Browsing by Author "Pahwa-Gajjar, Sumetee"
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- ItemBuilding corporate resilience : based on a case study of Spier Holding's search for a lower carbon future(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-12) Pahwa-Gajjar, Sumetee; Swilling, Mark; Brent, Alan C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A study of the sustainability journey of Spier Holdings, a well known wine and leisure business in South Africa, offers a unique opportunity for interrogating corporate drivers for a lower carbon future. The business has established sustainability as a brand identity, declared carbon neutrality as a macro organisational goal in response to the global challenge of climate change, and sought scientifically and technologically appropriate ways of addressing this challenge. A preliminary analysis revealed various initiatives that are in place for measuring and reducing the business’ environmental impact, including carbon emissions. However, an in-depth study of the establishment’s environmental performance over two decades showed inconsistencies in year-on-year reporting, delays in shifting the supply chain, and gaps in implementation, particularly in the area of energy efficiency and adoption of renewable energy technology. Understanding and interrogating the business’ sustainability journey through a systems ecology and corporate citizenship framework proved inadequate. The case highlights that organizational goals for environmental performance areas, including the aim of carbon neutrality, and sustainability reporting are not sufficient catalysts for change. A complexity-based resilience approach allowed the business to be understood as an adaptive system. The sustainability story tracks different phases of a modified adaptive renewal cycle, which also determine the dominant management paradigms, strategic responses and forms of collaboration during each phase. Spier’s sustainability journey was found to be underpinned by a quest for corporate resilience which includes the resilience of the business (enterprise resilience) and of the social-ecological system within which it resides (SES resilience). The business responded to interdependent risks and uncertainties in its internal and external contexts, through investment strategies in key areas of corporate environmental performance. As a contribution to new knowledge, this thesis proposes an integrated corporate resilience framework for building enterprise resilience and ecological sustainability. This framework, and the accompanying mapping tool, reveals deep, ecological drivers for Spier’s environmental performance across corporate areas of lower carbon emissions, water sustainability, wastewater treatment, solid waste recycling and ecological custodianship. The framework is recommended for use by similar businesses, eager to configure their relationship with natural resources and ecosystem services, and by scholars, for investigating corporate performance towards environmental sustainability.