Variations in the mainstreaming of sustainability: a case study approach
Boyd, P. and Schweber, L. (2012) Variations in the mainstreaming of sustainability: a case study approach. In: Proceedings of the 28th ARCOM Conference, 3 - 5 September 2012, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 1343-1354.
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The construction sector has a major role to play in delivering the transition to a low carbon economy and in contributing to sustainable development; however, integrating sustainability into everyday business remains a major challenge for the sector. This research explores the experience of three large construction and engineering consultancy firms in mainstreaming sustainability. The aim of the paper is to identify and explain variations in firm level strategies for mainstreaming sustainability. The three cases vary in the way in which sustainability is ramed – as a problem of risk, business opportunity or culture – and in its location within the firm. The research postulates that the mainstreaming of sustainability is not the uniform linear process often articulated in theories of strategic change and management, but varies with the dominant organisational culture and history of each firm. he paper concludes with a reflection on the implications of this analysis for management theories and for firm level strategies.