Lessons from the evolution of maize
Journey to Global Sustainability

The quest to move beyond mere compliance by fully integrating corporate social responsibility into the company’s strategic positioning and execution.

Lessons from the evolution of maize

Journey to Global Sustainability

The quest to move beyond mere compliance by fully integrating corporate social responsibility into the company’s strategic positioning and execution.

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IMD’s professors identify and address the seven transformation journeys that are reshaping corporations today

Global Sustainability
Rethinking the structure of corporations

Professor Michael Yaziji focuses especially on the relationship between corporations, NGOs and government. In this talk, he argues that the existing corporate structure is no longer optimally adapted to the needs of society or of corporations themselves. He proposes some bold suggestions about the modifications he sees as necessary.

TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES

ESCAPING THE COMPLIANCE TRAP
Companies should reframe sustainability to reflect its transformative potential
When social and environmental concerns first made their way onto the corporate agenda in the 1980s, it was primarily driven by the desire to avoid accidents or scandals – often in hard-to-monitor distant markets – that might damage the brand or reputation of the company. Sustainability remains to some extent tainted by that heritage.

It retains a defensive connotation and companies tend to concentrate mainly on what could go wrong and how to avoid attracting the attention of regulators or NGOs. Framing sustainability as a “challenge” only reinforces that negative impression. Companies need to move beyond this focus on risk, constraints and compliance.

TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES

GOING FORWARD WITH TOMORROW’S SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH
More can equal less thanks to industrial ecology
The notion of “sustainability as less” – fewer people, resources and production together with less consumption and pollution – is actually not enough. On one hand, we absolutely need to do all of these things if we are going to give our children anything like the planet that we inherited, but it needs to be complemented by another approach that leverages the growth imperative that got us in this mess in the first place.

TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES

INNOVATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Series of three articles
The first article examines the business context and drivers while the second looks at implementation challenges and the third at systems and leadership.

TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES

HAVE ECOLABELS HAD THEIR DAY?
The truth behind sustainability labels from the people who integrate them
More than three decades after the first ecolabeling program was introduced, what is the verdict on their effectiveness? To find out we asked managers and sustainability practitioners – over a thousand from 70 countries and more than 20 industries – to share their views with us. In a nutshell, ecolabels have been useful in increasing sustainability awareness and performance, but there are also credibility concerns given the proliferation and fragmentation of such labels.

TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES

SUSTAINABILITY IS ACTUALLY GOOD NEWS
Three ways to change our mindset
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the 21st century is how to build a sustainable society. Overcoming this challenge means letting go of the rather negative vision of sustainability that concentrates mainly on what has gone wrong with our economic development model. Instead, we need to adopt a new mindset highlighting all the options and possibilities that a systemic approach to sustainability offers us.

TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES

WHAT’S STOPPING YOUR SUSTAINABILITY SCHEMES?
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Lack of interest from investors is a key factor. So too is inconsistent customer demand. But some of the biggest barriers facing companies that are trying to roll out sustainability strategies come not from outside, but from within their own business. These internal obstacles take the form of knowledge gaps, fixed and short-term mindsets, and an absence of incentives for managers to change behaviors.