Read the company’s most recent sustainability report and any sustainability-related pages on the company’s website to catalog current actions. Using a SWOT analysis

Write a second-generation sustainability strategy for Mars Incorporated based on the frameworks of sustainable innovation, for course MNG 228: MANAGEMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP Course MGT 228-OL/NY2 ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY.

Readings associated with the course:

–        The Sustainable Business Handbook: A Guide to Becoming More Innovative, Resilient and Successful, 1st Edition, by David Grayson, Chris Coulter, and Mark Lee. ISBN: 9781398604049.

–        Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take, by Andrew S. Winston and Paul Polman. ISBN: 9781647821302.

–        The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World, by Andrew Winston. ISBN: 9781422167816.

–        Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses, by E. Freya Williams. ISBN: 9780814436134.

The strategy should focus on value creation through innovation. The presentations and report must include a roadmap for implementation showing the cross-function integration of sustainability considerations. 

The presentation should be between 15 minutes – 20 minutes and should include analysis and research distilled into persuasive data points to support the business case.

A supporting report (10 pages – double space minimum) should outline the research and key assumptions that support your proposed strategy.

Tips to get started:

  • Read the company’s most recent sustainability report and any sustainability-related pages on the company’s website to catalog current actions. Using a SWOT analysis can help you identify strengths and where they have opportunities to move toward net positive operations.  
  • Using a scenario planning matrix or PEST/PESTLE analysis is helpful for understanding the future states in which the company will operate. Your strategy should help better position the organization across a couple of different future scenarios. 
  • Select 2-4 frameworks and/or tools presented in the course material to apply when designing the strategy. For example, you might use the biomimicry design spiral to improve a product or operations or use the sustainability helix to determine how different functions be responsible for implementing the strategy.


Additional Notes:

  • I define second-generation sustainability strategy as one that focuses on how the company will create a net positive benefit through its products and services. To date, many companies have established a first-generation sustainability strategy focused on doing ‘less bad’. A second-generation strategy should focus on doing ‘more good’ by going beyond table-stakes actions (emission reduction commitments, renewable energy and carbon offset purchasing, waste reduction, compliance with social and environmental laws, decent wages) to innovate by reconceiving their products and services to support a net positive future.  
  • Examples of companies pursuing second-generation strategies include Microsoft (through product development and commitment to removing historical emissions), Patagonia (through the company structure, venture businesses supporting regenerative agriculture), and Amalgamated Bank (Rethinking how traditional banking is in service to communities).  

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