainable business, such as the future of privacy in the age of big data, the future of work in the age of automation, and a changing energy system needed to tackle climate change. Business leaders have informed perspectives on these debates, and it is essential that these viewpoints become much more widely known.

I'm tired of sustainability regulations being part of the left-right divide, and exhausted by the debate that there is either too much regulation or not enough regulation. We don't need more regulation or less regulation, we need better regulation that politicians on all sides have reason to support.

Three Opportunities for Action

Three opportunities for action

We believe there are two primary and interrelated venues for business advocacy on sustainability—with policy makers and with the public. While the nature of company engagement in these venues is often quite different, the common thread is being more assertive in developing a point of view on the importance of sustainable business models and more confident in communicating that perspective in external forums.

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Sustainable Business Strategy

Key concepts, who will benefit, purpose-driven professionals, csr and consulting professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs.

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What You Earn

Certificate of Completion

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Boost your resume with a Certificate of Completion from HBS Online

Earn by: completing this course

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Prove your mastery of strategy or business in society

Earn by: completing any three courses within either subject area to earn a Certificate of Specialization

The Business Case for Action

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  • Business Models
  • Jumping the S Curve and Dealing with Uncertainty

Featured Exercises

Driving change at scale: moving beyond the firm.

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  • Infectious Change
  • Public Goods Problems
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Purpose-Driven Systemic Change

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  • Business and the Broader System
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How to Be a Purpose-Driven, Global Business Professional

Our difference, about the professor.

sustainable business management case study

Rebecca Henderson Sustainable Business Strategy

Dates & eligibility.

No current course offerings for this selection.

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age, proficient in English, and committed to learning and engaging with fellow participants throughout the course.

Learn about bringing this course to your organization .

Learner Stories

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Sustainable Business Strategy FAQs

What are the learning requirements in order to successfully complete the course, and how are grades assigned.

Participants in Sustainable Business Strategy are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Business School Online.

Participants are expected to fully complete all coursework in a thoughtful and timely manner. This will mean meeting each week’s course module deadlines and fully answering questions posed therein. This helps ensure your cohort proceeds through the course at a similar pace and can take full advantage of social learning opportunities. In addition to module and assignment completion, we expect participation in the social learning elements of the course by offering feedback on others’ reflections and contributing to conversations on the platform. Participants who fail to complete the course requirements will not receive a certificate and will not be eligible to retake the course.

More detailed information on course requirements will be communicated at the start of the course. No grades are assigned for Sustainable Business Strategy. Participants will either be evaluated as complete or not complete.

What materials will I have access to after completing Sustainable Business Strategy?

You will have access to the materials in every prior module as you progress through the program. Access to course materials and the course platform ends 60 days after the final deadline in the program.

At the end of each course module, you will be able to download a PDF summary highlighting key concepts introduced in the course. At the end of the program, you will receive a PDF compilation of all of the module summary documents. We hope the module summary documents will serve as a helpful resource after you finish the course.

How should I list my certificate on my resume?

Harvard Business School Online Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy [Cohort Start Month and Year]

List your certificate on your LinkedIn profile under "Education" with the language from the Credential Verification page:

School: Harvard Business School Online Dates Attended: [The year you participated in the program] Degree: Other; Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy Field of Study: Leave blank Grade: "Complete" Activities and Societies: Leave blank Description: Sustainable Business Strategy is a 3-week, 15-20 hour online certificate program from Harvard Business School. Sustainable Business Strategy provides participants with the knowledge and tools to become a purpose-driven business leader. This course explores different business models that companies use to drive change and explains why purpose driven businesses are in the best position to tackle the world’s biggest problems. Participants learn how to influence management and other key stakeholders on the competitive advantages of being a purpose-driven firm, and how to make a difference by integrating values into strategy without sacrificing profit.

The program was developed by leading Harvard Business School faculty and is delivered in an active learning environment based on the HBS signature case-based learning model.

Will there be any team assignments?

Participants will be organized into small teams at the start of the course. These teams will be called upon throughout the course to participate in more personal discussions around specific topics. Team assignments will not be graded, but they are expected to be completed.

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Sustainable Business Strategy

Learn how businesses thrive and grow while simultaneously solving some of the world's biggest challenges in this course from Harvard Business School (HBS) Online.

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Associated Schools

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Harvard Business School

What you'll learn.

Understand/Analyze the business models that can drive change

Influence management, leadership, and other key stakeholders as to the competitive advantages of being a purpose-driven firm

Examine the broader political and social landscape in which you operate

Understand why collective efforts are important and how business can be a catalyst for system level change

Determine what YOU can do in your career to become a purpose-driven leader

Course description

Climate change. Income inequality. Social injustice. These are just three of the big problems of our time. In Sustainable Business Strategy, you will learn how businesses can thrive and grow while simultaneously playing a major role in solving some of these big problems. You will also learn how you as an individual can make a difference.

Through interactive online case studies with leading companies such as Walmart and Unilever, you will learn why purpose-driven firms perform well, and how they can kickstart the wheel of change. You will examine different business models and gain an understanding of the broader landscape including the role of government, investors, and customers.

Instructors

Rebecca M. Henderson

Rebecca M. Henderson

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Center for Sustainable Business | Case Studies

Case studies in sustainable business, the center for sustainable business compiles case studies and other educational resources related to sustainable business on topics including finance, management, supply chain, and organizational development..

How can students best prepare for a world in which they will have to assess and manage sustainability (environmental, social and governance) issues in most functional roles — from marketing to finance? CSB hopes to support students and faculty by publishing and recommending the case studies below that examine sustainability in a variety of roles and companies.

Recent Case Studies published by CSB and others:

sustainable business management case study

Afrah Umapathy

3 Business Sustainability Case Studies And Why They Worked

Here’s how big industry players like Lyft, Patagonia and Danone took up sustainable initiatives to elevate their businesses while helping the planet.

sustainable business management case study

Founded in 2012, Lyft is now an $11 billion ride-hailing company, second in the industry to Uber alone. Lyft along with Uber has been criticized for contributing to emissions and increasing congestion , however, the company is taking steps to work towards better solutions. In 2017, the ride-sharing service shared its 2025 climate impact goals which also includes a switch to autonomous electric vehicles powered by renewable energy and reducing overall CO2 emissions in the transportation sector.

Riding Carbon Neutral

sustainable business management case study

“Paul Hawken’s Ecology of Commerce demonstrates how industry and the environment do not have to be at odds, and if we work to find the right solutions, the two can (and must) work together.” This excerpt from the Lyft co-founders’ carbon neutral announcement communicates the drive behind the company’s sustainable initiative.

To take their concern for the environment and communities one step further, Lyft also took on a multi-million dollar investment to make all their rides carbon neutral. Their carbon-neutral pledge directly funds emission mitigation efforts, including the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, renewable energy programs, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills. By 2019, Lyft spent well over $2 million on carbon credits . This is equivalent to 2,062,500 metric tons of carbon – the amount Lyft estimates it emits across its entire operations.

Takeaway – Brand Image Harmony Earns Customers

sustainable business management case study

The effort to go carbon neutral falls in line with Lyft’s larger marketing strategy. The ride-sharing app has consistently focused on friendly, easy-going community-based messaging. This marketing angle has largely contributed to its success. In 2017, Lyft was in control of a third of the US ride-sharing market while Uber was losing part of its own.

This initiative creates a strong association in the minds of the consumer – Lyft cares about offering its riders the best possible option. In turn, this large scale perception snowballs into greater customer retention and acquisition rates.

2. Patagonia

sustainable business management case study

The founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, built the outdoor clothing brand with the clear vision to protect nature. Since the company’s advent, this steadfast mission has translated into cuts of their profits being donated to worthy environmental causes, switches to organic cotton, LEED Certified buildings, FSC Certification, 1% for the Planet Organization, and Common Threads Garment Recycling Program to name a few.

Buy Less, Use More

sustainable business management case study

Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program took back 45 tons of clothes for recycling from their customers and made 34 tons into new clothes. To build on this bold initiative to make all their clothes recyclable in 5 years, Patagonia launched their The Common Threads Initiative (2011) that encouraged consumers to repair and reuse their clothing rather than disposing of it, returning them for recycling or replacing them once worn out. The bold initiative sprouted from the insight that recycling is not the solution – reducing it. Marketing efforts for the initiative were geared towards encouraging higher quality products with longer shelf lives over those that might wear out quicker. For those that do wear out, Patagonia offered a free customer repair service that keeps their products in the loop for longer.

The brand put out “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ads that actively discouraged their audience from purchasing their products. The risky but refreshing angle earned them a massive PR splash. The marketing community expected the initiative to cause a steep decline in Patagonia’s sales.

Takeaway: Genuinity Earns Goodwill

sustainable business management case study

Contrary to these predictions, the campaign was at the core of the greatest success the brand had seen in 2 years . The initiative repaired more than 30,000 items in 18 months . Sales increased by 30% to $540 million in the following year.

When questioned on the forces behind this success, Rob BonDurant (Vice President on Global Marketing) said “The discerning consumer targeted by Patagonia will be more likely to buy one of the company’s (relatively pricey) fleeces rather than those of its (mostly cheaper) rivals. And that fleece will last for years, so avoiding the need to buy replacements every other season or so. Patagonia even offers a free repair service to discourage you from chucking it in the bin liner as soon as it gets frayed or torn. Hence, while Patagonia itself sells more stuff, the argument goes, the overall volume of stuff sold goes down.”

sustainable business management case study

Danone is a leader in a global food and beverage industry, offering product lines ranging from dairy and plant-based products to water. Danone also happens to be a brand with one of the largest plastic footprints , which has been heavily criticized. However, through meticulous efforts and conscious initiatives, the company has built a strong brand on sustainable food values. Given their wide product range, their sustainability policies are also varied enough to complement their widespread impact. “It is increasingly vital for companies and brands to realize that the path ahead is one of technological investment, sustainable development, and high quality in all aspects of product production, packaging included”, says the CEO Andreas Ostermayr.

Finding Sustainability Strategies That Work For You

sustainable business management case study

According to Danone’s CEO, Emmanuel Faber, “Consumers are craving change. They expect large organisations like Danone to bring our scale of impact to change the world for the better.”  Danone took multiple strides in the sustainable direction in 2018. They introduced new plant-based products, made drastic changes to their packaging and announced their 2030 sustainable goals to green their products even further.

As of 2018, 87% of Danone’s total packaging (and 77% of its plastic packaging) was reusable, recyclable, or compostable. At Least 50% of its water volumes are sold in reusable jugs. The F&B giant is taking greater strides toward the circular packaging model with the following goals

Launch 100% recycled PET bottles in all our major water markets (by 2021)

Reach 25% of recycled material on average in plastic packaging by 2025, 50% on average for water and beverage bottles, and 100% for Evian bottle (by 2025)

Offer consumers bottles made from 100% bioplastic.

Beyond the packaging phase of implementing a circular economy, Danone has also emphasized the importance of investing in the infrastructure of waste management systems. Danone and the Danone Ecosystem Fund have launched projects to support waste pickers in 7 countries. Through this project, they have ensured safe working conditions, appropriate wages, and social protection. By 2018, close to 6,000 waste pickers were professionally empowered, and more than 45,000 tons of waste were recycled yearly. To further express their support for the circular economy model, they invested $5 million dollars in the Closed Loop Fund to finance the recycling and circular economy infrastructure across North America.

Danone’s annual progress report proves that their efforts to make sustainable improvements did not go unnoticed.

Takeaway: Environmental Impact Reporting is Key

sustainable business management case study

The transparency with which Danone regears their supply chain and takes on new environmental commitments shows their dedication to delivering the best customer experience possible. Their effort to make their products and processes sustainable is driven home through their consistent communications. The in-depth reports and PR announcements on initiatives taken to help their consumers lead more sustainable lives help build the association of customer consideration. By keeping their consumers in the loop, the brand has established a deeper connection with them. The consumer has every reason to believe that the company really does want what is best for their own health.

The more Danone experiments with environmentally beneficial innovations and communicates the same with their consumers, the more appealing the brand grows. They have made commitments related to carbon emission reduction, sustainable product packaging, food security, sustainable agriculture, and more. The increasing number of commitments to newer environmental innovations serves as a testament to their higher vision of providing consumers with the best possible product and consumer experience.

It’s not just these huge companies that can incorporate sustainability into their practices. If you’re a small company but are passionate about the world’s sustainability progress check out our blog on Ways Small Businesses Can Win Big With Sustainability CSR here .

We have developed a solution to turn your business’s waste practices sustainable through our Plastic Neutral platform . For every kg of plastic you use in operations and packaging, we recover and recycle an equivalent amount with our verified impact partners. We also help you market your Plastic Neutral Certification so that you realize all the benefits of investing in sustainability as soon as you join us. Sign up for a 30-minute free consultation at www.business.repurpose.global/contactus and start your company’s journey towards Plastic Neutrality today.

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The Sustainable Business Case Book

(4 reviews)

sustainable business management case study

Ross Gittell, University of New Hampshire

Matt Magnusson, University of New Hampshire

Michael Merenda, Whittemore School of Business

Copyright Year: 2012

ISBN 13: 9781453346778

Publisher: Saylor Foundation

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of use.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Learn more about reviews.

sustainable business management case study

Reviewed by Pavlina McGrady, Assistant Professor, Southern Oregon University on 1/15/21

The book includes thirteen chapters. The first six chapters explain concepts related to sustainability (i.e., sustainability frameworks (Chapter 1), the science of sustainability, including sustainability economics, earth’s history, and ecology,... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

The book includes thirteen chapters. The first six chapters explain concepts related to sustainability (i.e., sustainability frameworks (Chapter 1), the science of sustainability, including sustainability economics, earth’s history, and ecology, human activity impacts on the ecosystem (Chapter 2), government, public policy, and sustainable business (Chapter 3), accountability for sustainability (Chapter 4), entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable business (Chapter 5), and sustainable business marketing (Chapter 6). The content of those chapters is well-organized and wide-ranging. The second half of the book focuses on case studies on sustainable businesses. Although the topics covered and are very relevant, one aspect that is lacking is focus on the social dimension of sustainability. While the author always refers to the triple bottom, stressing that the case studies followed the triple bottom line sustainability framework (environmental, social, and economic aspects), the actual content on social aspects of sustainability is very limited or practically missing—almost all content links to environmental aspects of sustainability and some points on economic aspects. Each chapter includes learning objectives, key takeaways, exercises, and “side bars.” The theoretical/conceptual chapter includes references to case studies to support the claims. Yet, the same case studies are often referenced – e.g., Steinfeld Yogurt, Walmart, and Timberland, when referring to various topics. It is recommended that companies different from the cases in the case study chapters are referenced to enrich the content.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

The content in the book is mostly accurate (considering it was published in 2012), with minor grammatical errors. A few references are missing when explaining concepts. Additionally, a few of the website and video links are inactive (outdated). Similarly, some of the content is generally outdated – mainly from 2010, 2011. Once again, there is no discussion on social aspects of sustainability when the triple bottom line is referenced, which might cause confusion with the readers/students. Considering that the book was published in 2012, a big chunk of information – e.g., statistical data, laws and regulations, as well as some case studies, need to be updated.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

The book was very relevant in 2012. The content is somewhat out-of-date now (in 2021), particularly the case studies and statistical information. Some of the trends in sustainability have also changed – e.g., consumer interest in sustainability and the number of businesses pursuing change towards sustainability; new eco-labels, not discussed in the book, are also “trending.” However, the first several chapters – e.g., Chapter 1 to 4 are still very relevant as they include the “basis” of business sustainability. Chapters 5 and 6 focusing on innovation and marketing need some updates. The case studies are still relevant, but some of the information in them can be updated, and perhaps new case studies added.

Clarity rating: 5

The text is well-written, with adequate technical terminology used. All jargon/technical terms have been explained. The chapter objectives and key takeaways help guide the reader throughout each section. Some videos/photos links are not active, but that is expected considering that the book was published almost ten years ago.

Consistency rating: 4

The text is internally consistent, keeping the focus on sustainability with relevant terminology. The only “gap” is the constant reference to the triple bottom line framework, while the three dimensions were not addressed equally, the social aspect lens is practically missing from the book. Otherwise, the author stays on point/consistent throughout the textbook.

Modularity rating: 5

The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections with multiple subsections in each chapter, accompanied by chapter objectives, side bars with key concepts and “small” case studies, as well as key takeaways. It will be easy for an instructor to assign part of a chapter or one or two chapters from the book as a class reading. The topics are well-divided and can be used separately yet follow the same common focus.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

The topics in the text are presented in a logical fashion. Each chapter builds on the previous one while also leaving it possible to be used independently. The learning objectives of each section, including the case studies, as well as the key takeaways, keep the organization clear. Yet, a table of contents would have been very helpful, potentially assisting instructors and students find certain chapters, as well as specific sub sections and case studies.

Interface rating: 4

Some interface issues exist, as a few images/charts are cut or unavailable, but that is expected considering the publication date (almost ten years ago).

Grammatical Errors rating: 4

Minor grammatical errors were identified, as well as some missing references.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

The book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. Yet, the references in chapters 1-6, as well as the case studies, could have included more culturally diverse examples, perhaps with a more international focus. Additionally, if the content on social aspects of sustainability is added, as suggested above, the book can be enriched greatly, particularly by adding content on equity, diversity, and inclusion; adding sustainability elements as pertaining to human rights, quality of life, health and safety, empowerment, community engagement, gender equality, access to education, children and family wellbeing, and many more.

The book is well-written, and I plan on using it in some of my courses focusing on sustainability, particularly the first four chapters and some of the case studies. I would recommend the book to colleagues as well. Thank you!

Reviewed by Shinyong (Shawn) Jung, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 10/23/19

The textbook covers sustainability comprehensively taking into consideration its triple bottom line (Economic, Environmental, and Social perspectives). First six chapters discuss core concepts and disciplines that are directly associated with... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

The textbook covers sustainability comprehensively taking into consideration its triple bottom line (Economic, Environmental, and Social perspectives). First six chapters discuss core concepts and disciplines that are directly associated with sustainability, such as science, policy, accountability, entrepreneurship/innovation, and marketing. The case studies also provide readers with comprehensive views in the context of the triple bottom line. There are 7 different case studies and each of them is framed with specific learning objectives based on the core concepts and disciplines discussed in early chapters. It would have been helpful for readers to locate specific chapters if the book contained a table of contents, but the bookmarks function of PDF is well organized if readers will keep the electronic format.

I think most content in the book is accurate and the authors cite definitions and examples. However, some examples such as Toyota Prius (page 38) has become controversial about whether it actually provided environmental benefits as more scientific research results have suggested different implications since this book was published.

Examples are not necessarily up-to-date (e.g., 2006 Mintel Research study cited to explain growth of the green marketplace on page 31) but the text covers significant issues that need to be reviewed to understand what sustainability means in various perspectives. While some content still needs updating as sustainability business continues to evolve, overall content is definitely relevant to the main topic of the book; sustainability and its triple bottom line perspectives.

Clarity rating: 3

Content in each chapter aligns with learning objectives. Specific learning objectives for each sub-chapter help readers to stay focused on key points. Some images are not showing as mentioned. Website links are either not working (e.g., p.375 CSR reports and Voices of Challenge) or not outdated (e.g., p.394 Pax World page not found). These figures/images and links must be updated to provide more clarity on contents.

Consistency rating: 5

The content is consistent throughout the text. While one may consider it somewhat redundant, the focus stays on sustainability with long-term perspective in managing a business. The authors keep bringing the same examples (e.g., Timber company, McDonald’s, and Green Mountain Coffee) to explain different best practices and concepts within sustainability.

The textbook provides learning objectives for each chapter, side bar that explains key terms and concepts, key takeaways that summarize each chapter, and exercises that provide insightful discussion questions. The book will be useful for instructors to use individual chapters or case studies as a class module.

Bookmarks function of the PDF is helpful in locating right content. The book is substantial in content and the book refers to each chapter to supplement a concept that is introduced earlier but covered in details later in the book. The organization/structure of the entire textbook including the case studies is clearly presented with consistent order of Introduction, learning objectives, exercises, sub-chapters, key takeaways, and exercises.

Interface rating: 3

Interface issues are found in several pages. On page 15, Green Mountain Coffee statement is not showing up and the source is cut and listed on next page. As previously mentioned, figures/images, and website links should be fixed or updated.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

There were no grammatical errors I found.

As the authors stated on Preface, the intent of the book is not mean to exhort all business people on the path to sustainability enlightenment but to highlight some of the benefits, opportunities, and challenges, associated with sustainable business practices. In that regards, the textbook does not go overboard at all in terms of cultural issues. However, as sustainability is a global issue, the content will become more culturally relevant if the book provides examples from international companies and address the triple bottom line, especially on social perspective.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this textbook and find useful quotes and case studies that I would like to use for my class. Thank you!

Reviewed by Heidi Sickert, Adjunct Professor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

This textbook provides interesting and important case studies on sustainable businesses, which highlight the challenges and benefits of following and achieving the triple-bottom-line goals of sustainability. The case studies are effective at... read more

This textbook provides interesting and important case studies on sustainable businesses, which highlight the challenges and benefits of following and achieving the triple-bottom-line goals of sustainability. The case studies are effective at delving into different sustainability considerations encountered by different industries and also provide intriguing looks at the leadership and decision-making involved in running sustainable businesses. Furthermore, the first six chapters of the textbook introduce the diverse and complex dimensions of sustainability and I was particularly pleased to see chapters on Science, Public Policy and Entrepreneurship.

While the textbook includes work from Friedmann, Porter and others, I was surprised to find missing the work of sustainability's leading visionaries and founders, such as Paul Hawken, Amory and Hunter Lovins, Bill McDonough, Michael Braungart, or Janine Benyus as well as an international references from Business for Social Responsibility, and businesses with international operations and customers There are also many books and excellent videos on this topic that are worth referencing and sharing with readers. Overall, any OER textbook needs to stay current and offer recent resources (from the last 5 years).

Content Accuracy rating: 3

The introductory chapters need to provide clear, concise and accurate definitions and examples. I found that Chapter 1 confused Corporate Social Responsibility with the triple-bottom-line of Sustainability, which requires that all three pillars are met. This is a critical distinction, particularly for students who are new to this field. I also found inconsistent definitions and examples, i.e. in Section 1.3 the examples do not include social/equity examples. And I believe that most sustainable businesses (including those profiled in the case studies) would disagree that “profit and internal factors are the most important factors for motivating companies to become sustainable” (section 1.3). Rather, external factors such as making a difference in our community, upholding ethical standards, protecting places we love, empowering our employees and providing innovative products and services are documented as long-term, sustaining motivators in successful sustainable businesses. Section 2.1 could supplement the Tragedy of the Commons with perspectives from Paul Hawken, Rocky Mt. Institute and economists like Joel Magnuson (Latest book: The Approaching Great Transformation). Also, Section 2.3 needs to include human health impacts; Section 3.4 would benefit from inclusion of the Precautionary Principle; and Section 5.3 is missing the amazing innovations in Biomimicry and Green Chemistry.

The content is relatively up-to-date. As previously mentioned, faculty have the impression that OER textbooks are more current and are updated regularly (but is there funding for this?), so I’d like to see links, resources, statistics, etc. kept current (from the last 5 years).

Overall, the text is well-written and interesting to the reader. The “Key Takeaways” sections provide great clarity for students and outline how professors can integrate each section into a course. As previously mentioned, some of the definitions, theories and models could be better defined and explained. Also, I was unable to see the Figures in the online version; I had to download, save and re-open the textbook in order to see the Figures.

After the first chapter, the triple-bottom-line pillars of sustainability were well explained, particularly planet and profit. The case studies were presented consistently with good examples.

The case studies are ideal for inclusion in any class module and I also liked the “Sidebars” which encourage readers to research more about a particular topic or example. I would recommend this textbook to colleagues in departments other than business, because of the case studies.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

The organization and structure of the textbook is clearly presented and easy to follow. I would have liked to see better editing in some sections that includes references to other textbook sections that offer additional explanations and examples. (i.e. Section 1.2 McDonald’s example is weak – could better reference Section 4.5)

As noted, there are interface issues, as I was unable to see any of the Figures in the online version of the textbook.

I didn’t find any errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

This text offers business-oriented perspectives and case studies from US-based companies. I would have liked to see more discussion and examples representing the third “E” of “Social Equity” which includes cultural and social diversity, social justice and even cultural literacy, which are critical considerations for businesses that provide products and services to increasingly diverse customers.

Thank you for providing this useful case book!

Reviewed by Juanjuan Wu, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota on 7/15/14

In my view this text is not meant to be comprehensive but mainly to provide "real world business examples of sustainability in action." However, it does take a systems approach to the understanding of sustainability, which includes a variety of... read more

In my view this text is not meant to be comprehensive but mainly to provide "real world business examples of sustainability in action." However, it does take a systems approach to the understanding of sustainability, which includes a variety of social, political issues, natural resources, the market system and economy, and global operations. This text provides a great framework for conducting sustainable business that applies a triple bottom line (EBL) taking into consideration profit, people and planet. While the cases cover a wide product range none of them are about big box retailers. It is challenging to analyze sustainability in the discount retail industry but it would expand the audience of book if such a case is included. The case of GMCR does provide a taste of sustainability in the specialty retail industry, but again it is focused more on the product than on sustainable retail management. This text does not contain an index or glossary list.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

Yes. The content is accurate and appears to be unbiased.

Content is relatively up-to-date. Though the year of publication is not indicated in the text most references were from before the year 2012. Literature and practices of sustainability change very rapidly. Thus, the content does require frequent updating but it should be easy to implement.

Clarity rating: 4

The text is overall well written. In a few cases, the theories or models could be explained more. For example, the authors mentioned Porter's corporate social responsibility (CSR) model and explained its importance and application without fully describing what this model is and its key constructs (see p. 35). / Some of the important sustainability frameworks or models are integrated into the discussion of other topics and could easily be missed by the reader. If they each had a subheading with more substantial descriptions, interpretations, and applications it would be better understood.

The three economic, environmental, and social perspectives were applied throughout the entire text with an emphasis on the first two. The cases generally followed a consistent format in presentation.

This text contains very useful modules, such as Key Takeaways, Sidebar, and Exercises, which could help to better understand the concepts and ideas presented in the text. Other modules could also be developed, such as basic facts about the reviewed business cases, etc.

Organization is clear and logical. Writing could be more succinct. There is sometimes redundancy. For example, the idea that companies need to achieve profitability is repeated several times (see p. 5).

Interface rating: 2

There are some interface issues. For example, some of the images captured from online are not showing up (See p. 10, 11, 26, 278, 285, 290 etc.) in the book although the links could lead you to the original images. An empty space in where the image should be looks like an editorial accident. Formatting could be more consistent. For example, the authors mentioned stakeholder management and corporate citizenship as parallel concepts. But one is in bold the other is not (see p. 29). In some cases space is oddly left and managed (see p. 284).

I found no grammatical errors. Way to go!

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

The text is business oriented and not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. However, it would be interesting if it slightly expands its scope and includes business cases especially from developing countries as they are facing even more urgent environmental challenges.

Overall, a very useful text for studying sustainability. Cases are great!

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Sustainable Business and Sustainable Business Core Concepts and Frameworks
  • Chapter 2: The Science of Sustainability
  • Chapter 3: Government, Public Policy, and Sustainable Business
  • Chapter 4: Accountability for Sustainability
  • Chapter 5: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Sustainable Business
  • Chapter 6: Sustainable Business Marketing
  • Chapter 7: Case: Sustainable Business Entrepreneurship: Simply Green Biofuels
  • Chapter 8: Case: Marketing Sustainability: Seventh Generation Creating a Green Household Consumer Product
  • Chapter 9: Case: Brewing a Better World: Sustainable Supply Chain Management at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
  • Chapter 10: Case: Oakhurst Dairy: Operations Management and Sustainability
  • Chapter 11: Case: Accounting for Sustainability: How Does Timberland Do It and Why?
  • Chapter 12: Case: Sustainable Investing: Pax World Helping Investors Change the World
  • Chapter 13: Case: Strategic Mission–Driven Sustainable Business: Stonyfield Yogurt

Ancillary Material

About the book.

The issue of sustainability and specifically sustainable business is of increasing interest and importance to students of business and also students in the sciences, government, public policy, planning and other fields. There can be significant benefits from students learning about sustainable business from the rich experiences of business practice.

The Sustainable Business Case Book by Gittell, Magnusson and Merenda is one of the first of its kind. It combines the the theory of sustainability with key concepts, analytical information and contextual information with a collection of cases which provide insights, perspective and practical guidance on how sustainable businesses operate from different business functional area perspectives.

The Sustainable Business Case Book can be used as a stand-alone text or as a supplemental textbook for undergraduate courses that have an interest in sustainable business. While the book's primary focus is on the relationship between business and sustainability, the book can also be used in courses offered in fields other than business, including environmental and earth systems sciences, environmental studies, urban planning, economics and public policy.

The first part of The Sustainable Business Case Book, Chapter 1 through Chapter 3, introduces students to the meaning of sustainability, and the practice of sustainable business. The introductory chapters also describe key concepts, analytical frameworks, and contextual information relevant for the understanding of business sustainability. Chapter 1, defines sustainability and describes how and why businesses choose to engage in sustainable practices and how sustainable business practices relate to corporate profitability and social responsibility. Chapters 2 and 3 provide important background and contextual information affecting sustainable business practice. Chapter 2, The Science of Sustainability, reviews scientific evidence about climate change and the human and business influences on climate change. Chapter 3, Sustainability, Public Policy and Business, describes the significant role of government and public policy in sustainability, including setting the rules, regulations and laws that define the market and market opportunities for sustainable business practice.

After presenting a framework for understanding business engagement in sustainability and helping your students develop a core background of information on sustainable business seven case studies across the business disciplines illustrating business sustainability practices are presented. At the beginning of each case study chapter Learning Objectives are listed with major sustainable business points and principles that the case will illustrate and illuminate. Each case chapter includes listing of Key Takeaways, Key Terms and Exercises for students. In each case chapter, there are four main areas of focus:

  • Context and motivating interest in sustainability for company;
  • Description of the sustainable business practice and how it was implemented;
  • Results in terms of changes in sales/revenues, costs, profits and competitive positioning from the sustainable business practice;
  • Challenges and opportunities, and future considerations as a result of the company implementing the sustainable business practice.

About the Contributors

Ross Gittell is the James R. Carter Professor at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics. Professor Gittell’s scholarly focus involves applying economic, organizational and management theory to regional, state, and community economic development issues. His main areas of specialization and research include entrepreneurship, the environment and the economy, and collaborative public and private sector economic development efforts. He is the author of two books and over 70 academic articles. In 2002 Professor Gittell received the University of New Hampshire’s Excellence in Public Service award and in 2004 the University’s Outstanding Associate Professor award. Professor Gittell’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Energy Foundation. His applied research activities include work for the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the New Hampshire Business & Industry Association, the State of New Hampshire’s, Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Small Development Center, the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire and the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy. Professor Gittell is Vice President, forecast manager and on the board of the New England Economic Project. He is also on the board of the Exeter Trust Company, the Endowment for Health, Exeter Health Services and Exeter Hospital. Ross Gittell received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, M.B.A. from University of California at Berkeley, and A.B in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Matt Magnusson is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Whittemore School of Business and Economics with a master of business administration. He currently is earning his PhD in natural resources and environmental studies at UNH and is also an adjunct lecturer at UNH, teaching sustainability business models. He has provided analysis on the economic impacts of several different environmental public policy initiatives, including work on the NH Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon cap-and-trade program in the Northeast. Other research includes “New Hampshire’s Green Economy and Industries: Current Employment and Future Opportunities,” “Economic Impact of the Proposed Antrim 30 MW Wind Power Project in Antrim, New Hampshire,” and the economic analysis of policies proposed in “The New Hampshire Climate Action Plan,” performed for the NH Climate Change Task Force.

Dr. Michael Merenda is a Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Management Departments in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. His current research interests are in: Case research, The Role of Entrepreneurial Education in Fostering Entrepreneurship; TMT Experience in Venture Creation and The Strategic Use of Information Technology in SME Competitiveness. His research has appeared in: International Journal of E-Business Research, International Journal of Case Method Research & Application, Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, The Case Research Journal, Telecommunication Policy, Journal of Industrial and Corporate Change, Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship, and International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal. Mike is Director of the University’s Annual Holloway Prize, Innovation-To-Market Competition and his students regularly participate in the Annual I2P (Idea to Product) Global Competition. Mike received his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Northeastern University and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

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Sustainability Case Studies

sustainable business management case study

To read this content please select one of the options below:

Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, smart contracts to enable sustainable business models. a case study.

Management Decision

ISSN : 0025-1747

Article publication date: 9 July 2020

Issue publication date: 4 December 2020

The objective of this study is to deepen how blockchain technology through smart contracts can support the development of sustainable business models (SBMs). Particularly, the authors aim to determine the key elements enabling SBMs by applying smart contracts.

Design/methodology/approach

The research context focusses on the case study of SmartInsurance, which is a fictitious name for a start-up in the insurance sector and the real name of which is not to be revealed. The start-up was able to collect 18m euros in 80 s in a crowdfunding operation, using smart contracts and a revolutionary business model. Internal as well as external documents of different sources are analysed and coded to gather information about the company, its values and its business and what it pursues with employing blockchain technology.

The results show how smart contracts can reduce the costs of transactions, increase social trust and foster social proof behaviours that sustain the development of new SBMs.

Originality/value

This study contributes to both the transaction cost theory and social proof theory, showing how new technologies such as the blockchain can provide a fresh perspective to support the development of SBMs.

  • Transaction cost theory
  • Social proof
  • Insurance sector
  • Smart contracts
  • Sustainable business models

Dal Mas, F. , Dicuonzo, G. , Massaro, M. and Dell'Atti, V. (2020), "Smart contracts to enable sustainable business models. A case study", Management Decision , Vol. 58 No. 8, pp. 1601-1619. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-09-2019-1266

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Case Study: Balancing Sustainability Goals with Cost Constraints

Case Study: Balancing Sustainability Goals with Cost Constraints

Posted By on May 2nd 2024

Here at EcoEnclose, we are 100% committed to your sustainable packaging success because we will only achieve our vision of packaging circularity if your eco-packaging project is a win. But what does packaging success mean?

When you work with us, you get a packaging partner dedicated to your access across 5 key areas.

This is the EcoAlly Experience, delivered.

the ecoally experience

In this series, we explore different parts of the EcoAlly Experience through case studies to help you understand our work.

We keep the brands anonymous, allowing us to be more honest and explore the specifics of the challenges and solutions we provide. Doing so can provide a clearer picture of how we approach complex issues and work with brands like yours to find the best possible solutions.

How We Brought Brand X More Circular Packaging That Met Their Budget

At EcoEnclose, we want every brand committed to sustainability to adopt eco-friendly packaging solutions that align with their budget and operational needs.

Some businesses, particularly our EcoAllies who have built a brand and competitive edge by placing a high strategic focus on sustainability, can adopt the most circular packaging options possible - 100% recycled content with 95% or more post-consumer waste produced in the USA, certified by third parties and designed for one-time reuse. Others, however, may need help to balance maximum levels of recycled content and domestic manufacturing alongside goals related to cost reduction, lead times, and other internal requirements.

EcoEnclose seeks to help brands across this spectrum make meaningful progress on sustainability, no matter where or how they start.

The Challenge

Brand X came to EcoEnclose six months ago, looking for sustainable packaging for their shipping needs.

At the time, they were using virgin 2.5 mil poly mailers produced in China. They ordered 500,000 mailers at a time across three sizes. These volumes allow us to explore a broad set of material and structural options to meet their needs. When they first reached out, they were focused on moving from poly mailers to paper mailers to go plastic-free.

Exploring Paper Mailers

recycled paper mailer

Early in our discussions with Brand X, we recognized that they were facing economic headwinds that would make any significant increase in packaging costs challenging for them. Given this, we quickly mapped out the likely increases they would see in costs when moving from poly mailers to paper mailers – approximately double the unit cost of their packaging, with an additional 50% increase in their storage and transportation costs. We also sent samples to their fulfillment center for review and testing.

After the Brand X team discussed the cost implications and preliminary durability challenges they saw with paper mailers, they determined that these were impractical solutions for the time being. They would pick this initiative back up when they were on a more solid financial footing internally.

Exploring Circular Poly Mailers

white poly mailer

We explain to the Brand X team that circularity in  poly mailers means (according to our  sustainable packaging framework ) maximizing recycled content, with a specific focus on post-consumer waste, designing for recyclability, and using as little material as possible to achieve their performance goals.

We then worked with them to distill and align their crucial decision criteria:

- Budget across three sizes of mailers: No more than 10% more than their current mailers

- Brand and aesthetic needs: Full bleed, four-color print with a commitment to achieving their brand's iconic magenta color, a critical factor for their marketing team

- Sustainability: As much recycled content as possible without sacrificing the above goals

- Lead times: Longer lead times were acceptable for them if it allowed them to satisfy the above goals successfully

Our Recommended Solution

After several weeks of sampling, testing, and reviewing print performance across several options, we settled on 100% recycled poly mailers manufactured in Asia with over 50% post-consumer waste.

These mailers are 2 mils thick (compared to their previous thickness of 2.5 mils) but still meet their performance and print requirements. After conducting an analysis with them, we also removed the dual seal strip on their original mailer, revealing that only 10% of their poly mailers were returned, suggesting that the dual seal strip feature on their original mailer was not worth the extra cost or material it used.

The new poly mailers for Brand X came in slightly below the cost of their current mailers, allowing them to achieve a circularity win alongside a budget win. By working closely with them to understand their unique needs and challenges, we were able to provide a packaging solution that met all of their specific criteria. However, it meant making tradeoffs on sustainability for the time being.

At EcoEnclose, we see these steps forward among committed brands (grappling with economic and operational challenges alongside their sustainability goals) as wins. Every time a brand makes this type of positive progress, it puts them on a flywheel of forward momentum. It also enables EcoEnclose to expand the community of EcoAllies, which is part of our broader movement to make packaging circular. 

sustainable business management case study

The Future of Consumption

How Technology, Sustainability and Wellbeing will Transform Retail and Customer Experience

  • Open Access
  • © 2024

You have full access to this open access Book

  • Kristina Bäckström 0 ,
  • Carys Egan-Wyer 1 ,
  • Emma Samsioe 2

Department of Service Studies & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

You can also search for this editor in PubMed   Google Scholar

Department of Business Administration & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

  • Discusses future trends in consumption, particularly the impact those trends will have on the ways we shop and much more
  • Combines academic and practitioner perspectives on future consumption trends
  • Highlights what retailers are already doing to prepare for the consumption of the future
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

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About this book

This open access book presents three future consumption trends—technology, sustainability, and wellbeing—and discusses what impact those trends will have on the ways we shop. 

What will be important to the consumers of the future? And how will their retail experiences look and feel? Will technology, sustainability, and wellbeing trends fundamentally change how we consume? And how should retail managers respond to these trends in order to provide the customer experiences of the future? Blending academic perspectives with reflections from innovative retailers, this book explores all these questions and more.  

Essential reading for retail managers who want to know how future consumption trends will affect the industry, this book also benefits students and researchers of retail and consumption who want to better understand how these interdependent fields are linked. 

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Table of contents (24 chapters)

Front matter, introduction: the future of consumption.

  • Kristina Bäckström, Carys Egan-Wyer, Emma Samsioe

The Intersection of Sustainability and Technology in the Context of the Digital Marketplace

  • Hela Hassen, Precious Akponah

Smart Signage: Toward a Transformative Model that Effectively Generates Consumer-Product Relationships

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Into the Metaverse: Technological Advances Shaping the Future of Consumer and Retail Marketing

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Consumer Trust and Platformised Retail Personalisation

  • Stefan Larsson, Kashyap Haresamudram

Friend or Foe? How Buy-Now-Pay-Later Is Seeking to Change Traditional Consumer-Retailer Relationships in the UK

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The Future of Grocery Retail

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Toward a Packaging-Free Society: A Historical Journey of Institutionalization and the Way Forward

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Trending Seaweed: Future Opportunities in Retail?

  • Cecilia Fredriksson, Annabell Merkel, Filippa Säwe

Grocery Retailers’ Approaches to Discussion on the Food Waste Issue on Social Media

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Sustainable Consumption in Taiwan and China: Drivers and Impediments

Digitalization: a potential tool for sustainable consumption.

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The Challenge of Overproduction and Overconsumption

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Create Tomorrow’s Vintage

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The Future of Wellbeing: Value Creation in Digital Mental Health Services

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No Cash, No Coins, No Cards, But You: Biohacking the Future of Payments

  • Vitor Lima, Russell Belk

“I really must recommend this book, which is an insightful and topical book for all practitioners and scholars seeking answers and new perspectives on future challenges within retail and marketing. Never has the retail industry been challenged from so many different directions and it is important to be prepared for the changes that are coming. This book goes through the major trends in the retail industry: the development of technology, sustainability challenges and, finally, the future customer’s demands for better experiences. So be prepared, be updated. Read the book and you will have a huge competitive advantage for the future.” (Martin Moström, CEO, Retail House, Sweden) 

“This book is a valuable collection ofchapters by leading researchers and practitioners from a variety of fields and perspectives, exploring a range of phenomena that are likely to transform the future of consumption. It is both multifaceted and clearly structured to reflect the three key trends of technology, sustainability and well-being. These trends cover phenomena ranging from more established technologies such as digital signage to those with more uncertain trajectories such as the metaverse, from the prospects of seaweed to the challenges of reducing food waste, and from individual consumer wellbeing to digital mental health ecosystems. The book shows how each of these major trends, individually and in combination, is contributing to shape consumer experiences and retailing. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the future of consumption and is therefore highly recommended.” (Professor Johan Hagberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) 

“Too often we take retailing and consumption for granted. It is only when things go wrong (ranging from pandemics to global economic and geopolitical challenges) that we see how central these multi-faceted activities have become to the functioning and evolution of society. In this book, authors drawn from a wide range of backgrounds provide fascinating contemporary perspectives on the nexus between retailing and consumption. The rich variety of topics is compelling, and the insights and implications presented will prove instructive to students, academics and practitioners alike.” (Jonathan Reynolds, Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK)  

“The core purpose of retailing is to satisfy the needs and desires of consumers.  It is therefore essential that retailers keep abreast of the evolving values, expectations and behaviours of contemporary consumers.  We are in a phase of significant change in the socio-economic environment, so the need to look forward and explore new relationships andinteractions between retailers and consumers is more critical than ever.”

This edited anthology brings together an important set of insights relevant to the future of consumption and retailing.  The core to successful retailing remains the delivery of an excellent customer experience.  The need for retailing to deliver not just the ‘traditional’ values associated with products and services but to respond to important emergent themes around sustainability and wellbeing, and to consider how technology contributors to (or detracts from) delivering customer experiences based on these values will shape retailer-consumer relationships in the years ahead. (Steve Burt, Professor of Retail Marketing, Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, UK) 

“The retail industry is constantly evolving, always with the fast-changing needs of the customers at heart. This book gives a great overview of how future trends within technology, sustainability and well-being can impact the development of retail. No matter if you’re a retailer or a student, it’s an interesting read with inspiring examples and best-practises that can inspire to action – both for businesses and consumers.” (Jesper Brodin, CEO Ingka Group I IKEA, Sweden)

Editors and Affiliations

Department of service studies & centre for retail research, lund university, lund, sweden.

Kristina Bäckström, Emma Samsioe

Department of Business Administration & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Carys Egan-Wyer

About the editors

Kristina Bäckström is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Service Studies & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University.

Carys Egan-Wyer is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Business Administration & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University.

Emma Samsioe is an Associate Senior Lecturer at the Department of Service Studies & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University.

Bibliographic Information

Book Title : The Future of Consumption

Book Subtitle : How Technology, Sustainability and Wellbeing will Transform Retail and Customer Experience

Editors : Kristina Bäckström, Carys Egan-Wyer, Emma Samsioe

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33246-3

Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan Cham

eBook Packages : Business and Management , Business and Management (R0)

Copyright Information : The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2024

Hardcover ISBN : 978-3-031-33245-6 Published: 05 October 2023

Softcover ISBN : 978-3-031-33248-7 Published: 05 October 2023

eBook ISBN : 978-3-031-33246-3 Published: 04 October 2023

Edition Number : 1

Number of Pages : XXIX, 383

Number of Illustrations : 8 b/w illustrations, 18 illustrations in colour

Topics : Marketing , Trade

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  6. Online Program for Sustainability Managers is here! #sustainablebusiness

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  1. The Comprehensive Business Case for Sustainability

    The Comprehensive Business Case for Sustainability. by. Tensie Whelan. and. Carly Fink. October 21, 2016. Today's executives are dealing with a complex and unprecedented brew of social ...

  2. Making the Business Case for Sustainability

    ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100. In project management, the formula is written similarly but with slightly different terms: ROI = [ (Financial Value - Project Cost) / Project Cost] x 100. 3. Case Studies of Businesses with Successful Sustainability Initiatives.

  3. Top 10 Sustainability Case Studies & Success Stories in 2024

    7. HSBC: ESG concerned green finance. Finance companies can help speed up the transition to sustainable business practices by supporting initiatives run by responsible businesses. By the end of 2025, HSBC has committed to investing $100 billion in sustainability projects.

  4. Sustainable Business Went Mainstream in 2021

    Sustainable Business Went Mainstream in 2021. Summary. In 2021, many climate trends that were gaining steam in years past became the norm. In this article, which describes the five biggest climate ...

  5. Sustainable business practices

    Sustainable business practices Digital Article. Will Sarni. Last year we heard a chorus of "water is the new oil," including a memorable BusinessWeek cover depicting oil baron T. Boone Pickens ...

  6. Making the Business Case for Sustainability

    Listen. (13 min) Sustainability leaders are challenged with developing a business case for accelerating decarbonization and investing in sustainable business practices by leaders in other functional areas, including finance, who may have difficulty seeing the case for change. Steven Goldbach. "It's incredibly apparent that successfully ...

  7. Sustainability at IKEA Group

    Abstract. By 2014, IKEA Group was the largest home furnishing company, with EUR28.5 billion of sales, and planned to reach EUR50 billion by 2020, mainly from emerging markets. At the same time, IKEA Group had adopted in 2012 a new sustainability strategy that focused the company's efforts on its entire value chain from its raw materials ...

  8. Green business process management for business sustainability: A case

    Ghose et al., (2010) put forward a new field called green business process management by integrating BPM and business sustainability, which has also been adopted and implemented in subsequent sustainability-focused studies (e.g., Ahmed and Sundaram, 2012; Couckuyt and Van Looy, 2020; González et al., 2019; Maciel, 2017; Opitz, Krüp, and Kolbe ...

  9. Sustainability case studies

    Climate risk, resilience and adaptation Energy solutions Impact management for sustainable business strategy Legal and sustainability Net zero transformation Sustainability assurance Sustainable capital Sustainable Development Goals ... The following case studies are real-world examples of how we helped clients develop environmental, social ...

  10. Redefining Sustainable Business: Management for a Rapidly ...

    Aron is recognized globally as a preeminent authority on just and sustainable business. In addition to leading BSR, which has grown substantially throughout his tenure as President and CEO, Aron advises senior executives at BSR's 300+ member companies and other global businesses and partners on the full spectrum of environmental, social, and governance issues.

  11. Sustainable Business Strategy Course

    CLIMB enables new and experienced leaders to ignite their careers with a combination of vital and forward-looking business skills, self-reflection, and an immersive cohort-based learning experience with a diverse global network. 1 year, 5-9 hrs/week. Apply by August 21st & 28th $15,000 (four installments of $3,750) Credential.

  12. Sustainable Business Strategy

    In Sustainable Business Strategy, you will learn how businesses can thrive and grow while simultaneously playing a major role in solving some of these big problems. You will also learn how you as an individual can make a difference. Through interactive online case studies with leading companies such as Walmart and Unilever, you will learn why ...

  13. Environmental Sustainability: Articles, Research, & Case Studies on

    New research on environmental sustainability from Harvard Business School faculty on issues including the role of companies to mitigate climate change, corporate social responsibility, reporting to stakeholders, government relations and development of Chief Sustainability Officers. ... George Serafeim examines Apple's circular model in a case ...

  14. Managing Sustainable Business: An Executive Education Case ...

    This book offers 32 texts and case studies from across a wide range of business sectors around a managerial framework for Sustainable Business. The case studies are developed for and tested in executive education programmes at leading business schools. The book is based on the premise that the key for managing the sustainable business is ...

  15. Case Studies

    The Center for Sustainable Business compiles case studies and other educational resources related to sustainable business on topics including finance, management, supply chain, and organizational development. ... The Business Case for Decarbonization of a Healthcare Delivery System-- A Case Study on Energy Management with Gundersen Health ...

  16. 3 Business Sustainability Case Studies And Why They Worked

    Purposeful Brands. February 12, 2020. 1. Lyft. Founded in 2012, Lyft is now an $11 billion ride-hailing company, second in the industry to Uber alone. Lyft along with Uber has been criticized for contributing to emissions and increasing congestion, however, the company is taking steps to work towards better solutions.

  17. Sustainable supply chain management: a case study at IKEA

    Limitations of this study are primarily based on IKEAs available of information on its sustainability efforts, to. vast to be explored in this case study. IKEA is recognised for a strong corporate ...

  18. The Sustainable Business Case Book

    The second half of the book focuses on case studies on sustainable businesses. Although the topics covered and are very relevant, one aspect that is lacking is focus on the social dimension of sustainability. ... Journal of Industrial and Corporate Change, Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship, and International ...

  19. Sustainability Case Studies

    Bring a business perspective to your technical and quantitative expertise with a bachelor's degree in management, business analytics, or finance. System Design & Management A joint program for mid-career professionals that integrates engineering and systems thinking.

  20. PDF Developing Value The business case for sustainability in emerging markets

    and construct their own case. Sustainability has real relevance in emerging markets Based on more than 240 real-life examples in over 60 countries, Developing Value is the first large-scale study analyzing the 'business case' for sustainability in emerging markets — the opportunity for businesses to achieve benefits such as higher sales,

  21. PDF Green business process management for business sustainability: A case

    Green business process management for business sustainability Citation for published version (APA): Sohns, T. M., Aysolmaz, B., Figge, L., & Joshi, A. (2023). Green business process management for business sustainability: A case study of manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Germany.

  22. Sustainable Entrepreneurship in India: A Comparative Case Study of

    Case study research requires a strong data plan, which pertains to linear analysis, ... The sustainability balanced scorecard—Linking sustainability management to business strategy. Business Strategy and the Environment, 11(5), 269-284. Crossref. Google Scholar. Gray B. J., Duncan S., Kirkwood J., Walton S. (2014). Encouraging sustainable ...

  23. Sustainable Business: A Case Study on Carlsberg

    Abstract. Business sustainability is a strategy used by a company to lessen the adverse effects of its operations on the environment in a specific market, and the brewing industry faces ...

  24. Sustainable Business: A Case Study on Carlsberg

    Sarkar, M. (2023). Sustainable Business: A Case Study on Carlsberg. European Journal of Business and Management Research, 8(3), ... European Journal of Business and Management Research (EJBMR) is a peer-reviewed international journal publishes bimonthly full-length state-of-the-art research papers, reviews, case studies related to all areas of ...

  25. Smart contracts to enable sustainable business models. A case study

    Design/methodology/approach. The research context focusses on the case study of SmartInsurance, which is a fictitious name for a start-up in the insurance sector and the real name of which is not to be revealed. The start-up was able to collect 18m euros in 80 s in a crowdfunding operation, using smart contracts and a revolutionary business model.

  26. Unlocking success: key elements of sustainable business models in the

    Few studies have investigated the processes and strategic interactions among the Wooden Multistory Construction (WMC) industry actors, its customers, and local policymakers. Further insights into this field are needed for a sustainability transition in the construction sector. This study aims to explain WMC's corporate sustainability strategies for co-creation with customers and municipalities.

  27. Case Study: Balancing Sustainability Goals with Cost Constraints

    However, it meant making tradeoffs on sustainability for the time being. At EcoEnclose, we see these steps forward among committed brands (grappling with economic and operational challenges alongside their sustainability goals) as wins. Every time a brand makes this type of positive progress, it puts them on a flywheel of forward momentum.

  28. The Future of Consumption: How Technology, Sustainability ...

    Carys Egan-Wyer is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Business Administration & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University. Emma Samsioe is an Associate Senior Lecturer at the Department of Service Studies & Centre for Retail Research, Lund University.

  29. Smart mobility in Venice: An ecosystem perspective

    Through a case study with five purposive samples of Smart Mobility start-ups, an expert in strategic innovation, sustainability management, and business model innovation, and an innovative project evaluator, the research analyzes the values generated at an ecosystem level, with a reflection on Venice (Italy), the world capital of sustainability.

  30. Questioning the business model of sustainable wine production: The case

    This study develops and examines novel insights into attitudes and behaviours concerning sustainable wine production and the Business Model (BM) concepts surrounding them. It employs multi-methods - two focus groups, survey (n = 350) and seven in-depth interviews. The aim is to analyse sustainable wine production and consumption in a specific context in order to better understand challenges ...