Our society is currently facing an unprecedented series of crises in modern history -financial, economic, industrial and environmental crises -as a consequence of an unsustainable development model based on the mismanagement of precious and scare social, human and overall natural resources. However, crises often generate a number of opportunities. Companies with vision and leadership have the opportunity to transform their business models and work towards a more sustainable future based on natural resources efficiency, the development of innovative green products and services and the empowerment of eco-consciousness actors of the value chain. How this strategic change happens? What are the drivers and opportunities behind it? In this theoretic and field research at European scale, we have examined four companies from different size and sectors that are leading this strategic shift towards environmental sustainability, inspiring others to follow their example. We conclude that incorporating environmental sustainability within a business model is a non-linear journey which involves three interrelated phases. First, a dynamic, positive and widespread cultural change, involving all the levels in the organisation from the CEO to the line worker. Secondly, a transparent and long term collaboration with strategic external stakeholders, such as suppliers, NGO's or customers. Finally, the deployment of eco-innovative corporate policies through the whole value chain to reduce environmental footprints and booster the development of new green products and services. This research aims to contribute to understand better the drivers towards corporate environmental sustainability so that businesses can implement more efficiently the change management process.

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Arenas Vives, Daniel; Fosse, Jeremie; Huc , Emily

Business going green: A journey of transformation towards environmental sustainability

Our society is currently facing an unprecedented series of crises in modern history -financial, economic, industrial and environmental crises -as a consequence of an unsustainable development model based on the mismanagement of precious and scare social, human and overall natural resources. However, crises often generate a number of opportunities. Companies with vision and leadership have the opportunity to transform their business models and work towards a more sustainable future based on natural resources efficiency, the development of innovative green products and services and the empowerment of eco-consciousness actors of the value chain. How this strategic change happens? What are the drivers and opportunities behind it? In this theoretic and field research at European scale, we have examined four companies from different size and sectors that are leading this strategic shift towards environmental sustainability, inspiring others to follow their example. We conclude that incorporating environmental sustainability within a business model is a non-linear journey which involves three interrelated phases. First, a dynamic, positive and widespread cultural change, involving all the levels in the organisation from the CEO to the line worker. Secondly, a transparent and long term collaboration with strategic external stakeholders, such as suppliers, NGO's or customers. Finally, the deployment of eco-innovative corporate policies through the whole value chain to reduce environmental footprints and booster the development of new green products and services. This research aims to contribute to understand better the drivers towards corporate environmental sustainability so that businesses can implement more efficiently the change management process.
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Business going green: A journey of transformation towards environmental sustainability
Arenas Vives, Daniel; Fosse, Jeremie; Huc , Emily
Ashridge International Research Conference 2011
Ashridge Business School
Hertford (United Kingdom), 10/06/2011 - 11/06/2011

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