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Globalization has a new dimension: sustainability and sustainable business practices. Sustainability is without doubt the most significant reorientation of global business strategy and operations since the high-tech and biotech booms of the 1990s. Calculated to offer a capitalized value that dramatically exceeds the opportunities of the dot-com boom, it is inextricably linked to both the contemporary and future challenges of global climate change and the anticipated low-carbon economy.
Embraced as a key strategic element and change management tool, sustainability promises to future-proof organizations, their brands, and reputations to minimize business risk, reduce bottom-line costs, increase top-line profits, and enhance the experiences of employees, customers, and stakeholders.
It's correspondingly no surprise that, virtually without exception, the corporate world is claiming sustainable or green credentials, products, and philosophies. But what does a sustainable organization actually look like? How do leaders in the sustainable business space operate similar or in difference to less sustainably inclined organizations? And what or where do we measure the supply chain or business impact of sustainable business practices?
Many organizations have rushed into what they believe are sound sustainable business practices. Many have grasped onto key elements, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), energy efficiency, and waste minimization. They have done so, however, with limited theoretical and strategic frameworks at best. In doing so, they have not gained maximum value from the potential of the sustainability imperative. Likewise, sustainability has arrived and been embraced without wide acceptance or widely applicable indexes, metrics, and other analytics to quantify its impact, value, or cost.
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