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Practical Sustainability Strategies. How to Gain a Competitive Advantage. Edition No. 2

  • ID: 5227046
  • Book
  • April 2020
  • 368 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

The guide to sustainable strategies and tools to improve competitive business advantage, updated with practical case studies and supporting teaching material

The revised and updated second edition of Practical Sustainability Strategies is filled with proven strategies and tools for organizations to integrate sustainability into their business models. Drawing on the authors’ research and years of hands-on experience, the book defines strategies that organizations can put in place to develop, extend, or maintain competitive advantage without harming the environment. Additionally, the authors provide tools for measuring and reporting progress and present illustrative case studies that clearly demonstrate the importance of implementing sustainability.

Since the first edition was published in 2013, new strategies, measurements, and certifications have been developed. The book, which is used by several business schools around the globe, has been updated to include these new and effective strategies, including circular economy, the sharing economy, adaptation, resiliency, and strategies to fight climate change. This new edition also highlights the UN Sustainable Development Goals that have been adopted worldwide. This updated second edition:

  • Covers new strategies, measuring systems, GRI, STARS and B-Lab certifications
  • Offers teaching slides and questions for use in the classroom
  • Explores the principles and importance of sustainability
  • Examines more than 10 different sustainability strategies
  • Presents the economic justification for sustainability with illustrative examples

Written for sustainability managers, ESG professionals, engineers, process designers, policy makers, CEOs, business schools, and others, the second edition of Practical Sustainability Strategies offers an updated guide to the most recent strategies and tools that can be put into place to improve competitive advantage, while also providing a positive impact to the community and workplace.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

Preface of George P. Nassos xvii

Preface of Nikos Avlonas xxi

About The Companion Website xxiii

Part I Introduction to Sustainability 1

1. Urgency to Adopt Sustainability 3

Creation of the Environment 4

Exceeding the Ecological Footprint 5

The Limits to Growth 7

Consumption Factor 9

Conservation of Water 10

The Depletion of Fossil Fuels 12

Climate Change 13

Population Growth 15

The Environment’s Big Four 16

References 16

2. Development of the Sustainability Concept and CSR 19

CSR Today: From Shareholder Value to Stakeholder Value 21

CSR Measuring and Reporting 23

The Sustainable Development Concept Thousands Years Ago 24

References 25

Part II Sustainability Strategies 27

3. Imbedding the UN Sustainable Development Goals to Achieve Sustainability 29

UN 2030 Agenda 30

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals 31

A Real Positive View of the SDGs 37

A Further Look at The SDGs 37

References 38

4. The Natural Step 41

The Four System Conditions for Sustainability 44

System Condition 1 - Substances from the Earth’s Crust Must Not Systematically Increase in the Ecosphere 44

System Condition 2 - Substances Produced by Society Must Not Systematically Increase in the Ecosphere 45

System Condition 3 - The Physical Basis for Productivity and Diversity of Nature Must Not Be Systematically Diminished 46

System Condition 4 - There Must Be Fair and Efficient Use of Resources with Respect to Meeting Human Needs 46

Scientific Rationale for the Natural Step 47

The Natural Step Recent Projects 48

Interface - The First Company to Adopt the Natural Step 48

VinylPlus - The European PVC Industry’s Voluntary Commitment to Sustainable Development 50

Dow Measures Up 52

Nike’s Core Values 53

Pratt and Whitney Canada’s Sustainability Journey 54

The Circular Economy 55

References 55

5. Eco-Effective Versus Eco-Efficient: Sustainability Versus Being “Less Bad” 57

Fuel Efficiency 58

Computing Efficiency 59

More Durable Brake Pads 60

Increase Polymer Recycling 61

Reduced Sewage Effluent 61

More Efficient Clocks 62

Cradle To Cradle 63

Do Not Take it to the Extreme 66

References 66

6. Servicizing and the Sharing Economy 67

Sell Illumination 69

Sell A Painted Car 70

Sell Floor Comfort and Esthetics 70

Sell Water Treatment Services 71

The Evolution of the Sharing Economy 72

Collaborative Consumption 73

Class Final Projects 74

Medication Delivery 75

Refill Perfume Shop 75

Luggage 75

Home Improvement Paint 76

Nutrient Services 76

Baby Mattresses 76

Seat-Go-Round 77

Bike Helmets 77

Q Card for Better Transportation 77

References 78

7. Adopting Systems Thinking 81

System Elements 82

System Interconnections 82

System Function or Purpose 83

Tunneling Through the Cost Barrier 84

Interface Pipe Design 85

Reducing Oil Imports 87

Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions 88

Illegal Immigration 88

Sailboat Design 89

References 90

8. Base of the Pyramid 91

The Great Leap Downward 92

Electrify the Bottom of the Pyramid 95

Hindustan Lever and Nirma 96

BOP Protocol 97

Initiatives by the World Resources Institute 98

Developing the Bottom of the Pyramid 99

Is the Base of the Pyramid a Mirage? 101

References 102

9. Environmental Innovation Through Biomimicry 103

Abalone 104

Spider Silk 105

Bivalves 106

Rhinoceros 107

Fish-Inspired Travel 108

Cheetahs 109

Compact and Efficient Structure 111

Ethanol 113

Color from Structure Rather than Pigments 115

Cricket Sounds 116

Bio-inspired LEDs 117

Lessons from Lavasa 118

Owl Wings Inspire Wind Turbine Blade Design 118

Shaving Razors Inspired by Frog and Cricket Legs 119

Additional Technologies Inspired by Biomimicry 120

Mindful Mining: A Proposal 122

Introduction 122

Business as Usual 123

Business Unusual: Proposed Business Model 123

References 124

10. The Need and Growth of a Circular Economy 127

Kalundborg Symbiosis 128

Earlier Model 129

Terracycle Introduces “LOOP” 130

Designing for the Circular Economy 131

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation 131

Quantity of Waste for the Circular Economy 134

Personal Note 134

References 136

Additional Case Studies 136

11. Addressing Climate Change 137

Energy: Wind Turbines (Onshore) 139

Energy: Solar Farms 140

Materials: Refrigeration 141

Materials: Alternative Cement 142

Food: Reduced Food Waste 142

Food: Plant-Rich Diet 143

Women and Girls: Educating Girls and Family Planning 144

Buildings and Cities: District Heating 145

Buildings and Cities: Insulation 146

Land Use: Tropical Forests 147

Land Use: Temperate Forests 148

Transport: Electric Vehicles 149

Transport: Ships 150

Top 20 Solutions 151

Coming Attractions 152

References 152

12. Adapting and Building Resilience to Climate Change 155

Interconnectedness of Climate Risks in a Globalized World 156

Large-Scale Climatic Shifts 157

Building Resilience 158

Case Study: Mining Company 158

Case Study: Extractives Sector Partners with Government and Communities to Fight Malaria in Mozambique 159

The Strategy Development Process 160

References 162

13. Emergent Technologies for Adaptation 163

No Poverty and Innovation 164

Zero Hunger and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Platforms 165

Good Health, Wellbeing, and Virtual Reality 166

Quality Education, Mixed Realities, and 5G 167

Gender Equality and Mobile Technologies 168

Clean Water Nanotechnology - Sanitation and Smart Cities 168

Affordable Clean Energy and Biofuels 169

Decent Work, Economic Growth, and Future Technologies 169

Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure, Drones, Augmented Reality, and Smart Cities 170

Reducing Inequalities 171

Sustainable Cities and Communities, IoT, and Smart Cities 171

Responsible Consumption and Production 172

Climate Action - Life Below Water - Life on Land 173

Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions, and New Technological Challenges 173

References 173

14. The Circular Economy Through Energy Recovery 177

Understanding Waste Management 177

Waste-to-Energy Systems 180

Incineration 180

Combined Heat and Power (Cogeneration) 181

Combined Heat, Power, and Cooling (Trigeneration) 182

Pyrolysis 183

Gasification 183

Anaerobic Digestion 184

The Challenges of Waste-to-Energy Initiatives 185

The Future of Waste-to-Energy Initiatives 185

References 186

15. Environmentally Effective Buildings 187

Net-Zero Energy Buildings 194

LEED Project Certification Process 195

LEED Accredited Professional 196

Living Building Challenge 197

World’s Greenest Building 199

The WELL Building Standard 201


Other Building Certifications 202

References 203

16. Green Chemistry, Nanotechnology, and “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” 205

Green Chemistry 205

Nanotechnology 209

“Big Hairy Audacious Goal” 213

Washing Machines 214

Toilets 214

Urban Farming 215

Case Study 218

References 218

17. Sustainable Strategies and Beyond 219

Part III Practical Tools and Guidelines 223

18. Standards and Guidelines for Managing Sustainability (CSR) 225

Need for a Sustainable Strategy 225

Managing Sustainability and Standards 226

Case Study on Sustainable Strategy 228

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Stakeholders 229

GRI Interpretations of Stakeholder Engagement 230

The Stakeholder Reporting Process 230

GRI Tests for Stakeholder Inclusiveness 231

Presentation of Reported Stakeholder Discussions 231

ISO 26000 Framework 233

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) 234

Case Study: BMO Financial Group - 2017 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report and Public Accountability Statement 235

Report Extract 235

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) 238

International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) 238

Corporate Sustainability Trends 238

Issues for Learning and Discussion 240

References 241

19. The Corporation and its Stakeholders 243

Examining the Stakeholder Concept 243

Stakeholders: Definition - Primary and Secondary Stakeholders 244

Case Study: Campbell Soup Company - 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report Extract 245

Stakeholder Engagement 245

Stakeholder Relations and Attributes - Power, Legitimacy, Urgency 248

Case Study: TD - 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report Extract 248

Stakeholder Engagement 248

Balancing Stakeholders’ Expectations 250

Case Study: Hess Corporation - 2017 Sustainability Report Extract 251

Stakeholder Engagement 251

Stakeholder Engagement Process 251

External Stakeholders 252

Materiality Assessment 252

Case Study: Campbell Soup Company - 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report Extract 256

Materiality Assessment 256

Benefits from the Corporation’s Responsible Behavior: The Sustainability (CSR) Debate 257

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Debate 259

Issues for Learning and Discussion 259

References 260

20. Sustainability (CSR or ESG) Reporting 261

Sustainability (CSR or ESG) Reporting 261

Context of Reports 261

Changes Over the Years 262

Hess Corporation 2017 Sustainability Report 263

Approach to Reporting 263

Reporting Standards 263

Materiality 263

Boundary Setting 264

Restatements 265

Assurance 265

Requests for Information 265

Johnson & Johnson 2017 Health for Humanity Report 266

About this Report 266

B Corporation 267

Sustainability in the Supply Chain 267

Sustainability Reports and Impact Investments 268

Sustainability and ESG Ratings 269

Case Study: Marks and Spencer Plan a Report 2018, Plan a 2025 and our Strategy - Helping to Make M&S Special Again 270

Transformation Timeframe 270

References 273

21. Sustainability Metrics for Improving Impact 275

Metrics in the GRI Guidelines 276

Case Study: ABM 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report 276

102-49 - Changes in Reporting 276

102-50 - Reporting Period 276

102-51 - Date of Most Recent Report 276

102-52 - Reporting Cycle 277

102-53 - Contact Point for Questions Regarding the Report 277

102-54 - Claims of Reporting in Accordance with the GRI Standards 277

102-56 - External Assurance 277


ISO 26000 282

Ecological Footprint 282

Metrics for Carbon Footprint 283

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) 284

Balanced Scorecard 285

How Metrics of Sustainability Can be Used (e.g., Assessments, Audits) 285

Case Study: The Hartford - 2016 Sustainability Report 286

Communities and Giving 286

Diversity and Inclusion 287

Ethics and Governance 287

Environmental Stewardship 288

Stakeholder Metrics and Sustainability 288

Issues for Learning and Discussion 289

References 290

22. Life Cycle Analysis and Carbon Footprint Reduction 291

World Population and Energy Consumption 291

Energy Consumption and Global Warming 291

Climate Change and Carbon Footprint 292

Carbon Emissions and Carbon Footprint 293

LCA and Measuring Carbon Footprint 294

Greenhouse Gas Protocol (WRI) 295

LCA and Product Labels 295

Cases for Carbon Footprint 297

Carbon Offset and the Gold Standard 299

Carbon-Offset-Projects: India, Clean Biogas for 7000 Families 300

Issues for Learning and Discussion 300

References 301

23. Water Footprint 303

Overview 303

Guidelines for Measuring the Water Footprint 304

Water Footprint and LCA 306

Case Study: Coca-Cola Company 307

Replenishing the Water Used 307

Improving Water-Use Efficiency and Reuse in Bottling Plants 308

Water in Agriculture 308

Engaging in Water Policy Reform 308

Nestle 309

Water Footprint Versus Carbon Footprint 310

Issues for Learning and Discussion 311

References 311

24. Green Marketing and Communication and How to Avoid Green and Blue Washing 313

Green Communication and Greenwashing 313

Green Marketing, Communications, and Sustainability 314

Green Marketing 315

Materiality and Sustainability 316

Guidelines for Green Marketing 316

Accuracy 317

Clarity 317

Sustainable Communications Strategy 320

Designing the Sustainability Communications Strategy 320

Conducting an Assessment and Defining the Challenges/Issues 321

Developing a Sustainability Communications Strategy 321

Implementing the Communications Strategy 322

Reinforcing Stakeholder Interaction 322

The Importance of Social Media 323

The Importance of the Company Website 323

Issues for Learning and Discussion 324

References 324

Part IV Conclusion 325

25. Epilogue: Where Do We Go Now? 327

References 329

Index 331

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
George P. Nassos
Nikos Avlonas
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown