As we read in the post placed by cookj111, the majority of managers adresses great importance to SD.
Why do we find so little examples of implementation?
I believe that the vast majority of companies won’t invest in a SD project, unless if it’s profitable. (either direct or by image building which should lead to more sales in the future) The main goal for most of the companies is making money, because banks and shareholders require a good ROI.
It is possible though to make money in a sustainable way. I would like to give 2 principles I find interesting.
- By-product synergies: turning waste of one company into raw materials for other company.
Example: Kalundborg, Denmark (http://www.symbiosis.dk/industrial-symbiosis.aspx)
4 major companies succesfully work together with community to turn waste into raw materials
e.g.: waste steam is used to heat nearby village
result: less pollution, cheeper production
- Cradle-to-Cradle (Braungart, McDonough, 2007): design products to be recycled
Example: Nike Considered (http://www.nikebiz.com/nikeresponsibility/?#environment-design/considered_design)
Shoe made out of crap.
Conclusion: only if profitable for the company, managers will implement sustainable projects. If successful, such a project could lead to a sustainable company.