Full Program »
Corporate Sustainability: Organization structure and culture in the packaging industry
Current corporate practices remain unsustainable despite the observed rise in sustainability ideologies among corporate dialogue, marketing strategies, and formal roles.Changes in corporate structure and culture have both been identified in the literature as necessary for companies in achieving successful sustainable outcomes. However, little is understood about what leading companies are doing to improve their practices. To better understand this our study will focus on large corporations within the containers and packaging industry, an industry with an emerging sustainability agenda prompted by the recent public outcry of plastic pollution. The purpose of this study is to identify structural and cultural features and variations thereof present among corporations leading in sustainability. To identify leaders in sustainability, the selected corporations will be evaluated based on the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) materiality metrics. Three features that have been identified as conducive to producing sustainable outcomes include the following; the existence of an executive sustainability position, the production of an annual sustainability report, and the existence of a public sustainability goal or commitment. This study will: 1) Determine which of these three features are present among the identified corporations 2) Evaluate the sustainability of the identified corporations (based on SASB materiality metrics) 3) Determine if there is a relationship between the presence of these features and the sustainability performance of the identified corporations. A qualitative comparative analysis using a truth table will be used to identify which features are present and any trends that are found among the leading companies. The characterization of these best practices is useful in gaining a better understanding of the changes made on an organization-level to improve sustainability and for organizations that are interested in progressing towards more sustainable practices. Broader implications of this study include a better understanding of the sustainability practices among leading corporations within the packaging sector.