Essay Sample on Proactive Companies in Adopting Sustainability

Published: 2023-01-10
Essay Sample on Proactive Companies in Adopting Sustainability
Type of paper:  Report
Categories:  Strategic management Business plan Sustainable development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1568 words
14 min read

The issues surrounding proactive companies as they adopt sustainability is one that requires critical consideration with the developing trends. In the understanding concerning proactive companies taking sustainability, it is essential to understand what proactive companies involve. A proactive company is a corporation that places significant emphasis on forward-thinking strategic planning different and opposed to reactive strategies to deal with problems or to approach opportunities as they develop. In most cases, proactive means that a business can acquire a lot of advantages, particularly in the approach toward business opportunities and managing challenges. Sustainability encompasses more than an organization with minimal impact to the environment but as well as a business that in managing the triple bottom line as they entail progressive environmental and human rights regulations. Sustainability could revolve around managing financial, social, and ecological risks, duties, along with opportunities. In proactive companies, accurately predicting future opportunities and threats is almost impossible. But there are higher chances of predicting customer expectations based on trends which means that proactive company management can have the ability to structure systems that address the arising issues as they emerge. It allows proactive companies to adopt sustainability. Positivity or being proactive is the capacity and ability to acquire opportunities as they arise and align them with the development along with projecting future threats and risks. However, this paper will provide a report concerning how proactive companies adopt sustainability. Also, it will ensure a proper analysis of various proactive companies as they approach the issue concerning sustainability.

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Literature Review and Framework

Proactive businesses approach and adopt sustainability in different ways in the strive to ensure corporate social responsibility (CSR). Pistoni, Songini, and Perrone (2016) conducted a case study of a large European company and developed various approaches concerning how and why corporates adopt sustainability. In the delivery of their research, Pistoni, Songini, and Perrone (2016) outlined that the "how" involved various features if the sustainability approach that is elaborated in terms of corporate strategy, for instance, implemented issues, initiatives and activities as well as the organizational role and managerial approached and systems developed. Over time, the involvements of sustainability evolve in various proactive firms which derives that the sustainability principles do not follow a linear and continuous process but are derived according to the evolutionary path and the shifting change in CSR (Welford, 2016). Therefore, proactive firms adopt sustainability by considering the roles played by the internal and external drivers along with their importance with ensuring environmental strategies. Lee (2009) provides that many SMEs adopt sustainability developing green management into their business operations. According to the study, firms can adopt green management by tapping into their strategic and organizational management whereby the factors of organizational structure, innovation capability, cost savings, and competitive advantage play a significant role since this fosters green management which is a way in the adoption of sustainability.

On the other hand, Marshall, McCarthy, McGrath, and Claudie (2015) provide that, in the aim to adopt sustainability among proactive companies, creating a culture of corporate responsibility and maintaining entrepreneurial orientation are among the drives in the adoption of sustainability. According to the findings delivered by Marshall et al. (2015), a culture of sustainability is related to all the actions and practices and entrepreneurial orientation impacts which are significant in ensuring sustainability. Correspondingly, while smaller companies are less likely to provide corporate social responsibility since they could be more responsive to stakeholder pressure, larger proactive companies ensure the development of stakeholder theory. Darnall, Henriques, and Sadorsky (2010) provide an empirical study whereby they derive that smaller firms are responsive to internal and regulatory measures. Thus, they suggest that evaluating the organization in association with stakeholder pressure is critical for sustainability.

Moreover, proactive companies can adopt sustainability by maintaining a proper relationship between stakeholder pressures and environmental strategies regardless of the occurrence that they tend to vary based on organizational size. Moreover, there are other ways through which proactive companies can adopt sustainability. For instance, through creating shareholder value, improving financial performance, and the creation of sustainable development, it plays a vital role in the adoption of sustainability. As delivered by GomezBezares, Przychodzen, and Przychodzen (2017), bridging the gap of sustainability into a corporate strategy in the attempt to maintain shareholder value is fundamental since it is one of the ways through which corporates keep and adopt sustainability. Additionally, the effectiveness of corporate governance improves a company's environmental sustainability. As a result, proactive companies may opt to shift to maintaining and creating a moderating effect on cognitive pressures. OrtizdeMandojana, AguileraCaracuel, and MoralesRaya (2016) continue that combining corporate governance among other institutional factors are essential in the strive to ensure sustainability.

Similarly, in creating and adopting sustainability by proactive companies, corporate citizenship, product stewardship along with shareholder value are among the ways of taking SCR. While most proactive companies focus on how stakeholders influence an organization, the shaking of stakeholders is a way of ensuring concrete sustainability. Shaking stakeholders means that to proactively initiating cooperation with those impacted by organizations to alter behavior and awareness, to oversee the change in society. Sulkowski, Edwards, and Freeman (2018) provide that staking stakeholders is critical in any proactive organization since it assists in identifying global ecological problems, societal problems and governance troubles which is essential and among the various ways of ensuring corporate sustainability. Furthermore, the governance maturity grid plays a significant role in the adoption of suitability by proactive companies. The corporate governance and intangible capital levers for the integration of sustainability in businesses whereby a maturity grid is designed to ensure support in the companies. It means that the social, economic, ecological, and governance approaches of sustainability are explored and various principles are integrated into a governance maturity grid. According to Allais, Roucoules, and Reyes (2017), the governance maturity grid enhances both the improvement of strategic and organizational decisions which are among the ways of developing suitability.

Nonetheless, in an accounting management perspective according to Joshi and Li (2016), firms are being forced to behave in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner while improving shareholder value. The stakeholders are soliciting information on the sustainability approach of the measure of benchmarking sustainability across organizations. As the firms seek to improve the triple bottom line performance and ensure informed trade-offs among other conflicting objectives, sustainability accounting is fundamental. Sustainability accounting as delivered by Joshi and Li (2016), is interlocking, internal decision-making support, reinforcing sustainability information, and management control system that is consistent with overall business strategy. Proactive companies adopt sustainability by the use of sustainability accounting since it ensures the development of various factors such as the value of corporate sustainability performance.

According to the sustainability framework, the different ways through which proactive companies adopt sustainability include; biodiversity, shareholder value, product stewardship, societal needs, as well as safety and environment. Product stewardship advocates that all products conform to quality standards. On the other hand, shareholder value which is a significant aspect in adopting sustainability advocates for the creation of value and corporates social responsibility.


Trends in the consumer, labor, and capital markets are pushing companies into taking greater responsibility to ensure the safeguarding of the needs of the people and society by creating social responsibility or sustainability. In proactive companies, corporate or organizational sustainability has developed in recent decades, evolving from just mere adherence to regulations set by the government in the 1760s to the integration of social and environmental responsibility principles into the center of business practices (Tsai and Liao, 2017). To adopt sustainability, companies need to consider the proactive approach in their practices since the attitude of business towards sustainability has evolved through in four major stages; ranging from reactive, functional, integrated, and proactive. Within the first stage, the "reactive stage," companies merely abide by the regulations and standards set by the government; however, as they progress towards the "functional stage," they begin exploring the various ways to implement compulsory sustainability measures as they deem possible. Moreover, in the third stage, the "integrated stage," it sees corporations recognizing that there are organizational opportunities in addressing social responsibility while in the final stage "proactive stage" businesses begin taking responsibility for meeting future requirements and needs (CarballoPenela and CastromanDiz, 2015).

According to Park and Kim (2016), there is proactive versus reactive apparel brands in the issue of sustainability. There is the likelihood that consumers form brand loyalty towards sustainable versus fast fashion in different ways whereby the consumers' knowledge of apparel sustainability strengthens the involvement of factors such as corporate social responsibility (Hahn et al., 2017). With such occurrences, they lead to the advancement of other happenings concerning sustainability such as green marketing. Marketers of sustainable good and services tend to target consumers "deep green" for their products which in one way or the other implies on specific occurrences. Through the emergence of various aspects such as the new rules of green marketing. According to Ottman (2017), the new rules of marketing helps in the understanding of why value-based sustainability is significant in the organizational capacity. Through such factors, they advocate the formulation and need to adopt t the corporate's social responsibility meant to ensure that the involved parties acquire the needed social resources as well as alignment to the required standards with other marketing strategies. Moreover, Ottman (2017) advocates that factors such as the utilization of the proactive approach to sustainability can spur innovation along with the capacity to team up with the stakeholders and maximize the outreach to consumers. Nonetheless, various research questions are revolving around the involvement of how proactive companies adopt sustainability.

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