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Communicating sustainability for enhanced business opportunities: Use of centrally-driven initiatives to integrate sustainability in product communication in decentralized multinational companies Case study of Trelleborg AB

Andronache, Veronica Mihaela LU (2012) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN56 20121
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
The particularities surrounding the way decentralized multinational companies are structured
and governed can determine the success or failure of integrating sustainability aspects into
their units’ approach of doing business. The choice of pursuing a decentralized avenue over a
headquarter-driven one in managing sustainability can have a significant influence over the
coherence of Group1-wide strategies and approaches to their implementation, but also over
the level of ambition targeted at local level.
This research aims at describing the early results regarding attitudes, drivers and barriers
surrounding a recently launched headquarter-driven initiative, aimed at encouraging the
incorporation of sustainability arguments in the... (More)
The particularities surrounding the way decentralized multinational companies are structured
and governed can determine the success or failure of integrating sustainability aspects into
their units’ approach of doing business. The choice of pursuing a decentralized avenue over a
headquarter-driven one in managing sustainability can have a significant influence over the
coherence of Group1-wide strategies and approaches to their implementation, but also over
the level of ambition targeted at local level.
This research aims at describing the early results regarding attitudes, drivers and barriers
surrounding a recently launched headquarter-driven initiative, aimed at encouraging the
incorporation of sustainability arguments in the communication and development of products
and solutions in a decentralized multinational company. Through a case study research of
Trelleborg AB, the study is expected to increase the understanding of the challenges faced at
Group headquarters level on one hand and at unit level on the other hand when it comes to
advancing and communicating sustainability, particularly through products and solutions. A
second objective of the research has been to contribute to revealing opportunities that could
help overcome these challenges and strengthen the initiative. Trelleborg’s business-to-business
global presence can offer a comprehensive account of the different experiences, challenges,
attitudes and expectations surrounding the integration of sustainability in product
development and communication. A centrally-driven initiative was analyzed and assessed in
order to demonstrate its role and effectiveness in advancing sustainability thinking in a
decentralized multinational corporation, while keeping in mind the particularities of local
conditions in which its units activate.
The study has shown that despite declaring to acknowledge the benefits that can be brought
by integrating sustainability in external product communication, there is little incentive at this
stage at business unit level to take the necessary action in this direction. The main obstacles to
invest local resources in the promotion of a global communication concept that aims to reveal
sustainability aspects in products and solutions were identified to be: low expressed customer
demand for sustainability features in products, the specific customer criteria that products
need to meet and limited awareness on how sustainability arguments can be applied to the
individual business profiles in order to raise their profile on the market. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Andronache, Veronica Mihaela LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN56 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
corporate social responsibility, shared value, decentralized multinationals, sustainability, sustainable product thinking, product communication, the Blue Dimension
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
2012:03
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
3126020
date added to LUP
2012-10-04 14:44:39
date last changed
2012-10-04 14:44:39
@misc{3126020,
  abstract     = {The particularities surrounding the way decentralized multinational companies are structured
and governed can determine the success or failure of integrating sustainability aspects into
their units’ approach of doing business. The choice of pursuing a decentralized avenue over a
headquarter-driven one in managing sustainability can have a significant influence over the
coherence of Group1-wide strategies and approaches to their implementation, but also over
the level of ambition targeted at local level.
This research aims at describing the early results regarding attitudes, drivers and barriers
surrounding a recently launched headquarter-driven initiative, aimed at encouraging the
incorporation of sustainability arguments in the communication and development of products
and solutions in a decentralized multinational company. Through a case study research of
Trelleborg AB, the study is expected to increase the understanding of the challenges faced at
Group headquarters level on one hand and at unit level on the other hand when it comes to
advancing and communicating sustainability, particularly through products and solutions. A
second objective of the research has been to contribute to revealing opportunities that could
help overcome these challenges and strengthen the initiative. Trelleborg’s business-to-business
global presence can offer a comprehensive account of the different experiences, challenges,
attitudes and expectations surrounding the integration of sustainability in product
development and communication. A centrally-driven initiative was analyzed and assessed in
order to demonstrate its role and effectiveness in advancing sustainability thinking in a
decentralized multinational corporation, while keeping in mind the particularities of local
conditions in which its units activate.
The study has shown that despite declaring to acknowledge the benefits that can be brought
by integrating sustainability in external product communication, there is little incentive at this
stage at business unit level to take the necessary action in this direction. The main obstacles to
invest local resources in the promotion of a global communication concept that aims to reveal
sustainability aspects in products and solutions were identified to be: low expressed customer
demand for sustainability features in products, the specific customer criteria that products
need to meet and limited awareness on how sustainability arguments can be applied to the
individual business profiles in order to raise their profile on the market.},
  author       = {Andronache, Veronica Mihaela},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {corporate social responsibility,shared value,decentralized multinationals,sustainability,sustainable product thinking,product communication,the Blue Dimension},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Communicating sustainability for enhanced business opportunities: Use of centrally-driven initiatives to integrate sustainability in product communication in decentralized multinational companies Case study of Trelleborg AB},
  year         = {2012},
}