Environment and Sustainability Management Unit

  • Uncategorized

Environmentand Sustainability Management


I hereby certifythat I am the author of this document and that any assistance Ireceived in its preparation is fully acknowledged and disclosed inthe document. I have also cited all sources from which I obtaineddata, ideas, or words that are copied directly or paraphrased in thedocument. Sources are properly credited according to acceptedstandards for professional publications. I also certify that thispaper was prepared by me for this purpose.


Table of figures 2

I. Introduction 2

II. Background 4

III. Sustainability in organizations 6

A. Sustainability as concern about the planet 6

B. Sustainability as CSR 9

C. Sustainability as a strategic option 9

IV. Green marketing 11

A. Strategies of Green Marketing 12

V. Sustainability and continuous improvement 15

VI. Role of managers in managing sustainability 16

VII. Advantages of greening 19

VIII. Challenges of greening 20

IX. Conclusion 21


Table of figures

Figure 1 The water and environmental challenges facing Canada currently 5

  1. Introduction

Rapid global population growth, intensive farming, use of harmfulchemicals, urbanization, increased emissions, deforestation and othersuch concerns have severely affected the global climate. Severeweather, more so, in Canada threatens to cause death and destruction.In fact, 9/10 of the Canadian people believe that a major disastercaused by a Sandy hurricane will affect the society in the case of aheavy storm that will cause excessive water in the cities and destroyinfrastructure. Fresh water sources are also threatened by globalwarming thereby putting at risk availability of safe drinking water.Facing such troubling facts, governments through the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have spearheadedefforts to address this issue through cutting back on emissions,fighting deforestation and generally promoting sustainable practices.Organizations are mandated by international and national laws as wellas their ethical and moral conscience are actively pursuingsustainability in their operations. These sustainability efforts bygovernments and organizations continue to demand more investments andnew ideas as the problems persist. The management teams of theseorganizations are mandated in adapting organizational processes andoperations to sustainability requirements. The process is not onlydemanding but requires a new approach to the whole management conceptwhich makes it one of the most challenging problems facing managers.This paper thus seeks to highlight several in issues insustainability including the current situation that necessitatessustainability discussion, the various approaches to sustainabilityby organizations, role of managers in sustainability and the benefitsand challenges of implementing sustainability in organizations.

Figure1 The water and environmental challenges facing Canada currently

  1. Background

The water situationin Canada could be said to be in a crisis. The water infrastructuresystem is poor condition. Pipelines, canals, reservoirs and pumpingstations have not been upgraded to reflect the changes in population.Severe weather patterns are destructive and strain existinginfrastructure. Today, Canada is increasing welcoming a higher numberof immigrants from all over the world. The increase in population notonly stresses the natural water environment but also stresses thewater infrastructure as water consumption increases. Estimates fromstatistic Canada show that Canadian population will continue to growmainly from migrant population. Under a low growth scenario,population will grow to 40 million by 20163 and 63.4 million in highgrowth scenario. Under low growth scenario, some provinces such asNew Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Yukon andthe Northwest Territories will experience negative growth rates.Under both scenarios, Ontario and Quebec will carry a greaterdemographic weight meaning that water infrastructure would facegreater pressure in the two regions (Statistics Canada 2015).

Increased agricultural activities to supply food to the growingpopulations as well have led to high chemical concentrations inwater. Fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and other type of chemicalsused on plants are finding their way to the world water resourceswith devastating effect. After from introducing new elements in thehydrological cycle, higher chemical levels in waters sources have ahuge impact on water ecosystems. For instance, the lake Winnipegbasin, which covers over one million square kilometers and lies inover four Canadian province (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and partof Ontario)and four American states (Montana, North Dakota, SouthDakota and Minnesota) faces a problem of increased chemical use infarming. L. Winnipeg carries the evidence of higher chemicalcomponent in the waters through algae blooms that are even increasingevery summer. Since 1900, the algae content in the waters hasincreased by 300-500% supported by warmer temperatures and fertilizercomponent in the water that feeds the algae.

Higher algae component in water interferes with the ecologicalsystem. The algae prevent light from penetrating below the watersurface where it is required by underwater plants. Again, by coveringthe water surface, the algae prevent the absorbing of oxygen which isneeded by the underwater plants and all fishes and animals living inthe lake. Therefore, this affects the fish population in the lake andthe populations living around the lake that rely of fishing as asport or a source of livelihood. Furthermore, denying these fish foodresources poses a direct threat to their lives as well as otherspecies. Again, a certain type of algae, blue-green algae, allowsproliferation of cyanobacteria. High concentrations of these bacteriaare poisonous to animals and human who consume it. If the samebacteria accumulate in fish, the fish becomes poisonous and can causedeath when consumed.

Interestingly, very few Canadians are aware of the looming watercrisisin the country. Canada has the largest fresh water resources inthe world. It is therefore unimaginable that in the midst of suchabundance a crisis looms. In fact, 78% of Canadians believe thattheir local town’s water infrastructure is in goo condition and theonly potential threat perceived is harsher climatic conditions suchas severe storms. Ideally, severe storms and matters of climatechange have for most of the times been attributed to the largerglobal economy with noted global polluters such as China and the USbeing blamed for the climatic changes as opposed to the small playersin the pollution business including Canada as a country andindividuals.

  1. Sustainability in organizations

Basically there aretwo main approaches to managing sustainability in organizations: ascorporate social responsibility concerns and a strategic option.

  1. Sustainability as concern about the planet

The United Nationsthrough the World Commissionon Environment and Development (WCED)sought to create global awareness about the deteriorating environmentconditions in the worldand highlighted the economic and social impacton such environmental changes. The UN thus created WCED in 1983 topush the concern for environment l conservation by all players. Thismeans that prior to the 1980s, sustainability was unheard of in thefield of management asorganizations were only concerned about profitsand promoting the welfare of their stakeholders and communities inwhich they operate but rarely about the planet in which all live. Theterm sustainable development was thus introduced which was defined asthe “development that meets the needs of thepresent generationswithout compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirown needs” (Pascual, van Klink, &ampGrisales 2011, p. 7).

Major events around the world have helped to highlight theneed forsustainabledevelopment,. The mercury poisoning event in Minamata,Japan, which had happened earlier before the UN brought in the issueof sustainability, helped to highlight the need for sustainability onorganization management. In this particular case, a chemical factorynamed Chisso Corporation based in Kumamoto prefecture in Japanreleased organic mercury in waste water to the environment unhinderedbetween 1932 and 1968 (Pascual, van Klink, &ampGrisales 2011). Theend result was mercury poisoning in the local water sources.Individuals consumed the mercury directly by drinking poisoned wateror indirectly by consuming fish that had been exposed to the organicmercury. High concentrationsof the compound were observed inshellfishand fish in affected areas. Mercurypoisoning amongtheanimals such as cats and dogs were reported. Among humans, a diseasethat late came to be named as Minamata disease developed. It was aneurological disease that weakmuscles and causes numbness and causesdamage to speech and hearing capabilities. In extreme cases, thediseases can lead to a coma, paralysis and even eventual death. As of2001, 2,265 persons in the Minamata area had been affected by thedisease and 1,784 had died. In 2004, the Chisso Corporation paid $86million in compensation to over 10,000 people who had been affectedand was also required to clean up the contamination (Hightower,2008).

In light of such developments, the UN through WECP and the UNEP hasformulated legal guidelinesforgovernments on environmentalconservation. Today, various governments have developed their uniquelaws on environmental conservation. These laws among other thingsclassify and identify harmfulchemicals to theenvironment.Unfortunately, environmental protection laws have a very poor supportfrom common law, the western constitution tradition, civil law, Asianor customary law. This has meant that the international law ofenvironmental conservation is poorly integrated in domestic legalsystems. Nonetheless, the law is well supported by scientific factsthat have beencritical in driving a paradigm shift that allows manycultures to accept the need for change and be aware of climate changeor the negative effects of environmental degradation caused by modernand some traditional activities. For instance in Indonesia, which hassome of the world’s largest rain forests, slash-and-burn method ofcultivation is not only causing deforestation but also causing airpollution (Shrivastava, 2007). In response, the international laws aswell as numerous national laws have banned such practices that aredeemed to have negative impact on the environment.

Informed by scientific facts that highlight the need for protectingthe environment, numerous organizations have responded positively. Inthe case of numerous mining organizations such as Rio Tinto, Shelland others, they have taken to rehabilitating their mining fieldsafter extracting minerals to avoid leaving open pits which pose adanger to people living in such areas. Such pits when left opencollect water during rainy season which form rich grounds forbreeding mosquitos besides being a danger to humans and animals aswell as destructive to the aesthetic aspect of the world.

  1. Sustainability as CSR

Corporate social responsibility is a way of organizations giving backto the community and playing their roles as corporate citizens. TheseCSR activities need not lead to business results as some scholarshave demanded. Rangan, Chase and Karim (2015), writing for theHarvard Business review argue that demanding business results fromCSR activities is asking too much of CSR. In fact, the practice canundermine the main goal of CSR which is to align a company’s socialand environmental activities with its business purpose and values.Any results that emanate from CSR that tend to enhance the publicimage, reputation or even mitigate some of the risks that the firmsmight be facing are merely spillovers and should be the main goal ofCSR.

Unfortunately, many modern business organizations are intent in usingcharity and SCR programs for publicity and as marketing strategieswhich is ethically wrong from some perspectives (Kotler &ampArmstrong, 2009). If firms are interested in helping communities andmaking their contributions in serving the planet, they should not beexpecting anything back. Nonetheless, there are other approaches toCSR that are mainly pure designed for making contributions to thecommunity. Such activities include philanthropic donations,engagement with community initiatives and supporting employees involuntary activities in various community organizations (Rangan,Chase and Karim, 2015).

  1. Sustainability as a strategic option

Sustainability has emerged not only as aresponse to changes in the environment but as strategic managementapproach in modern day organizations. As a strategic option,sustainability activities function within the existing business modelto offer environmental and social benefits to the firm and in theprocess improve effectiveness in the organization’s value chain(Shrivastava, 2007). When utilized well, it can allow firms to gaincost leadership in the market (Crassous &amp Gassmann 2011).Fundamentally, pushing for sustainability allows a firm todifferentiate its products and services in the market. Assuming thatmost of the global population is aware of the need to conserve theenvironment, having been exposed to the negative effects of pollutionsuch as floods and even severe weather, there is an expected positiveresponse from consumers.

For instance, a firm that seeks to develop an office block thatutilizes a combination of natural light and solar lightingcontributes to environmental conservation as part of its corporatesocial responsibility involvement but also allows the firm to cutenergy costs. Firms that also create water recycling units in theirpremises or promote recycling of water not only saves on the waterbill but also reduces its carbon footprint on earth. However, theseactions must be engraved in the business value chain system thustouching on all business processes. In fact, (Peattie, 1995) arguesthat the initial sustainable strategies adapted by organizations weremore of tactical changes as opposed to environmental orientedchanges.

Furthermore, sustainability management can be a source of competitiveadvantage. Competitive advantage is defined as at unique aspects of acompany that allows it to consistently outperform its competitors theindustry. When this competitive aspect can be maintained for a longtime, them it emerges as a source of sustainable competitiveadvantage. For many organizations, going green has been one of thebest ways that firms market themselves and portray their products andservices as more environmentally friendly compared to competition.For instance, Wal-Mart has taken to stocking locally produced foodswhich basically qualifies as gong green. This action has beenintegrated into the firm’s policy in all its branches worldwidewhich allows the firm to reduce on transportation costs and lower itscarbon footprint besides contributing to the advancement of localfarmers.

Additionally, reducing wastage is a key pillar of sustainabilitymanagement. Wastage, in all forms such as energy and water have beenadequately addressed by management literature as a major way throughwhich organizations incur additional costs and contribute toenvironmental degradation. Conversely, reducing wastage throughbusiness processes not only reduces costs of doing business butreduces a firm’s carbon footprint. Firms such as Pepsi (2015) havetaken to reducing the amount of materials used in packaging some ofits products as a way of reducing wastage and making its contributionto environmental conservation. Besides, Pepsi has launched severalinitiatives to promote recycling of plastic packaging material fortheir products. Thus sustainability as an issue can be understood tobe a marketing pillar for firms in the name of green marketing.

  1. Green marketing

“Going green”has been one of the most popular corporate lingo that has gainedprominence in the 21st century. The term refers to “allmarketing activities which are responsive towards protecting theenvironment” (Arseculeratne &amp Yazdanifard 2014, p. 131). Theterm applies to the green color of the natural vegetationrepresentative of the larger natural environment pertains tostreamlining all business operations to be environmentally friendly.Other terms that have been used interchangeably are ecologicalmarketing and environmental marketing. Both have the same orientationof producing goods and services that are environmentally friendly.

For the skeptics, green marketing is simply a marketing gimmick.Implementing and adapting organizational processes to environmentalconcerns involve restrictive cots that have seen many firms steerclear of that path in favor of the status quo (Arseculeratne &ampYazdanifard 2014). To gain on the popularity of green products, somefirms have taken to cheating. Still fresh in people minds pertains tothe recent scandal of European carmaker, Volkswagen which was accusedof adding new gadgets in their automobiles to give a false data forthe automobile emission testing. The firm sought to present itsvehicle models as more environmentally friendly and gain acompetitive advantage over competition. However, the revelationshowed that the firm has been cheating and the several court casesare pending with experts in the field predicting hefty fines for thecar maker.

  1. Strategies of Green Marketing

Marketing is an important part of the organization. It seeks to movegoods and services from the production line to consumers. Movinggoods based on the key making message being environment friendlinessrequires a set of unique strategies that are different fromconventional marketing. Fundamentally, green marketing had to layemphasis on the green aspect of the product of service and the firm’scommitment to environmental protection across the value chain in amanner that is unmatched in the market (Kotler &amp Armstrong,2009).

The green marketing approach redefines a firm’s relationship withconsumers. The functional as well the emotional benefits of consumingthe product must be highlighted and balanced. Arseculeratne &ampYazdanifard (2014) claim that environmental consciousness amongstmany consumers is more of spiritual issue tin that they feel the needto be one with the environment. However, not many of them are willingto forego the utility of some products while others, especially inregards to the food market, look forward to increased utility ofgreen product and are ready to pay extra. Thus marketers have toshare and be engaged with consumers spiritual aspect and connectionto the environment which is different from the classical marketingapproach.

Basically, the classical marketing approach is reactive while thegreen marketing approach is proactive. By being proactive, marketershave to rely on the push forces in the market whereby they inventproduct and even make improvements on existing products in the marketand then push them to consumers. This means that firms will seek toagain competitive advantage in the market by strategicallypositioning themselves and their products in the minds of customersand identify and share with them the passion for the environment, atleast in the eyes of the consumers. The process will also incorporateall suppliers and distributors in order to carry a consistentmarketing message and positioning (Kotler &amp Armstrong, 2009).

Therefore, the whole approach requires articulate planning. The firmneeds to be very clear on what its objective are before initiatingany green marketing practices. Though greening can be a source ofcompetitive advantages as aforementioned, the key motivation towardsthis approach should not be profits alone but rather promotingenvironmental conservation. The planning is necessary because someexisting business processes may have to be changed as well as forginggreen partnerships with suppliers and distributors and in some caseschanging the product offering. Thus, firms need to understand thescope of their greening project and identify the best alternatives ofgreen ways of improving their efficiently and quality to meet thegreen goals.

Another key important thing is changing the employees’ mindsetabout going green. By adopting a green approach in marketing, a firmis definitely implementing change. Change management has been atricky and very challenging issue for organizations. While it mayappear that changing business process or product manufacturingprocesses to be greener would do the trick, changing the mindset ofemployees is the most critical. Change initiatives are costly, taketime and prone to failure at very high rates. Therefore, firms mustplan for employee training to equip them with new and necessaryknowledge on the green approach. This calls for strong leadershipfrom the management team spearheading such changes.

Another key issue that should be considered is adherence to existinglaws regarding the environment. Governments have developedEnvironmental Management System (EMS) guidelines to helporganizations certain thresholds in environmental matters. The lawscan be enforced by the federal, state of even local governments. Forinstance, the use of certain banned compounds is regulated by bothinternational and federal laws while the management of storm water inorganizations is managed by local governments. The construction ofbuildings is also regulated by the local councils in Canada. By andlarge, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 199, provides thelegal provisions for pollution prevention and protection of humanlife and the environment. Thus, it is clear that any greeningapproach that an organization sees to undertake, there are differentregulatory bodies that the firm will have to consult in order tooperate within the legal restrictions.

Most important of all, a greening strategy must identify a nichemarket. It is important that firms recognize that not all consumersare the same. The greening strategy for nay firm must acknowledge thebitter truth that it will lose some customers and at the same timegain others. This is because in most cases, not all customers arewilling to sacrifice change their expected utility in the name of theenvironment (Kotler &amp Armstrong, 2009). For example, not allconsumers are willing to trade in their fuel guzzling truck for aToyota Prius just because they feel that they need to commit more tosaving the planet. Thus, firms must learn they need to balancecustomer expectation and utility of the product/service as well aschanging the design to fit the new approach in business. Such a casewould require auto-makers for instance introducing high performancediesel engine vehicles that use biofuels as opposed to fossil fuelsin order to balance engine performance as expected by consumers andenvironment conservation.

  1. Sustainability and continuous improvement

Several management scholars agree that continuous improvement fitswell with sustainability management. The goals of lean manufacturingand sustainability are complementary and synergistic. Primarily, leanmanufacturing focuses on elimination on processes that do not addvalue to what the customer desires. What firms manufacture must bewhat the customer requires in the right quantity and quality. Thisminimizes labor required, materials, time and even total cost. At thesame time sustainability refers to minimizing the use or wastage ofnatural resources and replenishing them where possible throughout thevalue chain process.

However, sustainability and continuous are not projects. Theyappertain to the overhaul of the organizational culture andphilosophy. While the initial implementation of the sustainabilityand continuous improvements can be accomplish in project-based phasesfirst, it is important that the new approach be incorporated in allorganizational processes by incorporating the entire workforce andproviding the necessary resources to accomplish the set goals in thelong run. This falls in line with the international trends wherecontinuous improvement is expected in all areas regardingsustainability. For instance, since the early 1990’s the UN’sclimate change conference has been setting emission goals forindividuals countries which tend to grow more challenging with time.This same approach should be adopted by organizations that seek tocontinuous improve their sustainability records over time.

  1. Role of managers in managing sustainability

As sustainability gains more traction in the modern corporate world,the place of management in initiating and directingpro-sustainability changes has become more prominent. While it is thetop leadership of organizations that is mandated with making keydecisions pertaining to changes, all the management staff andemployees on all levels are involved in embracing sustainability as acultural change and as an individual responsibility. Asaforementioned, changes in organizational processes cannot achievemuch if there is no change in the organizational culture as thesoftware of the mind of people running the organization.

For some organizations, there is need to create a position at themanagement level for professional, usually named sustainabilitymanager, to oversee sustainability implementation across the valuechain. The sustainability manager is charged with duties that aresimilar to those of an internal auditor albeit in sustainabilitymatters only and human resources professional. As an in-houseauditor, the sustainability manager is responsible for evaluating andappraising some of the organizational processes for theirsustainability and even offering sustainable alternatives orstrategies to improve the processes. As a human resourceprofessional, the sustainability manager is charged with the role ofconducting training and creating awareness in the entire workforceover the need to adapt sustainability in organizational processes andmotivating and empowering employees to take initiative in sustainableactions within the organization.

Alternatively, management accountants can play the role of thesustainability overseers according to an article by Collins,Lawrence, Roper &amp Haar (2011) writing for the Chartered Instituteof Management Accountant journal. In this article, the authorspresent results from a 3-phase research in New Zealand that includednational surveys and interviews on social and environmental practicesemployed by organizations in 2003-2006, 2010 and 2011. Their researchalso confirmed that these are organizations that take sustainabilityas an add-on to their business while others take is a strategicoption. In one organization operating in the banking industry thatalso belongs to the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), themanagement responded to the benefits of sustainability in a verypositive manner to say that:

We are a business and like any business we have to look at the wholebusiness case for doing something… In fact we did some analysis …wereduced our CO2 emissions …the reductions that we achieved fromreducing air travel, fuel, paper and electricity use, amounted toaround about $2 million savings. We are very aware of the financialbusiness case for sustainability…not just the green stuff (Collins,Lawrence, Roper &amp Haar, 2011, p.2).

Interestingly, the research also revealed that sustainabilitymanagement was used as a strategy to address the 2008/09 globalfinancial crisis. This only applied to organizations that haveintegrated sustainability management in all their operations.Specifically, sustainability activities such as reduction of wastewere increased during the global recession while those firms that hadsustainability management as an add-on reduced sustainabilitymanagement practice. Clearly, this reveals that these are thoseorganizations that perceive sustainability management as anunnecessary expenditure while other organizations perceive the sameas a strategic option and thus integrate it in all organizationaloperations. Thus, the perception towards sustainability influencesthe amount of investments made on the same and level and magnitude ofrewards from such investments.

Another interesting thing revealed by this study was the fact thatfirms faced difficulties in assigning sustainability matters toexisting management positions and how to run the programs. For onefirm in the service industry, it indicated that it relied on asteering team comprising of members from different departments of theorganization such as HR and finance. This differs from allowingindividuals in an organization to take initiative of sustainabilitywithout guidance. Rangan, Chase and Karim (2015) indicate that it isimportant to have a steering team that takes a project-based approachon the long term to initiate and manage sustainability in anorganization in the same way change is managed by teams. He indicatesthat creating a team to run sustainability affairs facilitatesownership and accountability.

On the other hand, Greenwood, Rosenbeck and Scott, (2012) propose thecreation of management position of an environment manager chargedwith Advancing Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibilityin an Organization. Their research also revealed that though manyorganizations have appointed environment managers, other departmentsare not well informed about the scope and role of environmentmanagers. In fact, their study shows that employees from otherdepartments expected environment managers to limit their scope in anorganization to traditional environment roles such as pollutionprevention and raising environmental and social responsibilityawareness. However, the majority of the environment managersexpressed willingness to be involved in overseeing matters that haveto do with the organization balancing organizational needs and thatof stakeholders including future generations as well as preventingany deceptive, misleading, fraudulent or unfair practices that theorganization or individuals employees might be involved in.

  1. Advantages of greening

Apart fromprotecting the environment and playing a part in protecting futuregenerations, firms that are sustainable in their operations enjoyother numerous advantages. Some of the major benefits are:

  1. Public image/relations- companies that are actively involved in protecting the environment are viewed to be mindful of future generations and its people and are likely to draw support from like-minded consumers and even gain free media publicity.

  2. Increased efficiency. Firms that are keen on sustainability are eager to reduce waste of resources and thus achieve better efficiency in their processes.

  3. Cost reduction emanates from increased efficiency, elimination of wastage and adaption of better business processes leads to cost reduction. For instance, choosing video conferencing as opposed to travelling for meetings reduces air travel and carbon footprint for the firm as well as reducing air fares.

  4. Healthier and safer workplace environment. Firms that promote healthy and safe working environments report reduced work related accidents and incidences allowing the firm a better opportunity to dedicate time and resources to the core business

  5. Tax credits and other benefits. Businesses in Canada and in many countries around the world get to enjoy tax reduction and rebates for their efforts in cutting emissions. Additionally, firms get to enjoy financing for their greening projects from the government and various bodies.

  6. Consumer demand. As consumers grow more aware of the sustainability, they are looking to consume green products. This allows firms to tap into new niche markets and expand their market reach and in other cases gain competitive advantage.

  1. Challenges of greening

As Canada and theworld continues to face environmental challenges, businessorganizations’ attempts to chip in to help face serious challenges.

  1. Higher initial costs. Majority of greening activities that firms engage in require hefty investments. Redesigning buildings to allow in natural light, setting up water treatment plants, buying fuel efficient vehicles and similar such activities require substantial initial investments. Most firms either do not have such financial resources or are not willing to risk such investments that cannot guarantee returns and are perceived to be outside the core businesses of such firms. Small firms also face a greater challenge in attaining sustainability due to their relatively small financial resources compared to large firms.

  2. Lack of willpower from organizational leaders. Sustainability poses a huge threat to the status quo for many firms. Not many top level managers are ready to change their well-proven and successful business processes for the unknown sustainable processes. As such, there is no inner desire to expose the firm to unnecessary risk at an additional cost.

  3. Misunderstanding sustainability is another key challenge. Many organizations and the so-called environment managers may misunderstand the sustainability and thus hamper its implementation and realization of associated benefits. Sustainability or greening is not just an event or project but rather a way of conceiving things. It pertains to the ‘how’ as opposed to the ‘what’. By addressing, it changes how an organizations perceives itself in the industry and in the eyes of consumers (Winston, A. (2012)

  4. Narrow scope. Very few organizations full understand the scope of sustainability in their operations. Many of the firms that pride in going green ideally have implemented green projects such as water recycling units as opposed to instilling the sustainability ideology in its organizational culture. This narrow scope leaves out important aspects such as incorporation of research and development teams in developing better ways to manage available resources to them and even employ technology to reduce wastage and track utilization of resources.

  1. Conclusion

The discussion above has revealed that organizations have a huge roleto play in addressing the threat of climate change that is one of thechallenges that face water as a resource. Organization can play theirpart by being sustainable in their operations. Taking this routeoffers them immense benefits that can be a source of competitiveadvantage. At the same time, taking this route can be faced withnumerous challenges that should be managed. Professional managers andthose looking forward to join the industry including the author canmake their contribution by enabling organizations management theirsustainability plans well and achieve the set goals. The future plansfor addressing sustainability and climate change by individual firmsshould be linked well with government efforts in order to apply acommon approach with a wider scope that has the potential to achieveeven greater benefits for individuals, firms and the general globalpopulation as well as the natural environment.


Crassous, C. &ampGassmann, V. (2011). Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Green

Marketing. Howgreen marketing is used as a competitive advantage?

Chavan, M. (2005).An appraisal of environment management systems A competitiveadvantage

for small businesses. Management of Environmental Quality: AnInternational Journal 16(5), 444-463

Collins, E.,Lawrence, S., Roper, J. &amp Haar, J. (2011). Sustainability and therole of the

managementaccountant. Academy of management accountant journal, 7(4),1-12

Greenwood, L.,Rosenbeck, J. &amp Scott, J. (2012). The role of the environmentalmanager in

advancing environmental sustainability and social responsibility inthe organization. Journal of Environmental Sustainability,2(2), 59-73.

Hightower, J.(2008). diagnosis mercury: money, politics and poison. NewYork: Island Press.

Kotler, P., &ampArmstrong, G. (2009). Principles of Marketing (13th edition).New Jersey: Prentice

Hall imprint ofPearson.

Shrivastava, P.(2008). Environmental technologies and competitive advantage.Strategic

ManagementJournal, 16(1), 183-200. doi:10.1002/smj.4250160923

Pahl-Wostl,c.Arthington, A.Bogardi, J.Bunn, S.,Hoff, H., &ampLebel, L. et al.(2013).

Environmental flows and water governance: managing sustainable wateruses. Current Opinion In Environmental Sustainability,5(3-4)341-351. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.06.009

Pascual, O., vanKlink, &amp Grisales, A. 2011). Create impact! Handbook forsustainable

entrepreneurship.New York: Penguin.

Peattie, K. (1995).Environmental Marketing Management- meeting the green challenge.

London: FinancialTimes Press.

Pepsi (2015).Retrieved from



Rangan, C. andKarim, K. (2015). The Truth about CSR. Harvard Business Review.Retrieved


Rethink Tires,(2015). Rain, Rain, Go Away: Managing Storm Water with RecycledTire

Products – Rethink Tires. Retrieved fromhttp://rethinktires.ca/rain-rain-go-away-managing-storm-water-with-recycled-tire-products/#sthash.4LjmfXXc.dpbs

Sanford, B.(2012). An Unexpected Water Crisis. Retrieved from


Statistics Canada(2015). Retrieved from


Tarlock, A. (n.d.).History of environmental law. Environmental laws and theirenforcement

Retrieved fromhttp://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c04/e4-21-01.pdf

Winston, A. (2012).Corporate Sustainability Efforts: Feast or Famine? HarvardBusiness

Review.Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/03/corporate-sustainability-effor

Close Menu