The Optimal Strategy for Incorporating Sustainability into Businesses

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Woods, Julie
Master of Leadership Development
Environmental sustainability or taking actions to care about and preserve Earth’s natural resources and quality air and water systems, is becoming more of a concern to companies in all industries as consumers and investors want to support businesses taking action to make positive change. Many companies have publicly made statements about promising to make changes and do better for the environment however there is not often public follow up on how companies are doing with their goals and if they are making substantial difference. This research looked into 100 companies comprised of 10 different industries that had made some public promise in the field of environmental sustainability to analyze if the promises had good goals with clear dates to reach a measurable change, if the companies had adapted their promises into their mission or vision statements to show it as a prioritized value, if the companies had submitted information to a third party to be objectively analyzed, and if the companies were taking actions to be transparent about their work through a public and easily accessible web page. Results show that thirteen companies had specific years to meet their goals, a mission or vision statement that referenced environmental sustainability, and a web page with information on their environmental actions. These companies are Monsanto, The Coca-Cola Company, Stoneyfield Organic, Subaru, Volkswagen, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Panera Bread, AmorePacific, Brooks Sports, Siemens, Unilever, Dupont, and Koninklijke Philips. Six of these thirteen companies also had submitted information to third party evaluator and received an A grade in the area of climate action, water preservation, or forest protection.