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Implementing sustainable practices: a multi-stage approach

In this section we will look closely at the four stages of sustainability within a business setting.
Implementing Sustainable Practices A Multi Stage Approach
© RMIT University 2017
What has emerged from previous steps for businesses wanting to become sustainable is the importance of a willingness to change mindsets to create a green strategy. But what is the impetus for change?

This next step aims to help you understand how businesses can become sustainable. Change is never easy, Hitchcock and Willard (2010) emphasise the importance of having a detailed change plan to guide the organisation through the process. This includes ways to keep the process on track, to overcome resistance and find the sustainability champions. All these factors, combined with research and planning, can help the organisation on its path toward sustainability.

Without a change strategy in place it’s challenging for organisations to navigate the steps and implement the sustainability process. In this regard, the literature strengthens this strategic approach by identifying various stages in the journey. Benn et al. (2014) discuss three phases of sustainability, Dunphy, Griffiths and Benn (2007) discuss six stages of sustainability, and other authors refer to various steps required for businesses to become sustainable. They commonly begin with non-compliance at one end through to a fully sustainable business at the other. Explore some of the links below for various interpretations of stages of change to sustainability.

Here we’ll discuss four stages of sustainability drawn from literature on sustainability (Benn et al. 2014; Hitchcock and Willard 2010):

The four stages of sustainability

Activity
Think back to Amazing Fashion. Where do you think they are on the four-stage model discussed above? Why do you think so?
Post your thoughts in the Comments area below.
© RMIT University 2017
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