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Lozano R.,University Utrecht | Lozano R.,Organisational Sustainability Ltd.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

Recently, there has been a rapid growth in company sustainability reporting, as well as an improvement in quality of reports. A number of guidelines have been instrumental in this process; however, they still do not consider the importance of the inter-linkages and synergies among the different indicators and dimensions. This paper focuses on assessing sustainability inter-linkages in corporate sustainability reporting. For this study, the reports from fifty-three European companies, covering thirteen industries at A+ Global Reporting Initiative level and third party certified, were selected. These reports were analysed following a two prong, quasi-quantitative approach - firstly by checking which of the reports covered any of the inter-linking issues, and secondly by checking how well these were covered (i.e. the performance). The results showed that, although not explicitly demanded by the guidelines, the coverage of the interlinking issues ranged from medium to high, whilst performance ranged from low to high. Given the holistic nature of business and of sustainability, and the lack of inclusion of this in the current reporting guidelines, this paper calls for an update of the theory, and of the guidelines, to ensure that a more systemic approach is adopted in business praxis. It also makes an appeal to SR managers and champions, and those compiling the reports, to actively look for the inter-linking issues and dimensions, in order to gain new insights with a view to reducing, or even avoiding, conflicts between/among issues. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Watson M.K.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Lozano R.,University Utrecht | Lozano R.,Organisational Sustainability Ltd. | Noyes C.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Rodgers M.,Georgia Institute of Technology
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

There has been a rapid increase on the number of engineering schools in higher educational institutions that have incorporated sustainability into their teaching. Nonetheless, curricula reforms are still needed to better educate engineers on the implications that their work has on the environment and societies in this generation and future ones. A step to facilitate this is assessing the contribution of engineering curricula to sustainability. This assessment can provide a starting point on how sustainability is being taught, and how this can be improved. This paper presents the results from the assessment of the sustainability content of the Civil and Environmental Engineering curriculum at the Georgia Institute of Technology using two complementary approaches: the Sustainability Tool for Assessing UNiversity's Curricula Holistically system and two students' perceptions surveys. The results from the curriculum assessment indicated that the courses addressed mainly environmental issues, and that the depth of coverage could be improved. The results from the students' surveys concurred with the curriculum assessment, although there were some differences in regard to social issues. Using both approaches provides a more holistic overview of the contribution of engineering courses and degrees to sustainability, and it allows detecting discrepancies between sustainability content in the syllabus and sustainability teaching in the classroom. The approaches can help to foster educational changes by: guiding university leaders in devising curricula reforms to promote sustainability learning; providing students with opportunities to reflect upon the topic; and bridging the gap between the activities being done at the university to foster sustainability and student perception of what needs to be achieved. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lozano R.,University Utrecht | Lozano R.,Organisational Sustainability Ltd. | Carpenter A.,Organisational Sustainability Ltd. | Huisingh D.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Corporate Sustainability has arisen as an alternative to traditional, short-term, profit-oriented approaches to managing the firm by holistically balancing economic, environmental, and social issues in the present generation and for future ones. Although a number of theories of the firm have been proposed within recent decades, their application to Corporate Sustainability has been limited. This paper presents an overview of the most widely used theories of the firm (such as the Stockholder Theory, the Aggregate Theory, the Contractual Theory, the Resource Based View, and the Stakeholder Theory), and analyses their contributions to Corporate Sustainability from an interpretative perspective. The discussion highlights the point that each of the theories, on its own, is limited in addressing sustainability's four dimensions (i.e. the economic, environmental, social, and time). Nonetheless, each theory, or group of theories, has a particular perspective or principles that can contribute to one or more of the four dimensions. The authors of this paper propose a 'Sustainability Oriented Theory of the Firm', which is built upon elements of those theories as they relate to Corporate Sustainability. This new theory can be useful in providing the firm's leaders and all of its stakeholders with a more complete vision of its obligations, opportunities, relations, and processes that the firm should address as it engages in helping to make societies become more equitable and sustainable in the short- and long-terms. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lozano R.,University Utrecht | Carpenter A.,Organisational Sustainability Ltd.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2013

Green and sustainable chemistry have been developed to help reduce the production and use of harmful chemicals. The two main approaches that have been used in fostering green and sustainable chemistry have been through policy initiatives and science/technology. This paper focuses on a complementary approach, Chemical Leasing. Chemical Leasing is a collaborative service-oriented business model that is aimed at shifting the focus away from profit generation, through increased sales, towards a value-added approach by providing a service. In this model the producer sells the functions performed by the chemical, while the payment basis is a functional unit rather than quantity or volume sold. The user of the chemical obtains benefits through a reduction in the chemicals used, and scientific know-how and support from the producer. This paper presents the results of a case study from Serbia with three partners: a beverage producer, a chemicals producer, and a facilitator. The Chemical Leasing implementation was done on lubricating the beverage producer's polyethylene terephthalate bottle packaging line. The results of the implementation were lower chemical consumption, substitution of a hazardous chemical by an environmentally friendly one, improvement of occupational health and safety, better packaging process efficiency, and economic savings. The case study illustrates that collaborative approaches can help reduce the use of hazardous chemicals (benefiting human health and the environment), whilst providing economic benefits to the partners. This research shows that collaborative business models can complement policy initiatives and scientific/technological approaches in fostering green and sustainable chemistry, and ultimately making societies more sustainable. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lozano F.J.,Monterrey Institute of Technology | Lozano R.,University Utrecht | Lozano R.,Organisational Sustainability Ltd.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

With a growing interest in sustainability, a number of universities have engaged in educating the future leaders, decision makers, scientists, and engineers on how their decisions can help societies become more sustainable. This paper presents the process for developing the Bachelor's degree curriculum in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. The process was initiated in response to a request from top management of the university to a small committee of faculty members to prepare a draft of the degree's curriculum structure. Subsequently, a wider committee was appointed to design the courses' content and to refine the degree's structure. The process of developing a new degree posed a number of challenges, such as connectivity of courses and the curricular contribution to sustainability. These challenges were overcome by: using Concept Maps to help characterise and to overcome the challenges of inter-connecting courses by providing a systemic framework through a qualitative graphical tool titled, the 'Sustainability Tool for Assessing UNiversities' Curricula Holistically' (STAUNCH®). This tool helped the faculty team to develop a quasi-quantitative approach to the courses' coverage and their individual and collective contribution to education of their students for sustainability. The two methods provided a broader, more holistic, and systemic approach when developing a degree, because it allowed assessing the needed connectivity among curriculum courses from a systemic perspective, as well as evaluating the contribution of environmental, economic, and social issues in the degree. The systematic process followed in developing this degree curriculum can help other institutions to design and implement their own sustainability curricula. This can ensure that they develop sustainability-educated and empowered students, who can be change agents in making societies more sustainable. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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