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Indicators of sustainable business practices: Woolworths in South Africa
Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway.
Vigo University, Vigo, Spain.
2013 (English)In: Supply chain management, ISSN 1359-8546, E-ISSN 1758-6852, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 104-108Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how Woolworths, a South African retail chain, evaluates and controls its sustainable business practices using economic, environmental and social indicators.

Design/methodology/approach

– A content analysis of Woolworths' comprehensive 2008‐2011 sustainability and annual reports examined how this retail chain evaluates and implements its sustainable business practices.

Findings

– The results indicate that such indicators play a significant role in evaluating and implementing various Woolworths' business practices aimed at sustainability. In addition, Woolworths' comprehensive governance system ensures that its sustainable business practices are implemented and targets achieved.

Research limitations/implications

– The case study demonstrates that businesses can remain profitable, while at the same time protecting the natural environment and striving for sustainable business practices.

Practical implications

– This example demonstrates how government influence, institutional mechanisms and senior management commitment to a project ultimately has gone some way to minimise barriers to the adoption of sustainable practices.

Originality/value

– The example provides not only a seed of knowledge for others in retailing, but also guidance to both practice in general and theory in the field of sustainable business practices. It demonstrates how an organization has taken strategic action, extended this beyond the firm's boundaries and into the supply chain. The case study illustrates how one organization can act as the change agent in the network. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 18, no 1, p. 104-108
Keywords [en]
Sustainability, Strategy, Retail industry, Performance indicators, Triple bottom line, Woolworths, South Africa, Sustainable development, Retailing
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26967DOI: 10.1108/13598541311293212ISI: 000325912000008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84872898455OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-26967DiVA, id: diva2:760508
Available from: 2014-11-04 Created: 2014-11-04 Last updated: 2018-03-22Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, Göran

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf