Building the sustainable firm

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1 International Conference of the Social-Ecological Research Programme Long Term Policies: Governing Social-Ecological Change, Berlin, February 2008 Building the sustainable firm A framework for corporate transformation towards sustainability Stuttgart 1

2 Overview 1. Sustainable Development 2. Sustainability and the firm 3. Innovation and sustainability 4. Transformation path for the sustainable firm 5. Possible applications Stuttgart 2

3 Sustainable development»sustainingdeveloping«natural environment - planet earth, biodiversity, eco-systems (ecocentric) - life-maintaining function (anthropocentric) social environment - cultures - identities - places (»locales«) implementation of sustainability human beings - life, health, security - education, participation, justice economy - wealth, distribution - production - consumption, lifestyles society - institutions - social capital - places (»locales«) following Nat.Res.Council (1999) Stuttgart 3

4 Sustainability and the firm Ecological Legal Ressource Consumption Ressource Supply Economic Firm Market Ressource Consumption Ressource Supply Technol. Cultural Müller-Christ (2001) Stuttgart 4

5 Innovation and sustainabilty Adding»new things«instead of substituting existing solutions with sustainable solutions.»technological-ecological salvation«without accompanying behavioural and institutional innovations. In order to reach a solution a wider view of innovation has to be applied that comprises technical, behavioural and institutional/organisational/structural innovations. Innovation is more of a complex social process, combining the efforts of many innovators (innovative social networks). Therefore innovation, traditionally viewed only as technical innovation, is inseparably tied to social and structural s. Stuttgart 5

6 Transformation path for the sustainable firm profit paradigm rationality technical drivers of innovations real & media of nominal capital quantitative results growth climate ressource depletion deterioration of ecosystems services global distribution inequalities focus on long-term sustainability of the firm s resource base embedding technology into societal discourse (stakeholder participation) new institutional arrangements for innovation development growth in societal legitimacy and societal innovation comepetence new business opportunities increased societal legitimation long-term sustainable ressource base household paradigm rationality drivers of tbi-innovations network media of capital sustainable results development balancing social and ecological needs global & intertemporal justice»survive not strive«stuttgart 6

7 Transformation path for the sustainable firm profit paradigm rationality technical drivers of innovations real & media of nominal capital quantitative results growth climate ressource depletion deterioration of ecosystems services global distribution inequalities focus on long-term sustainability of the firm s resource base embedding technology into societal discourse (stakeholder participation) new institutional arrangements for innovation development growth in societal legitimacy and societal innovation comepetence new business opportunities increased societal legitimation long-term sustainable ressource base household paradigm rationality drivers of tbi-innovations network media of capital sustainable results development balancing social and ecological needs global & intertemporal justice»survive not strive«stuttgart 7

8 Possible Applications 1. Focus on product development R&D activities are located at the interfaces of customers, societal stakeholders, production management and interfirm supply chain management Rely on already existing concepts (DfE, LCA, CRM, SCM, and the likes.) 2. Stakeholder management and dialogue play a central role in innnovation management for sustainability. Building new innovation networks ( institutional arrangements ) Creating societal competitive advantage (social & network capital) Stuttgart 8

9 Possible Applications 1. Focus on product development R&D activities are located at the interfaces of customers, societal stakeholders, production management and interfirm supply chain management To facilitate sustainable in paradigms and outcomes through Rely concentrating already existing on already concepts known (DfE, tools, LCA, measures CRM, and SCM, and the likes.) processes and their application in existing contexts. 2. Stakeholder management and dialogue play a central role In other in innnovation words: to management the for game sustainability. from within. Building new innovation networks ( institutional arrangements ) Creating societal competitive advantage (social & network capital) Stuttgart 9

10 Thank you for your time and attention! Dr. André Reichel University of Stuttgart Institute of Business Administration Dept. IV: General and Strategic Management Keplerstrasse Stuttgart, Germany Phone: Fax: Stuttgart 10

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