This teaching case explains the main aspects of Acciona's sustainability strategy and the process of transformation of the company after the new CEO took office in 2004. It also presents some possible difficulties of maintaining such strategies in the new economic and political environment. The purpose of the case is to show how three aspects play a relevant role in a company's transformation towards sustainability: cultural change; collaboration with external stakeholders, and the innovations introduced. The article presents a case-study that narrates the process of six years of transformation towards sustainability of a company. The case was constructed through the analysis of company documents and several interviews with key actors in the company as well as external stakeholders. The article shows how cultural change, collaboration with external stakeholders and innovation form a vital combination in the transformation process towards sustainability. It also reveals that acquisitions and internationalization can help accelerate or consolidate this process. The article is presented as a teaching case with discussion questions at the end. The aim is to engage readers and participants in educational and training programs in discussions about the factors that may contribute to start and maintain a transformation towards sustainability. The practical implication of the article is to show how cultural factors, collaboration and innovation form a vital combination for changing the way business do things. The value of the case lies in showing how business efforts of embedding sustainability into business practice can be more effective by combining cultural factors, collaboration and innovation.

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Arenas Vives, Daniel; Fosse, Jeremie; Murphy, Brian Matthew

Acciona: A process of transformation towards sustainability

10/2011
This teaching case explains the main aspects of Acciona's sustainability strategy and the process of transformation of the company after the new CEO took office in 2004. It also presents some possible difficulties of maintaining such strategies in the new economic and political environment. The purpose of the case is to show how three aspects play a relevant role in a company's transformation towards sustainability: cultural change; collaboration with external stakeholders, and the innovations introduced. The article presents a case-study that narrates the process of six years of transformation towards sustainability of a company. The case was constructed through the analysis of company documents and several interviews with key actors in the company as well as external stakeholders. The article shows how cultural change, collaboration with external stakeholders and innovation form a vital combination in the transformation process towards sustainability. It also reveals that acquisitions and internationalization can help accelerate or consolidate this process. The article is presented as a teaching case with discussion questions at the end. The aim is to engage readers and participants in educational and training programs in discussions about the factors that may contribute to start and maintain a transformation towards sustainability. The practical implication of the article is to show how cultural factors, collaboration and innovation form a vital combination for changing the way business do things. The value of the case lies in showing how business efforts of embedding sustainability into business practice can be more effective by combining cultural factors, collaboration and innovation.
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Acciona: A process of transformation towards sustainability
Arenas Vives, Daniel; Fosse, Jeremie; Murphy, Brian Matthew
Journal of Management Development
Vol. 30, n 10, 10/2011, p. 1027 - 1048

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