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Article

Alex Opoku and Vian Ahmed

Adopting sustainable construction practices minimizes the overall environmental impact of the built asset throughout its whole life. Currently, there is demand from key…

Abstract

Purpose

Adopting sustainable construction practices minimizes the overall environmental impact of the built asset throughout its whole life. Currently, there is demand from key stakeholders in the construction industry for organization to deliver sustainable built environment, however, leaders/champions within construction organizations charged with the adoption of sustainable construction practices face many challenges. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an investigation into the challenges facing intra-organizational leaders charged with the promotion of sustainable construction practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interview with 15 leaders, followed by an industry-wide survey of 200 intra-organizational leaders in contractor and consultant organizations in the UK construction industry.

Findings

The results revealed that increased capital cost is the most significant challenge facing construction organizations in attempt to adopt sustainability practices in the delivery of construction projects.

Originality/value

This study provides the empirical evidence linking leadership within construction organizations and sustainability; filling the gap in literature and serving as a source of reference material for higher education programmes in the built environment.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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Article

Jennie C. Stephens, Maria E. Hernandez, Mikael Román, Amanda C. Graham and Roland W. Scholz

The goal of this paper is to enhance consideration for the potential for institutions of higher education throughout the world, in different cultures and contexts, to be…

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this paper is to enhance consideration for the potential for institutions of higher education throughout the world, in different cultures and contexts, to be change agents for sustainability. As society faces unprecedented and increasingly urgent challenges associated with accelerating environmental change, resource scarcity, increasing inequality and injustice, as well as rapid technological change, new opportunities for higher education are emerging.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on the emerging literature on transition management and identifies five critical issues to be considered in assessing the potential for higher education as a change agent in any particular region or place. To demonstrate the value of these critical issues, exemplary challenges and opportunities in different contexts are provided.

Findings

The five critical issues include regional‐specific dominant sustainability challenges, financing structure and independence, institutional organization, the extent of democratic processes, and communication and interaction with society.

Originality/value

Given that the challenges and opportunities for higher education as a change agent are context‐specific, identifying, synthesizing, and integrating common themes is a valuable and unique contribution.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article

Oliver James Bradley and Gloria Oforiwaa Botchway

The purpose of this paper is to identify the sustainability indicators disclosed by ten British Coffee Association corporate members in their sustainability reporting and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the sustainability indicators disclosed by ten British Coffee Association corporate members in their sustainability reporting and examine whether the indicators correspond to the sustainability challenges faced by the coffee industry, as identified in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A normative account of sustainability challenges was developed based on a review of extant literature. A content analysis of the sustainability reports and/or Webpages of the companies was conducted to identify quantitative and qualitative sustainability indicators. Frequency and thematic analysis enabled the subsequent examination.

Findings

A total of 94 sustainability indicators (44 environmental, 30 social and 20 economic) were identified in company reporting. The indicators correspond to the sustainability challenges identified in the literature. In addition to broad challenges, indicators are used to communicate specific issues. A significant number (47) of single-use indicators were identified, communicating less frequently reported challenges. Some companies account for sustainability from bean to cup, attributed to crucial differences in organisational characteristics (degree of vertical integration). Furthermore, the findings highlight the discretionary nature of sustainability reporting, finding considerable variance in indicators disclosed.

Research limitations/implications

As this paper relies on self-reported corporate disclosures, it critically examines the reporting practices of organisations, as opposed to verifying the activities associated with their claims. The authors minimised subjectivity by reducing the interpretation of what constituted “an indicator” using a clearly agreed definition and multiple rounds of coding.

Practical implications

This paper examines the reporting practices of organisations, providing a useful insight and a competitor benchmark. By comprehensively examining the sustainability challenges faced by the coffee industry, it offers “sustainability context” that can be used by organisations to improve their accounting and reporting practices.

Social implications

This paper acknowledges and addresses social initiatives that call for the systematic development of practical and appropriate sustainability indicators that can become embedded in policy and decision-making, affecting the measurement of progress and responses to important sustainability challenges.

Originality/value

This paper presents the first systematic review of sustainability indicator disclosure in an industry that faces significant sustainability challenges.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article

Ibrahim Garbie

The purpose of this paper is to present and identify the challenges toward implementing sustainability strategies both strategic and tactical (STs) and performance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and identify the challenges toward implementing sustainability strategies both strategic and tactical (STs) and performance measures (PMs) facing industrial organizations in newly industrialized countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Conducting a comprehensive survey on the published papers focused on the area of sustainability and/or sustainable development (S/SD) in manufacturing enterprises to identify the most common critical challenges. Setting with industrialists to determine which challenges the industrial organizations facing while implementing the S/SD strategies in terms of strategic, tactic and PMs. Using support logic techniques such as interpretive structural modeling (ISM) and interpretive ranking process (IRP) as modeling approaches to examine the contextual relationship among the STs and PMs individually “first phase,” to clarify and identify the most and least dominant factors, and to rank STs with respect to the PMs “second phase.”

Findings

The investigation shows that some challenges are more dominant and influential. Literacy and an awareness of sustainability, globalization and international issues and competitive strategies have emerged as the most dominant and key driving factors for STs in the ISM model, while the whole PMs are driven by remanufacturing and recycling factors in the ISM model. In addition, drivers and barriers to implementing S/SD challenges received the highest rank in the IRP model.

Research limitations/implications

Most of the STs and PMs were identified from academicians. Most of the manufacturing companies participated in the discussion; unfortunately, all are not familiar with the S/SD as a whole. They see to the S/SD from very narrow scope like climate change, environmental and energy issues only based on what they heard from media. Most of them are not fully interested to join with academicians to progress the work.

Practical implications

Most of the manufacturing companies are keen to investigate extremely sustainability challenges. Although this paper has a goal to provide a comprehensive framework to analyze, investigate and model sustainability challenges for industrial/manufacturing companies in different industrial sectors, most of the STs and PMs were identified from academicians. Most of the industrial/manufacturing companies participated in the discussion; unfortunately, all are not familiar with the S/SD as a whole. This study will help manufacturing/industrial companies to analyze and investigate the challenges toward implementing S/SD.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is to identify the most common ST and PM challenges facing industrial organization toward implementing S/SD, modeling them into logical techniques and comparing between STs with respect to PMs.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

Aldilla Dharmasasmita, Helen Puntha and Petra Molthan-Hill

The purpose of this paper is to present a food-themed project at Nottingham Trent University, the Sustainability in Practice (SiP) Certificate, which has adopted a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a food-themed project at Nottingham Trent University, the Sustainability in Practice (SiP) Certificate, which has adopted a supra-disciplinary approach involving a collaborative enquiry into food sustainability through a flexible online course open to all staff and students.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper will describe the pedagogical approach of the certificate’s online and offline components, the various activities undertaken by participants and the digital tools used to encourage collaboration and skills development. Reflection on participant feedback is incorporated, and special attention is given to how the design of SiP equips students with the skills needed to solve sustainable challenges.

Findings

Feedback from previous participants indicated that despite high engagement in the SiP online discussion forums, there was a desire to go beyond theoretical discussion; students wanted to get actively involved in some practical challenges. “Sustainability Challenge Days” are therefore now offered and comprise in-person discussion, volunteering and collaborative group learning to complement the online course. This practice element as well as the crowdsourcing of sustainable solutions within SiP are described in detail in this paper.

Research limitations/implications

Although estimately 1,000 students have taken the SiP to date, SiP Challenge Day was only piloted this year, following recommendations by student focus groups in 2014 and 2015. Focus groups have not yet been undertaken for the 2015/2016 cohort. The feedback included in this paper is based only on students who participated in the Challenge Days. Analysis of the feedback forms indicates that the 2015/2016 SiP Challenge Days have constituted a promising pilot project, and, therefore, organisation of Challenge Days for the next academic year is already in progress, with two additional themes already in placed.

Practical implications

The SiP Challenge Day events have provided the opportunities for students from across all disciplines to discuss, collaborate and thus find solutions to a contemporary sustainability topic: food scarcity and accessibility. Hence, it has facilitated inter and supradisciplinary learning, a skill that is seldom available in a conventional lecture and/or seminar teaching environment.

Social implications

Activities in the SiP Challenge Day events included group discussions, team working and presentations. Some of the feedback received from students have included how they have enjoyed exchanging ideas from colleagues in different schools and culture, as the exchange have had them to consider different opinions and perspectives from other disciplines, culturally.

Originality/value

While a focus on sustainability within higher education curriculum is on the increase, it is still usual for universities to adopt a mono-disciplinary approach to addressing sustainability. This paper illustrates how using the digital world, higher education institutions can adopt a supra-disciplinary approach to facilitate students in addressing real-world sustainability problems. Additionally, how practical sessions can complement students’ digital learning in sustainability is also included in this paper.

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Article

Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Sachin Kumar Mangla, Pravin P. Patil and Shaofeng Liu

The food organisations are pushing to adopt circular economy initiatives to enhance economic–ecological–social sustainability of supply chains. The adoption of circular…

Abstract

Purpose

The food organisations are pushing to adopt circular economy initiatives to enhance economic–ecological–social sustainability of supply chains. The adoption of circular economy and sustainability aspects is complex from the point of view of developing nations compared to the developed nations. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to develop a model of the challenges for implementing the successful circular economy-led sustainability concepts in food supply chains in emerging economies, especially in the Indian context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors recognised 11 circular economy-led sustainability-related challenges and analysed appropriate interactions among the identified challenges. The Delphi method was used for the confirmation of identified challenges. The challenges were identified initially with the help of literature. Interpretive structural modelling method was used for modelling the challenges. In addition, MICMAC analysis was used for classifying the challenges based on their dependence and driving power. A case study of diary food processing company in India was conducted.

Findings

According to the findings, poor government policies, lack of technology and techniques and lack of farmers’ knowledge and awareness come under the driving challenges.

Practical implications

Understanding of circular economy-led sustainability-related challenges would help managers and policy makers in the sustainable management of natural resources in food value chains.

Originality/value

This is one of the initial works conducted on identifying and evaluating the challenges to circular economy-based sustainability aspects in food value chains.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article

Patrice De Micco, Loredana Rinaldi, Gianluca Vitale, Sebastiano Cupertino and Maria Pia Maraghini

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the challenges that companies could face over time when dealing with sustainability reporting (SR) and focusses on potential…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the challenges that companies could face over time when dealing with sustainability reporting (SR) and focusses on potential mechanisms they may adopt to cope with them.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation is conducted adopting the theoretical framework proposed by Baret and Helfrich (2018) and using a longitudinal case study.

Findings

The authors found that the challenges that gradually arose induced the evolution of SR. Dissemination, employees’ involvement, managerial commitment and routinization/institutionalization of reporting practices appeared to be useful mechanisms to face the related challenges. Conversely, the authors found that stakeholders’ engagement scarcely affected SR. Furthermore, the legislation impacted the extent and quality of disclosed contents and fostered the standardization of the reporting process.

Practical implications

In analysing how Estra faced SR challenges, this paper emphasizes the mechanisms that can be used to properly manage them, in a gradual and holistic way. Hence, this study offers a useful example for companies approaching SR for the first time.

Originality/value

The authors adopt a holistic theoretical perspective providing evidence on how SR development within a company depends on the continuous and integrated management of its multiple challenges, also suggesting that its interdependencies with the definition and execution of sustainability should be exploited.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article

Ming-Lang Tseng, Taufik Kurrahman, Asik Hanita, Ming K. Lim and Yeneneh Tamirat Negash

This study aims to form a valid measure and hierarchical framework to achieve corporate sustainability transitions (CSTs).

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to form a valid measure and hierarchical framework to achieve corporate sustainability transitions (CSTs).

Design/methodology/approach

The fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) is applied to validate and eliminate challenges in sustainability transition regarding qualitative information. Fuzzy interpretive structural modeling (FISM) is used to build a hierarchical framework under uncertainties.

Findings

This study finds that technology investment, data management, eco-management and sociospatial embedding challenges are the highest hierarchical framework levels and affect CST.

Practical implications

A lack of awareness and knowledge, a lack of commitment, a lack of strategy, tolerance of unsustainable practices, a lack of stakeholder participation and a fragmented market are perceived as the challenges that show the highest driving and dependence power. These challenges serve as a reference for government and construction firms in the transition to sustainable corporate practices.

Originality/value

Unsustainable corporate practices have caused large amounts of energy consumption, resource depletion and environmental impacts. There are challenges in transitioning to corporate sustainability that must be addressed. The most significant challenges that need to be solved to facilitate the transition to corporate sustainability are identified and arranged in a hierarchical model. By identifying the hierarchical relationships among the challenges, a theoretical framework that extends the existing models is developed to assist decision-makers.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 121 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Stephanos Anastasiadis, Stephanie Perkiss, Bonnie A. Dean, Leopold Bayerlein, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Alec Wersun, Pilar Acosta, Hannah Jun and Belinda Gibbons

Sustainability is one of the leading challenges of our age, and higher education plays a vital role in supporting the implementation of sustainability initiatives. There…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability is one of the leading challenges of our age, and higher education plays a vital role in supporting the implementation of sustainability initiatives. There has been substantial progress in business schools introducing sustainability into courses with extant literature detailing case studies of sustainability education and student perceptions of their learning. The purpose of this paper is to address the gap in literature from educators' perspectives on their experiences of introducing sustainability teaching using specific teaching tools for sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a case study on a sustainability teaching tool, WikiRate, that was embedded into business and management courses at seven higher education institutions from across the globe. Interviews were conducted after course delivery to gain insights into the practical challenges of designing and implementing a sustainability education activity.

Findings

The findings show that educators perceive sustainability as a complex issue, presenting a challenge to teaching in university systems whose normative curricula are rooted in instrumental problem-solving. Furthermore, educators described challenges to their own learning in order to implement sustainability into curricula including the need for compromises and adaptions.

Originality/value

This empirical study reports on educators' experiences embedding sustainability into their courses through an innovative teaching tool, WikiRate. This paper has implications for reframing how we can approach sustainability education and presents discussion ways to teach complexity without reduction or simplification.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Content available
Article

Marcel Bogers, Henry Chesbrough and Robert Strand

This paper describes the case of how the Danish beer manufacturer, Carlsberg, developed the Green Fiber Bottle as part of its sustainability program through an open…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes the case of how the Danish beer manufacturer, Carlsberg, developed the Green Fiber Bottle as part of its sustainability program through an open innovation approach in collaboration with complementary partners. It thereby illustrates how a grand challenge associated with sustainability can be effectively addressed through open innovation and reveals the opportunities and challenges that emerge in that context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper summarizes some key elements of the case and, in particular, discusses some of the lessons learned, which can be further explored in future research, practice, and policy.

Findings

The case suggests a number of key issues that are relevant when attempting to address grand challenges, in general, and sustainability in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, in particular, namely: leveraging open innovation in the face of sustainability as a grand challenge; sustainability beyond a solid business case; opportunities and challenges in the face of new business models; the importance of early wins for addressing societal challenges for signals and scaling; and the importance of the Nordic context and long-term vision.

Originality/value

The case describes a recent (and to some extent still ongoing) initiative of how a particular F&B company has explored new approaches to developing its sustainability program. Therefore, it highlights some of the unique characteristics of this case. This paper also lays the groundwork for the establishment of “Sustainable Open Innovation” as a domain in its own right.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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