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To be sustainable, companies may need to change their products, processes, and business models to operate within defined economic, environmental, and social thresholds.
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The concept of materiality is advancing the ability of sustainability reporting metrics to allow easy comparisons of companies over time. And investor focus on industry-specific sustainability issues is poised to make the financial sector a driver in social and environmental performance improvements.
Supply chains may operate within legal and responsible guidelines, but still not be sustainable. New guidelines and collaborations are needed to develop science-based metrics that assess supply chain performance in the context of societal and environmental limits.
As sustainability becomes a driving force in the evolving marketplace, many products and technologies are unable to compete within the new parameters. The recent scandal involving Volkswagen’s falsifying of its diesel cars’ emissions is a case in point: If your business model can meet the ever-higher standards of sustainability only when customers reduce consumption of the product, it is by definition unsustainable. What does this mean for managers committed to products with questionable sustainability?
With over 435 eco-label programs worldwide, how can companies avoid betting on the wrong one? Authors Magali A. Delmas (UCLA Anderson School of Management), Nicholas Nairn-Birch (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and Michaela Balzarova (Lincoln University) detail a three-part framework for companies to use. The framework evaluates eco-labels along three dimensions: consumer understanding and awareness, consumer confidence and willingness to pay.
If political and ideological boundaries really are “invisible fences in the mind,” as MIT Sloan professor John Sterman puts it, then what kind of image of how the world works will best serve us as we think about issues of economic growth? These are some of the questions that MIT Sloan’s Jason Jay raised in a thought-provoking presentation at the Dynamics of Globalization Executive Education program held at MIT on June 13-14.
Multinational companies such as Apple need to give their Chinese suppliers better incentives to comply with local standards in environmental and health safety, say researchers from Stanford in the new issue of MIT SMR.
Given the sparkle that environmental rankings lend to high-ranking companies, they should take into account a business’s advocacy activities to influence environmental regulation in addition to the business’s internal operations, argue Auden Schendler of the Aspen Skiing Company and Michael Toffel of Harvard Business School.
We asked: Are organizations spending more on sustainability? Does it merit more attention from the top? More than 4,700 managers responded. Here’s what they told us.
As sustainability affects how the world works, so will it affect how business works in the world. Here are eight changes that smart managers are already talking about.
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