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Mapping the Journey: Case Studies in Developing and Implementing Sustainable Development Strategies

By: Russell S Barton, Lorinda R Rowledge and Kevin Brady

Greenleaf Publishing

Paperback | Dec 1999 | #103425 | ISBN: 1874719268
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Hardback | Dec 1999 | #103421 | ISBN: 187471925X
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About this book

This text presents a series of case studies from around the world based on numerous personal interviews with organizational leaders and focusing on their journeys towards sustainability. The aim is to provide visions of a more sustainable future, and to shed light on the path, milestones and solutions - in particular the management processes these organizations employed - to provide a compass that others can follow. Although each organization must take steps to fit its particular circumstance, business conditions and culture, the book seeks to prove that valuable lessons can be learned by setting aside critique as to where these organizations may yet make progress and instead focusing on the guidelines, targets, measures of success, tools and techniques and wisdom about how pioneer organizations are travelling towards a prosperous, sustainable future. The organizations featured include: Sony Corporation; SC Johnson; TransAlta Corporation; Henkel; Volvo; Interface Flooring Systems; DaimlerChrysler; ASG; and the Dutch National Environmental Policy Plan.

Sustainable business practices are the foundation for current and future business success. Through the collection and presentation of case studies, the authors of Mapping the Journey have created a framework for both thought and action concerning the implementation of sustainable development. The change, actions and leadership described in this book present exciting potential to use sustainable practices to benefit customers, employees, shareholders and society.' Kip Smith, President and CEO, Ballard Power Systems Inc. 'Although many of the companies profiled in this book of case studies have already been recognised for their environmental and/or social achievements, they are not--and most would not claim to be--anywhere near their final destination. We have yet to see a genuinely sustainable enterprise in most sectors of the economy. But the case studies do provide useful clues to some of the competences and leadership skills required. In short, they provide elements of a road map that will help today's pathfinders--and tomorrow's would-be pioneers--to understand both the market and political challenges they will face and the tools and behaviours that will help them on their way.' John Elkington, Chairman, SustainAbility Ltd. 'The road to corporate sustainability is fraught with many twists, turns and potholes. The wonderful case studies detailed in this book provide much-needed signage and guideposts for the journey.' Stuart Hart, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina. 'Reinventing our industrial system is a critical necessity if we are to have a sustainable global society on the earth. This useful book documents the beginnings of that change--voluntary first steps by a number of leading companies toward a more environmentally benign business model. Such path-breaking examples bear close scrutiny, because the strategies they suggest may soon become a necessity for virtually all companies.'Allen Hammond, Senior Scientist at the World Resources Institute; author of Which World: Scenarios for the 21st Century.'In Mapping the Journey the authors have captured the three essential elements of the journey of learning of companies that have chosen sustainable development as the context for achieving their vision: first, the focus on knowledge--from innovation in strategy and action as well as from the remembering and building upon past wisdom; second, the journey as a collaboration in community with employees and stakeholders; third, and above all, the action that produces the results and knowledge that energises and supports the next stage of the journey.' Jim Leslie, President, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Business Trust. 'The authors of Mapping the Journey have done an outstanding job of describing the current threats to global sustainability and providing many excellent examples of innovative industry responses. I have no doubt that this text will become a 'must-read' for anyone interested in advancing the case for sustainable development in their organisations.' Cliff Bast, Global Product Stewardship Manager, Hewlett-Packard Company. 'The social, economic and environmental consequences of 'business as usual' will affect everyone. Any company planning to be in profitable business in fifty years' time needs to be building sustainability into their strategic thinking today. This book offers some practical and encouraging examples of such foresight.' Chris Tuppen, Corporate Social and Environmental Programmes, British Telecom. 'The authors of Mapping the Journey have provided a critically important investigation of the development and implementation of corporate strategies toward sustainability. Through extensive case studies of actual company experiences, this book provides extraordinary insight and guidance to these new developments and provides directions to all companies as they consider their responses to social and environmental impacts and issues. This is essential reading for all managers.' Marc J. Epstein, Research Professor of Management, Rice University; author of Measuring Corporate Environmental Performance. 'The path toward sustainability is requisite travel for all companies that expect to survive and thrive in the years ahead. Mapping the Journey identifies valuable insights from seasoned travellers on the road to sustainable business solutions. It provides concrete examples of organisations that have developed the strategic decision-making and innovative capacity to turn the challenge of sustainability into opportunities for both short- and long-term success.' Ronald J. Bergin, Director, Office of the Auditor General of Canada; Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. 'The efforts of these public and private organisations in pursuing sustainability are case studies in enlightened and heroic leadership. Their examples will lead and inspire those who seek to build enduring institutions.' Susan Mecklenburg, Director, Environmental and Community Affairs, Starbucks Coffee Company. 'As leading companies find themselves on the verge of the Second Industrial Revolution, and as resource efficiency, life-cycle management, dematerialisation and sustainability become the buzzwords of the new millennium business ethic, Mapping the Journey both sets the scene and offers practical examples to others wishing to start the journey to corporate sustainability. An excellent read, full of inspiring examples of corporate engagement in the sustainability debate.' Mark Barthel, Head of Sustainability Group and Director of Strategic Development, British Standards Institution. 'Mapping the Journey uncovers the old but often buried truth that environment and economy are but two sides of the same coin. More importantly, these case studies provide excellent real-world examples of the strategies and tools required by organisations to improve their environmental and economic performance.' Prof. Dr-Ing Peter Eyerer, Chair of Material Science, University of Stuttgart; Managing Director, FraunHofer Institute for Chemical Technology. 'Mapping the Journey is an excellent compendium of strategies and managerial tools applied by organisations leading the way in the sustainability journey. The book offers a practical analysis of sustainable development. It demonstrates how we can enhance economic development while at the same time address the environmental challenge that is on the horizon for all of us. In reading this book, I found a clear message. This is a strategic business issue, so fundamental to enlightened managers and yet still so subtle to essential message for all business leaders and business schools.' Georges Michaud, Director, Environment, Business Strategy, Corporate Environmental Services, Nortel Networks. 'Successful companies in the next millennium will be those that understand and practise sustainability. Mapping the Journey provides excellent insight through very well-documented case histories of companies that not only drive the sustainable development agenda forward but are also economically successful. Don't miss this book; it is inspiring to read.' Manfred Wirth, Director, Wirth Sustainable Business Consulting. 'Mapping the Journey provides an excellent description of how leading-edge companies have learned to make gold from green. These information-packed stories will both educate and spur others to action.' Robert W. Slater, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada. 'Since the Rio Summit, more and more enterprises have been talking about sustainable development and how this most ambitious goal may be reached. In Mapping the Journey we find an impressive collection of examples from companies that not only talk about sustainable development but are also firmly committed to working towards its achievement.' Dr Manfred Marsmann, Product Stewardship, Bayer AG. 'Mapping the Journey offers a rare combination: ecological conscience and smart business sense. Every industry can benefit from this examination of sustainable-business success stories, with industrial systems designed to offer profits beyond the bottom line.' Susan I. Marvin, President, Marvin Windows & Doors. 'Each case study is an in-depth analysis of the context, motivations for change, steps to implementation, processes and people involved. The presentation is clear, factual, free of hype and clearly referenced ... This book has the potential to become a standard textbook for corporate management and for anyone interested in industry and sustainable development.' Tomorrow magazine. 'An inspiring framework on how to define a sustainable development strategy and translate it into strategy, action, and results.' The Green Business Letter. 'Stimulating; interesting; and challenging in parts. A definite buy for business leaders and managers -- primarily to get them thinking about what they and their companies have to add to the 'journey'.' Social and Environmental Accounting. 'At last! A book with some real, live information on how the international companies have approached the journey of implementing sustainable development programmes ... packed with useful ideas for industry leaders and managers.' Eagle Bulletin. 'Well written and incisive, this work is a useful tool for those considering their own stance on sustainability issues.' Community Affairs Briefing.' The worlds of business and indigenous knowledge do not often interact, unless there is a conflict over natural resources. Certainly, indigenous knowledge (IK) research is rarely encountered on business management book shelves ... perhaps by reading more books like Mapping the Journey, we will discover the need for increased multi-disciplinary interaction. Perhaps there is value inviting CEOs and business researchers to learn from our detailed map of the global IK experience.' Indigenous Knowledge Monitor. '... innovative solutions which will prove inspirational to others.' Warmer Bulletin.


Case 1: Volvo Strategic action toward sustainable mobility for society Case 2: Suncor Taking stakeholder relations to a new level Case 3: AssiDomn Foresters integrating dual goals of economy and environment Case 4: Patagonia First ascents: finding the way toward quality of life and work (This chapter is available to view on-line. Go to and click on the "Mapping the Journey" cover on our homepage). Case 5: Interface Flooring Systems Driving industrial standards higher Case 6: Sony Operationalising the slogan 'Entertaining the world: caring for the environment' Case 7: ASG Trailblazing toward sustainable logistics and transport Case 8: SC Johnson Eco-Efficiency and beyond Case 9: DaimlerChrysler Redefining cost Case 10: Center of Technology Assessment Pursuing regional approaches to qualitative growth and sustainability Case 11: Henkel Traditional values and ecological leadership Case 12: SJ Rail Turnaround to sustainable transport for the 21st century Case 13: TransAlta New terrain: reducing greenhouse gas emissions Case 14: The Netherlands National Environmental Policy Plan Developing sustainable industrial strategy

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Lorinda R. Rowledge PhD, Co-founder of EKOS International, has provided strategic consulting and implementation methodologies and support to management teams of Fortune 50-500 companies including Boeing, CPC, Nortel, SmithKline Beecham, Telus, US West and Weyerhaeuser. She has led global benchmarking studies and developed models and methodologies for world-class excellence in Business-Driven Sustainability, Value Stream Management, Total Quality, Customer Loyalty, New Product Development, Business Process ReDesign, Lean Production, Design for Environment, and Urban and Regional Sustainability. Dr Rowledge's current work focuses on Sustainable Value Creation, Innovation and Knowledge Creation, Social Sustainability, and Enterprise Agility. She holds a PhD, specialising in Organisational and Community Psychology, from the University of Oregon. Russell S. Barton PhD is Co-founder of EKOS International. Since 1982, Dr Barton has been a leading consultant to the senior management teams at many of North America's most well-known companies, helping them understand best practices worldwide, design comprehensive strategies, and execute successful multi-year transformations. Currently, his primary consulting is assisting vanguard managers in designing and implementing strategies that combine world-class management technology and strategic sustainability. He has led 12 in-depth Executive Study Missions, benchmarking Total Quality Management in Japan and Strategic Sustainability in Europe, and has shared his breakthrough perspectives with hundreds of audiences throughout North America, Europe and Japan. He holds a PhD in organisational psychology from the University of Oregon. Kevin S. Brady is a Director of Five Winds International. He has been active in environmental work for the past ten years, primarily at the business and environment interface. Mr Brady has worked in areas such as product-focused environmental policy, life-cycle assessment, eco-efficiency indicators, sustainable consumption and production, state-of-environment reporting, packaging and pollution prevention. He is currently Canada's Head of Delegation to the International Organisation for Standardization's (ISO) sub-committee on Life Cycle Assessment and he also represents Canada on ISO's Climate Technology Task Force. Mr Brady provided technical support to Canada's National Round Table on Environment and Economy in their recent work on eco-efficiency indicators. He holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto. Cynthia L. Figge, the third co-founder of EKOS International, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Over the past 20 years, Ms Figge has been a leading new venture and technology executive in the US, most recently as an officer responsible for the pioneering effort at broadband wireless data broadcasting for McCaw Cellular (now AT&T Wireless). James A. Fava, Konrad Saur and Steven B. Young are Directors of Five Winds International. Dr Fava has 25 years' experience integrating product sustainability into organisations' strategic planning processes and practices. Dr Fava co-chairs the design for environment ad hoc group under the International Organisation for Standardization and chairs the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) LCA Advisory Group. Dr Young is an international expert in evaluating and improving the performance of product systems. He serves as an expert to ISO 14000 standards committees, and chairs the LCA committee of the Canadian Standards Association. He has a PhD in materials and environmental engineering from the University of Toronto. Dr Saur, an international expert in decision-making, environmental analysis and product engineering, has worked with a wide variety of clients including Ford, Daimler-Benz, Alcoa, Thyssen, Dow, DuPont, BASF, Motorola, Siemens, Magna, ABB, Bosch, LG Electronics and German Rail. He holds a PhD in decision theory from the University of Stuttgart.

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