By Aileen Ionescu-Somers, Ulrich Steger
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Extra info for Business Logic for Sustainability: An Analysis of the Food and Beverage Industry
But the roles have evolved significantly in the last ten years, and a much more Industry and Competitive Analysis 25 ambiguous relationship has emerged. On the one hand, there is mutual dependence involved and a great deal is to be gained through working together (see Unilever, 2005 for an example). We acknowledge, for example, the emergence and increasing importance of initiatives such as ‘Efficient Consumer Response’ (ECR),3 a voluntary and industry-wide effort by the whole F&B industry, including manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to provide increased quality and service to consumers at reduced prices through cost control, automatic replenishment of shelf stock and minimizing inefficiencies.
However, first, a much stronger and tangible link needs to be made between the growing niche of consumers that have a broader concern for environmental and social issues, and the application of their principles to their buying habits. 4 So what’s the bottom line? So is corporate sustainability just a buzzword in the F&B industry or is it bringing the triple bottom line ‘win-win-win’ solutions that some of the hype around the concept suggests? To this question, one of the managers we interviewed responded: Maybe corporate sustainability is not ‘the next big thing’ – but that is probably good because for me, ‘next big thing’ is consultancy-speak for the next thing that will be forgotten.
In order to understand the future potential of the economic argument, we describe the status of exploitation of the business case internally within F&B companies at the time of our research. It was our view that a reasonably accurate current assessment could only be obtained by talking to managers in their own contexts. There are two main sub-questions linked to the question of rollout of sustainability strategies that we wish to address: Research question 2a: What are the primary internal promoting factors and barriers influencing the rollout of the business case for sustainability in the F&B industry?
Business Logic for Sustainability: An Analysis of the Food and Beverage Industry by Aileen Ionescu-Somers, Ulrich Steger