The purpose of the paper is to present a conceptual framework and a set of conditions within which nations and business can strive to embed sustainability in corporate/national strategy. The objective is to motivate business and national leaders to do so with sustainability mindsets and strategic leadership. The pre‐conditions that will accelerate the “motivation” to do so are identified, as are interventions identified. The sphere of influence business and national leaders have to impact sustainable globalization is identified.
The approach is to focus on information in the public domain that outlines the “real” challenges faced by nations and business as they consider the need for sustainability and key issues such as “poverty and climate change”, which if not addressed could have detrimental strategic implications for the planet, business and nations. The changes that have taken place since 1982 when global leaders signed up to Agenda 21 and the relatively insignificant movement that has occurred to date is outlined to strengthen the case for quantum leaps in the short to medium term. The strategic framework recommended is one that combines the need for organizations to set a new gold standard for “corporate responsibility”, which is a “commitment to sustainable business” followed by a commitment to differentiating the business or nation on a sustainability paradigm. This is presented as means to embedding sustainability in strategy in the form of the concept of “strategic corporate sustainability”. The concept of strategic corporate sustainability is presented as a two‐step approach that initially requires both national and corporate leaders to commit to the need for sustainability by developing triple bottom line strategies. This is followed by the need to embed sustainability strategy as the corporate strategy that differentiates the nation and the business, strategically setting it apart from those that have not done so. This is presented as one of the ways to move forward to achieve the goal of sustainable globalization.
The key findings from information in the public domain of nations and business that have embedded a sustainability policy and are demonstrating that enlightened leaders who have sustainability mindsets as a primary requirement for the future are presented with the examples of General Electric and Unilever. The process of nations embedding sustainability policy, which in turn motivates business to strive for sustainable business, which finally leads to sustainable consumption, is presented in a sequential manner.
The originality of the paper is in the form of the concept of strategic corporate sustainability, which was first mooted in 2008 at Cambridge University and has since been accepted as a key subject and elective for MBA and AMP programs between 2008 and 2012 at many business schools, confirming both its validity and its originality.
Fernando, R. (2012), "Sustainable globalization and implications for strategic corporate and national sustainability", Corporate Governance, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 579-589. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720701211267883Download as .RIS
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