The following is based on information provided in the lessons on embedded (or integrated) sustainability, i.e., lessons 5, 6, and 7. It sets the stage for this assignment.
The United Nations (UN) Global Compact (2015), developed the Roadmap for Integrated Sustainability to provide guidance for integrating sustainability into a company.
According to the Roadmap, many companies initially take a reactive approach to sustainability, which is focused on protecting the company’s brand and reducing its risks. Over time, the company may further integrate sustainability into its strategy, functional areas, operational processes, and culture. The Roadmap presents a Sustainability Stages Model that identifies 5 typical stages traversed by companies as they more fully integrate sustainability.
The purpose driven stage was identified as the highest level of sustainability integration currently imagined. At this stage, sustainability is inseparable from the company’s core purpose, the company is committed to making a difference in the world, and its business model is designed to capture value by addressing social or environmental challenges. It is important to recognize that many companies claim to be purpose-driven. However, most would not fit the Global Compact’s description of a stage 5 purpose-driven company. While many socially responsible businesses strive to create a positive impact, or at least reduce their negative impact, their primary purpose is typically to maximize shareholder value. The Global Compact suggests that motivation is the key to becoming purpose-driven. Purpose- driven companies see sustainability as an important objective on its own, not as a means to becoming a competitive business. Solving social and environmental issue is core to a purpose-driven company’s business model. They are focused on delivering shared value. Others use the term social purpose business to describe such a company.
According to the Roadmap, functional integration is critical for transitioning to a proactive and strategic approach to sustainability. Each function has capabilities necessary for integrating sustainability to enable a sustainable business model. At each stage of sustainability integration, it is important to determine which functions should be engaged in the sustainability integration process and what contribution each function should make. To become a purpose-driven company (stage 5), sustainability must be fully integrated into all key functions. That is, each function must adapt its strategies and operations to support the sustainability strategy and goals of the firm.
The Roadmap discusses the important role of executive leadership and board engagement for strategic sustainability integration and governance. While the Roadmap discusses leadership at a high level, Lesson 5 provides more information about the role and responsibilities of the board of directors and executive leaders in integrating sustainability into a company.
It is important to keep in mind that the Global Compact’s Sustainability Stages Model is a model, i.e., a conceptualization of the sustainability integration journey. In reality, this journey can take many
This assignment will provide you with an opportunity to (1) analyze the extent to which sustainability has been integrated into a company and (2) recommend a key next step for further integrating sustainability.
For this assignment, you should consider the company that you investigated for Assignment 1. This is an individual assignment. You should complete it individually.
As a first step, you should research the company’s approach to sustainability. Based on your research, analyze the company’s approach to sustainability according to (1) the Global Compact’s Roadmap for Integrated Sustainability and (2) the discussion about governance and leadership provided in Lesson 5. Based on your analysis, identify a key next step that could help the company progress to the next sustainability stage. Finally, write a concise summary of your analysis and recommendation.
Your Analysis and Recommendation for Integrated Sustainability should be no more than 1,500 words and should reference sources using the APA (American Psychological Association) citation style. The Concordia University Library provides general APA citation style guidance. The references do not count towards your total word count. Any images and charts should be provided in the body of the document (not as appendices).
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