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Authors:Sverker Alänge: Quality Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden
John Holmberg: Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden
Ulrika Lundqvist: Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden
Publication title:Strategies and Practices for Sustainability: Experiences from Firm Level
Conference:10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden
Publication type: Full text not available
Issue:026
Article No.:080
Abstract:The four system conditions for sustainability presented in Holmberg’s Ph.D. dissertation (1995) provided a foundation for the approach used by the ‘Natural Step’ both in Sweden and in several other countries (e.g. Holmberg & Robert 2000). In the 1990s Holmberg& Robert developed a ‘backcasting’ approach to strategy development in companies and was involved in several projects to introduce sustainability defined by these four system conditions. This work had a considerable impact in several firms. Electrolux established an environmental policy and a direct effect of backcasting was a decision to develop the first CFC free refrigerators; which put the company far ahead of their competitors. This is just one example that illustrates how this approach has a potential to stimulate new directions; which would not happen based on a more traditional trend-based analysis.

Although these projects have been showing good results; several firms have lost their focus for working with sustainability after some time. So the question remained – how can sustainability become a natural part of strategy processes and practices in companies? An action research project was initiated in 2004 to focus on this question at three large Swedish corporations. The project aim was to further develop the backcasting approach in the context of sustainable development and to present recommendations for the process of implementation of the approach at companies (Lundqvist et al. 2006).

This paper discusses alternative ways of using and integrating the sustainability concept and approaches/practices in firms.

Language:English
Keywords:Sustainability; corporate strategy; change process; backcasting; scenario
Year:2007
No. of pages:9
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
File:
Available:2008-02-15
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet

REFERENCE TO THIS PAGE
Sverker Alänge, John Holmberg, Ulrika Lundqvist (2007). Strategies and Practices for Sustainability: Experiences from Firm Level, 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=026;article=080 (accessed 12/18/2014)