Businesses are nowadays expected to act sustainably; it is also in both society's and the company's own interest if opportunities to develop more sustainable products or services can be fully grasped. Leading international companies may already be moving in this direction, but many (especially smaller companies) are often held back by a lack of personnel or know how. This book has been written to overcome this deficit by providing a convenient 'one-stop-shop' where readers (whether they be business staff, university or business school students) can understand personally what the sustainability issue is about, and appreciate the many areas where companies can respond to the challenge of a more sustainable world.
Based on a successful 'Green' Management of Technology Masters introduced in Japan in 2008, this book explains in non-specialist language why current economic systems under which firms operate do not lead to sustainable outcomes, provides the background to the evolution of concerns over sustainability, and also provides sufficient understanding of key environmental and social issues to support informed debate, encouraging readers to consider working for a more sustainable organisation and society. Focusing on the implications of sustainability for business, the book provides an overview of both the internal business issues raised by concerns over sustainability, and the many external opportunities which exist for innovation and development of new products and services which can contribute to both company viability and a sustainable future for society. It can either be used as a basis for self-study and learning, or as a textbook to support a course in an MBA, MOT or similar business-oriented course.
It includes educational feedback from the course students (mostly working in local businesses), which may encourage readers to explore the interactions between sustainability and business, and help teachers planning and implementing similar courses. It also blends together case studies from both UK and Japan providing a genuinely trans-national perspective.
Michael Norton is currently a Professor in the Environmental Leaders Program at Tohoku University in Japan (since April 2012). Before that, he was a Professor at Shinshu University's Institute of Innovation Management (since 2006) and at Tokyo Institute of Technology (2004-6). He has a Ph.D in Chemistry from Bristol University, and has worked in the UK Chemical Industry and for the UK Government in the fields of innovation policy and environmental protection. He was founding Director of the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (1989-98) and also Counselor for Science and Technology at the British Embassy Tokyo (1998-2004). He applied this broad experience and perspective from both UK and Japan to developing the sustainability elements of a new Green Masters of Technology Masters Course at Shinshu University, on which this book is based. He is currently Professor in Tohoku University's Environmental Leader Program.
Part 1: Business and Sustainability - Background 1.1. The Challenge of a Sustainable World 1.2. Sustainability, Innovation and Competitiveness Part 2: Sustainability Foundations 2.1. What You Need to Know 2.2. History of Development of Pollution Problems 2.3. Introducing Sustainable Development 2.4. Major Environmental Sustainability Challenges 2.5. Ethical Dilemmas and Stakeholders 2.6. Paths towards Sustainability 2.7. Envisaging the Future 2.8. Practical Examples Part 3: Applying Sustainability Thinking in Business 3.1. How does Business Interact with Sustainability? 3.2. Assessing Performance of Businesses in Sustainable Development 3.3. Reporting Performance in Sustainability 3.4. Supply Chain and Sustainability 3.5. Alternative Business Approaches 3.6. Scenarios 3.7. Business Opportunities in Sustainability 3.8. The Green Consumer 3.9. Practical Examples