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Does a standardised world equal a sustainable world? : How standards and initiatives shape the private sector's sustainability efforts

Kier, A.A. (2020) Does a standardised world equal a sustainable world? : How standards and initiatives shape the private sector's sustainability efforts.

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Abstract:This paper investigated the extent to which voluntary sustainability standards can constitute an effective measure to increase the sustainability of businesses. With many voluntary sustainability standards being offered, the question arises how effective these standards are. Therefore, the literature concentrated on Abbott and Snidal’s governance triangle as well as smart regulation theory. The case example of the ZNU standard was analysed through a quantitative study based on literature research and interviews to determine its effectiveness. Focused on the normative content, the use of enforcement mechanisms and the participation of stakeholders, the paper found that dialogue constitutes the most important segment for the case example. Given the lack of overall quantitative goals as a management standard, effectiveness is achieved through a shift of focus on the establishment of a strong network and its long-term orientation. Transparency in publishing desired goals and the corresponding progress has likewise proved to be a contributing factor to the effectiveness. Therefore, the conclusion was that standards with a strong focus on transparency are most likely also the most effective. It found state involvement as a potential accelerator to speed up the process of all companies implementing effective sustainability management by requiring more transparency.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82772
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