Previous research explored the circular economy practices of different businesses in various contexts; however, limited contributions have focused on the responsible production and consumption of food (Huang et al., 2022; Van Riel et al., 2021). Even fewer articles sought to explore environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions relating to the sustainable supply chain management of food and beverages in the tourism context.
This special issue will shed light on the responsible practices in all stages of food preparation and consumption in the tourism and hospitality industry. It raises awareness on sustainable behaviors that are aimed to reduce the businesses’ externalities including the generation of food waste on the natural environment. It shall put forward relevant knowledge and understanding on good industry practices that curb food loss. It will identify the strengths and weaknesses of extant food supply chains as well as of waste management systems adopted in the sector. It is hoped that prospective contributors identify laudable and strategic initiatives in terms of preventative and mitigating measures in terms of procurement and inventory practices, recycling procedures and waste reduction systems involving circular economy approaches.
Academic researchers are invited to track the progress of the tourism businesses on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal SDG12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. They are expected to investigate in depth and breadth, how tourism businesses are planning, organizing, implementing and measuring the effectiveness of their responsible value chain activities. They may utilize different methodologies to do so. They can feature theoretical and empirical contributions as well as case studies of organizations that are: (i) reusing and recycling of surplus food, (ii) utilizing sharing economy platforms and mobile apps (that are intended to support business practitioners and prospective consumers to reduce the food loss and waste), (iii) contributing to charitable institutions and food banks, through donations of surplus food, and/or (iv) recycling inedible foods to compost, among other options.
The contributing authors could clarify how, where, when and why tourism businesses are measuring their ESG performance on issues relating to the supply chain of food and beverage. They may refer to international regulatory instruments and guidelines (Camilleri, 2022), including the International Standards Organization (ISO) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, among others, to evaluate the practitioners’ ESG performance through: a) Environmental Metrics: The businesses’ circularity; Recycling and waste management; and/or Water security; b) Social Metrics: Corporate social responsibility; Product safety; Responsible sourcing; and/or Sustainable supply chain, and; c) Governance: Accounting transparency; Environmental sustainability reporting and disclosures.
They could rely on GRI’s Standards 2020, as well as on GRI 204: Procurement Practices 2016; GRI 303: Water and Effluents 201; GRI 306: Effluents and Waste 2016; GRI 306: Waste 2020; GRI 308: Supplier Environmental Assessment 2016 and GRI 403: and to Occupational Health and Safety 2018, to assess the businesses’ ESG credentials.
Prospective submissions ought to clearly communicate about the positive multiplier effects of their research (Ahn, 2019). They can identify responsible production and consumption behaviors that may result in operational efficiencies and cost savings in their operations (Camilleri, 2019). At the same time, they enable them to improve their corporate image among stakeholders (hence they can increase their financial performance). They can examine specific supply chain management initiatives involving open innovation, stakeholder engagement and circular economy approaches that may ultimately enhance the businesses’ legitimacy in society. More importantly, they are urged to elaborate on the potential pitfalls and to discuss about possible challenges for an effective implementation of a sustainable value chain of food-related products and their packaging, in the tourism and hospitality industry (Galati et al., 2022).
It is anticipated that the published articles shall put forward practical implications for a wide array of tourism stakeholders, including for food manufacturers and distributors, airlines, cruise companies, international hotel chains, hospitality enterprises, and for consumers themselves. At the same time, they will draw their attention to the business case for responsible consumption and production of food through strategic behaviors.
Potential topics may include but are not limited to:
– Responsible food production for tourism businesses
– Responsible food consumption practices in the hospitality industry
– Circular economy and closed loop systems adopted in restaurants, pubs and cafes
– Open innovation and circular economy approaches for a sustainable tourism industry
– Recycling of inedible food waste to compost
– Measuring performance of responsible food production/sustainable consumption
– Digitalisation and the use of sharing economy platforms to reduce food waste
– Artificial intelligence for sustainable food systems
– Sustainable food supply chain management
– Food waste and social acceptance of circular approaches
– Stakeholders’ roles to minimize food waste in the hospitality industry
– Food donation initiatives to decrease food loss and waste
Ahn, J. (2019). Corporate social responsibility signaling, evaluation, identification, and revisit intention among cruise customers. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(11), 1634-1647.
Camilleri, M. A. (2019). The circular economy’s closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal. Sustainable Development, 27(3), 530-536.
Camilleri, M. A. (2022). The rationale for ISO 14001 certification: A systematic review and a cost–benefit analysis. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 29(4), 1067-1083.
Galati, A., Alaimo, L. S., Ciaccio, T., Vrontis, D., & Fiore, M. (2022). Plastic or not plastic? That’s the problem: Analysing the Italian students purchasing behavior of mineral water bottles made with eco-friendly packaging. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 179, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.106060
Huang, Y., Ma, E., & Yen, T. H. (2022). Generation Z diners’ moral judgements of restaurant food waste in the United States: a qualitative inquiry. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2022.2150861
Van Riel, A. C., Andreassen, T. W., Lervik-Olsen, L., Zhang, L., Mithas, S., & Heinonen, K. (2021). A customer-centric five actor model for sustainability and service innovation. Journal of Business Research, 136, 389-401.
Big businesses are breaking down traditional silos among their internal departments to improve knowledge flows within their organizations and/or when they welcome external ideas and competences from external organizations (Aakhus & Bzdak, 2015; Chesbrough, 2003; Chesbrough & Bogers, 2014). Open innovation is related to the degree of trust and openness with a variety of stakeholders (Chesbrough, 2020; Leonidou et al., 2020; Zhu et al., 2019). Debately, this concept clearly differentiates itself from closed innovation approaches that are associated with traditional, secretive business models that would primarily rely on the firms’ internal competences and resources. In the latter case, the companies would withhold knowledge about their generation of novel ideas, including incremental and radical innovations within their research and development (R&D) department. They would be wary of leaking information to external parties. This is in stark contract with open innovation.
Open innovation is rooted in the belief that the dissemination of knowledge and collaboration with stakeholders would lead to win-win outcomes for all parties. Chesbrough (2003) argued that companies can maximize the potential of their disruptive innovations if they work in tandem with internal as well as with external stakeholders (rather than on their own) in order to improve products and service delivery. His open innovation model suggests that corporations ought to benefit from diverse pools of knowledge that are distributed among companies, customers, suppliers, universities, research center industry consortia, and startup firms.
Chesbrough (2020) distinguished between different types of insider information that could or could not be leaked to interested parties. He cautioned that sensitive information (he referred to as the “Crown Jewels”) ought to be protected and can never be revealed to external stakeholders. Nevertheless, he argued that an organization can selectively share specific communications with a “Middle Group” comprising key customers, suppliers, and/or partners in order to forge closer relationships with them. The companies’ internal R&D departments can avail themselves from their consumers’ insights as well as from external competences, capabilities, and resources, to cocreate value to their business and to society at large.
Chesbrough (2020) went on to suggest that a company should open-up their “long tail of intellectual property to everyone.” He contended that organizations may do so to save on their patent renewal fees. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses joined forces and adopted such an intercompany open innovation approach to mass produce medical equipment. For instance, Ford Motor Co. sent its teams of engineers to consult with counterparts at 3M and General Electric to produce respirators, ventilators, and new 3-D-printed face shields, for the benefit of healthcare employees and COVID-19 patients (Washington Post, 2020).
Corporations are increasingly collaborating with experts hailing from diverse industry sectors to innovate themselves and to search for new sources of competitive advantage (Porter & Kramer, 2011; Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018). They may usually resort to open innovation approaches when they engage with talented individuals who work on a freelance basis or for other organizations, to benefit from their support. There is scope for companies to forge fruitful relationships with external stakeholders, who may be specialized in specific fields, to help them identify trends, penetrate into new markets, to develop new products, or to diversify their business model, to establish new revenue streams for their firm (Camilleri & Bresciani, 2022; Centobelli, Cerchione, Chiaroni, et al., 2020; Su et al., 2022). These stakeholders can add value to host organizations in their planning, organization, and implementation of social and environmentally sustainable innovations (Camilleri, 2019a; Sajjad et al., 2020).
Open innovation holds great potential to create shared value opportunities for business and society (Aakhus & Bzdak, 2015; Alberti & Varon Garrido, 2017; Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018). This argumentation is closely related to the strategic approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and to the discourse about corporate sustainability (Camilleri, 2022a; Eweje, 2020). Previous literature confirmed that open innovation processes can have a significant effect on the companies’ triple bottom line in terms of their economic performance as well as on their social and environmental credentials (Gong et al., 2020; Grunwald et al., 2021; Mendes et al., 2021; Testa et al., 2018).
The businesses’ ongoing engagement with their valued employees may result in a boost in their intrinsic motivations, morale, job satisfaction, and low turnover levels and could increase their productivity levels (Camilleri, 2021; Chang, 2020; Kumar & Srivastava, 2020; Schmidt-Keilich & Schrader, 2019). Their collaboration with external (expert) stakeholders may lead to positive outcomes including to knowledge acquisition, operational efficiencies, cost savings, and to creating new revenue streams from the development of innovative projects, among others (Ghodbane, 2019; Huizingh, 2011). Open innovation agreements are clearly evidenced when businesses forge strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to help them plan, develop, promote, and distribute products (Bresciani, 2017; Camilleri, 2019b; Chesbrough & Bogers, 2014; Greco et al., 2022; Loučanová et al., 2022; Troise et al., 2021). They may do so to be in a better position to align corporate objectives (including to increase their bottom lines) with their social and environmental performance (Alberti & Varon Garrido, 2017; Herrera & de las Heras-Rosas, 2020; Mendes et al., 2021).
This paper provides a clear definition of the most popular paradigms relating to the intersection of open innovation approaches and corporate sustainability, as reported in Table 1.
Table 1. A list of the most popular paradigms relating to the intersection of open innovation approaches and corporate sustainability
“The following section synthesizes the content that was reported in past contributions. The researchers deliberate about open innovation opportunities and challenges for host organizations as well as for their collaborators”.
Open innovation opportunities
In the main, many commentators noted that open innovation approaches have brought positive outcomes for host organizations and their collaborators. The research questions of the extracted contributions (that are reported in Table 2) indicated that in many cases, companies are striving in their endeavors to build productive relationships with different stakeholders (Mtapuri et al., 2022; Peña-Miranda et al., 2022; Shaikh & Randhawa, 2022), to create value to their businesses as well as to society (Döll et al., 2022; Ghodbane, 2019; Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018). Very often, they confirmed that open innovation practitioners are promoting organizational governance (Aakhus & Bzdak, 2015; Sánchez-Teba et al., 2021), fair labor practices (Chang, 2020; Herrera & de las Heras-Rosas, 2020; Kumar & Srivastava, 2020; Schmidt-Keilich & Schrader, 2019), environmentally responsible investments (Aakhus & Bzdak, 2015; Cigir, 2018; Mendes et al., 2021; van Lieshout et al., 2021; Yang & Roh, 2019), and consumer-related issues (Greco et al., 2022; Loučanová et al., 2022; Wu & Zhu, 2021; Yang & Roh, 2019), among other laudable behaviors.
Many researchers raised awareness on the corporate sustainability paradigm (van Marrewijk, 2003) as they reported about the businesses’ value creating activities that are synonymous with the triple bottom line discourse, in terms of their organizations’ social, environment, and economic performance (Chang, 2020; Döll et al., 2022; Su et al., 2022; van Lieshout et al., 2021; Yang & Roh, 2019).
Other authors identified strategic CSR (Fontana, 2017; Porter & Kramer, 2006) practices and discussed about shared value perspectives (Abdulkader et al., 2020; Porter & Kramer, 2011) that are intended to improve corporate financial performance while enhancing their social and environmental responsibility credentials among stakeholders (Ghodbane, 2019; Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018; Sánchez-Teba et al., 2021).
Mendes et al. (2021) argued that strategic CSR was evidenced through collaborative approaches involving employees and external stakeholders. They maintained that there is scope for businesses to reconceive their communication designs with a wide array of stakeholders. Similarly, Aakhus and Bzdak (2015) contended that stakeholder engagement and open innovation processes led to improved decision making, particularly when host organizations consider investing in resources and infrastructures to be in a better position to address the social, cultural, and environmental concerns.
Firms could implement open innovation approaches to benefit from outsiders’ capabilities and competences (of other organizations, including funders, partners, and beneficiaries, among others) (Alberti & Varon Garrido, 2017). They may benefit from the external stakeholders’ support to diversify their business and/or to develop innovative products and services. Their involvement could help them augment their financial performance in terms of their margins and return on assets (Ben Hassen & Talbi, 2022).
Ongoing investments in open and technological innovations in terms of process and product development can result in virtuous circles and positive multiplier effects for the businesses as well as to society. Practitioners can forge cooperative agreements with social entrepreneurs, for-profit organizations, or with non-profit entities. Many companies are increasingly recruiting consultants who are specialized in sustainable innovations. Alternatively, they engage corporate reporting experts to help them improve their ESG credentials with stakeholders (Holmes & Smart, 2009).
Such open innovation approaches are intrinsically related to key theoretical underpinnings related to CSR including the stakeholder theory, institutional theory, signaling theory, and to the legitimacy theory, among others (Authors; Freudenreich et al., 2020). Firms have a responsibility to bear toward societies where they operate their business (in addition to their economic responsibility to increase profits). Their collaborative stance with knowledgeable professionals may provide an essential impetus for them to improve their corporate reputation and image with customers and prospects.
The open innovation paradigm suggests that it is in the businesses’ interest to engage with stakeholders through outside-in (to benefit from external knowledge and expertise), inside-out (to avail themselves of their extant competences and capabilities), and coupled (cocreation) processes with internal and external stakeholders (Enkel et al., 2009; Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018). Its theorists claim that outside-in processes are intended to enhance the company’s knowledge as they source external information from marketplace stakeholders including suppliers, intermediaries, customers, and even competitors, among others.
Many researchers emphasize that there are a number of benefits resulting from coopetition among cooperative competitors. Their inside-out collaborative processes stimulate innovations, lead to improvements in extant technologies, and provide complementary resources, resulting in new markets and products. Competing businesses can exchange their ideas and innovations with trustworthy stakeholders, outside of their organizations’ boundaries in order to improve their socio-emotional wealth (Herrera & de las Heras-Rosas, 2020). The proponents of open innovation advocate that businesses ought to foster an organizational culture that promotes knowledge transfer, ongoing innovations, and internationalization strategies.
Michelino et al. (2019) held that organizations ought to engage in ambidextrous approaches. These authors commended that practitioners should distinguish between exploratory and traditional units of their business model. They posited that it would be better for them if they segregated the former from the latter ones, especially if they want to develop new processes, products, and technologies in mature markets. The organizations’ exploratory units could be in a better position to flexibly respond to ongoing changes in their marketing environment.
Other researchers noted that it would be better if the businesses’ R&D activities are attuned with the practitioners’ expertise and/or with their stakeholders who are involved in their open innovation knowledge sharing strategies (Talab et al., 2018). Companies can generate new sources of revenue streams, even in areas that are associated with social issues and/or with green economies, if they reach new customers in different markets (Centobelli, Cerchione, & Esposito, 2020; Chang, 2020; Su et al., 2022; Yang & Roh, 2019). They may partner with other organizations to commercialize their (incremental or radical) innovations through licensing fees, franchises, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs, and so forth.
Many commentators made reference to coupled processes involving a combination of outside-in and inside-out open innovation processes (Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018). The businesses’ transversal alliances involving horizontal and vertical collaborative approaches with external stakeholders can help them co-create ideas to foster innovations (Greco et al., 2022; Rupo et al., 2018). Several open innovation theorists are increasingly raising awareness on how collaborative relationships with stakeholders including consumers, lead users, organizations who may or may not be related to the company per se, universities as well as research institutions, among others, are supporting various businesses in their R&D stages and/or in the design of products (Khan et al., 2022; Naruetharadhol et al., 2022). Very often, their research confirmed that such cocreation processes are utilized in different contexts, for the manufacturing of a wide range of technologies.
The findings from this review reported that, for the time being, just a few researchers are integrating open innovation’s cocreation approaches with corporate sustainability outcomes. A number of contributing authors insisted that there are many advantages for socially and environmentally responsible companies to embrace open innovation approaches (Carayannis et al., 2021; Cigir, 2018; Mendes et al., 2021; Yang & Roh, 2019). In many cases, they argued that the practitioners’ intentions are to broaden their search activities and to avail themselves from talented employees and external experts in exchange for enhanced social legitimacy, thereby availing themselves of innovation capital for future enterprising activities (Greco et al., 2022; Holmes & Smart, 2009).
Hence, businesses may benefit from the competences and capabilities of individual consultants and organizations (from outside their company) to tap into the power of co-creation, to source ideas for social and green innovations (van Lieshout et al., 2021). These alliances are meant to support laudable causes, address the deficits in society, and/or to minimize the businesses’ impact on the natural environment (Altuna et al., 2015; Khan et al., 2022). For-profit organizations can resort to open innovation approaches to avail themselves of resources and infrastructures that are not currently available within their firm. This way they can reduce their costs, risks, and timescales when diversifying into sustainable business ventures, including those related to social entrepreneurship projects (Peredo & McLean, 2006; Shapovalov et al., 2019). They may do so to leverage their business, to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Open innovation challenges
Open innovations could expose the businesses to significant risks and uncertainties associated with enmeshed, permeable relationships with potential collaborators (Gomes et al., 2021; Madanaguli et al., 2023). Various authors contended that practitioners should create an organizational culture that is conducive to open innovation (Herrera & de las Heras-Rosas, 2020; Mohelska & Sokolova, 2017). Generally, they argued that host organizations should communicate and liaise with employees as well as with external partners, during the generation of ideas and in different stages of their R&D projects. Some researchers noted that open innovation practitioners tend to rely on their external stakeholders’ valuable support to diversify their business models, products, or services (Chalvatzis et al., 2019; Park & Tangpong, 2021; Su et al., 2022).
A number of academic commentators argued that practitioners have to set clear, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals to them before they even start working on a project together (Alberti & Varon Garrido, 2017). In many cases, they maintained that host organizations are expected to foster a strong relationship with collaborators. At the same time, they should ensure that the latter ones comply with their modus operandi (Dahlander & Wallin, 2020). In reality, it may prove difficult for the business leaders to trust the new partners. Unlike their employees, the external parties are not subject to the companies’ codes of conduct, rules, and regulations (Chesbrough, 2020; Shamah & Elssawabi, 2015). A few authors indicated that senior management may utilize extrinsic and intrinsic incentives to empower and motivate internal as well as external stakeholders to pursue their organization’s open innovation objectives (Chang, 2020; Greco et al., 2022; Holmes & Smart, 2009; Roszkowska-Menkes, 2018; Schmidt-Keilich & Schrader, 2019).
Some researchers identified possible threats during and after the implementation of joint projects. Very often, they contended that host organizations risk losing their locus of control to external stakeholders who are experts in their respective fields (Madanaguli et al., 2023). The latter ones may possess unique skills and competences that are not readily available within the organization. A few authors cautioned that the practitioners as well as their collaborators are entrusted to safeguard each other’s intangible assets. A number of researchers warned and cautioned that they may risk revealing insider information about sensitive commercial details relating to their intellectual capital (Gomes et al., 2021). As a result, companies may decide to collaborate on a few peripheral tasks as they may be wary of losing their return on investments if they share trade secrets with their new partners, who could easily become their competitors. Their proprietary knowledge concerns are of course real and vital for their future prospects. Therefore, their relationships with internal and external stakeholders should be based on mutual trust and understanding in order to increase the confidence in the projects’ outcomes (Ferraris et al., 2020; Sánchez-Teba et al., 2021).
The companies’ ongoing engagement with internal and external stakeholders as well as their strategic CSR initiatives and environmentally sustainable innovations can generate economic value, in the long run. This review confirms that for-profit organizations are increasingly using open innovation approaches. At the same time, they are following ethical practices, adopting responsible human resources management policies, and investing in green technologies to gain institutional legitimacy and to create competitive advantages for their business. Many authors reported that their corporate sustainability behaviors can enhance their organizations’ reputation and image among customers as well as with marketplace stakeholders. At the same time, their laudable practices may even improve their corporate financial performance.
During COVID-19, many businesses turned to open innovation’s collaborative approaches. Various stakeholders joined forces and worked with other organizations, including with competitors, on social projects that benefit the communities where they operate their companies. In many cases, practitioners have realized that such partnerships with certain stakeholders (like researchers, knowledgeable experts, creative businesses, and non-governmental institutions, among others) enable their organizations to find new ways to solve pressing problems and at the same time helped them build a positive reputation. Indeed, open innovation approaches can serve as a foundation for future win-win alliances, in line with sociological research demonstrating that trust develops when partners voluntarily go the extra mile, to create value to their business and to society at large.
Yet, this research revealed that there is still a gap in the academic literature that links CSR/corporate sustainability with open collaborative approaches. At the time of writing, this paper, there were only 45 contributions on the intersection of these notions.
This is an excerpt from one of my latest articles that was accepted for publication by Wiley’s Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility (formerly known as Business Ethics: A European Review).
This contribution validated the Elaboration Likelihood Model’s (ELM’s) measures and key constructs relating to the Information Adoption Model (IAM). Specifically, this research identified the effects of information relevance, information accuracy, information accuracy, source trustworthiness and source expertise on the individual’ attitudes toward online CSR communications.
The results confirmed that both central as well as peripheral factors (to a lower extent) were having a significant effect on the targeted audiences’ changing attitudes toward corporate communications. In sum, this study indicated that online users appreciated relevant and timely CSR content from trusted sources – that were curated by experts. This finding is conspicuous with relevant theoretical underpinnings on ELM. For instance, Chen and Chang (2018) and even Rawlins (2008) contended that individuals are usually captivated by current, relevant, complete, accurate, reliable, comparable and clear communications.
Relevant academic literature reported that individuals may choose to pursue ELM’s central route, whenever they evaluate the quality of the arguments/information that is communicated to them (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Alternatively, if they are not interested or motivated on the content, they may usually rely on the sources’ credibility to form their attitudes and opinions on their messages. Previous research often utilized ‘source expertise’ and ‘source trustworthiness’ constructs to measure the respondents’ perceptions about the credibility of sources of information.
In this case, this study found that the research participants were more influenced by ELM’s central route processing as information timeliness and information relevance were having nuanced effect on attitudes when compared to the peripheral factors including source expertise. Evidently, the respondents reflected and thought on CSR communications they accessed through the Internet and via social media. This finding implies that the businesses’ elaborated, high-quality content was changing their stakeholders’ attitudes toward CSR information.
Nevertheless, the research model indicated that the participants were somehow affected by peripheral issues, particularly by the source expertise of content curators. Previous literature reported that the recipients of information can still be influenced by the peripheral route’s subjective cues and/or by heuristic inferences (i.e. low elaboration issues). For instance, many individuals are continuously exposed to corporate communications from businesses who have excellent credentials among their followers (Camilleri, 2021a).
The findings from this study revealed that source trustworthiness was the weakest antecedent of the individuals’ attitudes toward CSR communications. This result is similar to previous findings from other studies, where the researchers reported that there were lower effects from peripheral factors like source credibility/source trustworthiness (than from central factors) on information usefulness/attitudes toward information.
This research demonstrated that external stakeholders were mainly processing information relating to the businesses’ CSR activities through the central route, as they considered their communications as elaborate, timely and relevant. However, it also showed that they held positive perceptions about the expertise of content curators who were disseminating information on their CSR credentials via digital media
This contribution has investigated the online users’ attitudes about CSR communications and revealed their perceptions about the sources’ credibility. It implies that businesses can improve their credentials if they publish quality CSR content that is appreciated by their stakeholders. This research suggests that external stakeholders expected businesses to publish relevant information that is accurate and timely. This finding suggests that there is scope for the businesses to regularly update their CSR webpages with the latest developments. For instance, they can publish certain information and newsfeeds about non-financial matters including on their immediate responses to COVID-19 like sanitization and hygienic measures in their workplace environments. They may disseminate health and safety information through social media sites or via online video sharing platforms. They can use different digital media to promote their businesses’ responsible behaviors toward their employees and the community at large, during different waves of the pandemic.
Ultimately, it is in the companies’ interest to communicate about appropriate ESG matters with different stakeholders (Camilleri, 2021b). Businesses ought to use corporate websites to disseminate information on commercial aspects, corporate governance policies, CSR and/or environmental sustainability initiatives as well as on COVID-19. In this day and age, they should also utilize social media networks (SNSs) on a regular basis, to raise awareness about their website, and to interact on different issues with their followers, in real time. They can publish appealing content including images and videos about their CSR activities to entice the curiosity of stakeholders. They may also share excerpts from their CSR disclosures and could feature forward-looking statements that shed light on their trajectories for a post COVID-19 era.
Limitations and directions for future research
This study is not without limitations. The measures that were used to capture the data were drawn from ELM and from its related IAM. These theoretical models were mostly referenced in previous studies that were mostly focused on the co-creation of content, including online reviews and electronic word of mouth publicity. Therefore, the survey items were adapted for a study that sought to explore the online users’ attitudes toward CSR communications. In this case, the results confirmed the reliability and validity of the constructs. Hence, prospective researchers are encouraged to replicate this study in other contexts.
Future studies may consider different constructs that may be drawn from other theoretical frameworks, to shed more light on the individuals’ attitudes toward online communications, information adoption and/or intentional behaviors. Researchers may adopt other constructs to evaluate different aspects of online content. They may investigate perceptions about information access, information understandability, data richness, interactivity and customization capabilities or information completeness, among others. Alternatively, they could determine whether the information is rhetoric, difficult to understand, confusing, ineffective or even useless for online users. Furthermore, alternative research methods and sampling frames can be used to capture and analyze the data. Interpretative studies can explore other stakeholders’ in-depth opinions and beliefs on CSR communications and delve deeper into their content. Inductive studies may reveal other important issues on how to improve the quality and credibility of CSR disclosures in the digital age.
This is an excerpt from one of my latest contributions.
Suggested citation: Camilleri, M.A. (2022). The rationale for ISO 14001 certification: A systematic review and a cost-benefit analysis, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2254
During the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), one hundred ninety-six (196) countries pledged their commitment to implement environmental performance measures to reduce the effects of climate change. This conference has led to the development of the ‘Paris Agreement’ where signatories became legally bound to limit global warming to below 2°C, and possibly 1.5°C (Palea & Drogo, 2020; Secinaro, Brescia, Calandra & Saiti, 2020). They recognized the importance of averting and minimizing the environmental impact that is caused by climate change, by scaling up their efforts and support initiatives to reduce emissions, by building resilience among parties, and by promoting cooperation (Birindelli & Chiappini, 2021; Gatto, 2020).
In the aftermath of COP 21, many countries submitted their plans for climate action (these plans are also known as nationally determined contributions – NDCs), where they communicated about their tangible actions that were aimed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of rising temperatures (Fatica & Panzica, 2021; Gerged, Matthews & Elheddad, 2021). Consequentially, intergovernmental organizations including the European Union (EU), among others, are increasingly establishing ambitious carbon neutrality goals and zero-carbon solutions to tackle climate change issues (Benz, Paulus, Scherer, Syryca & Trück, 2021).
This contribution raises awareness on the use of environmental management standards that are intended to support organizations of different types and sizes, including private entities, not-for-profits as well as governmental agencies, to improve their environmental performance credentials. A thorough review of the relevant literature suggests that, over the years many practitioners have utilized the International Standards Organization’s ISO 14001 environment management systems standard to assist them in their environmental management issues (Baek, 2018; Delmas & Toffel, 2008; Erauskin‐Tolosa, Zubeltzu‐Jaka, Heras‐Saizarbitoria & Boiral, 2020; Melnyk, Sroufe & Calantone, 2003).
Many academic commentators noted that several practitioners operating in different industry sectors, in various contexts, are implementing ISO 14001 requirements to obtain this standard’s certification (Boiral, Guillaumie, Heras‐Saizarbitoria & Tayo Tene, 2018; Para‐González & Mascaraque‐Ramírez, 2019; Riaz, & Saeed, 2020). Whilst several researchers contended about the benefits of abiding by voluntary principles and guidelines (Camilleri, 2018), others discussed about the main obstacles to obtaining impartial audits, assurances and certifications from independent standard setters (Hillary, 2004; Ma, Liu, Appolloni & Liu, 2021; Robèrt, Schmidt-Bleek, Aloisi De Larderel … & Wackernagel, 2002; Teng & Wu, 2018).
Hence, this research examines identifies the rationale for ISO 14001 certification (Carvalho, Santos & Gonçalves, 2020; Eltayeb, Zailani & Ramayah, 2011; Lee, Noh, Choi & Rha, 2017; Potoski & Prakash, 2005) that is supposedly intended to improve the organizations’ environmental performance and to enhance their credentials. Specifically, this contribution’s objectives are threefold. Firstly, it provides a generic background on voluntary instruments, policies and guidelines that are intended to promote corporate environmentally responsible behaviors. Secondly, it presents the results from a systematic review of academic articles that were focused on ISO 14001 – environment management systems. Thirdly, it synthesizes the findings from high impact papers and discusses about the benefits and costs of using this standard. In conclusion, it elaborates on the implications of this research, it identifies its limitations and points out future research avenues.
In sum, this contribution differentiates itself from previous articles, particularly those that sought to investigate the introduction and implementation of environment management systems in specific entities. This research involves a two-stage systematic analysis. It appraises a number of empirical investigations, theoretical articles, reviews, case studies, discursive/opinion papers, from 1995-2021. Afterwards, it scrutinizes their content to shed more light on the pros and cons of using ISO 14001 as a vehicle to improve corporate environmental performance.
The European Union (EU)’s non-financial reporting directive (NFRD) law requires that large undertakings including corporations, listed businesses and government entities, among others, to disclose information on the way they operate and manage social and environmental challenges. This helps investors, civil society organisations, consumers, policy makers and other stakeholders to be in a better position to evaluate their non-financial performance (Camilleri, 2015; Camilleri, 2018; EU, 2014).
Recently, the EU (2021) put forward its proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which would amend the existing reporting requirements of the NFRD. In sum, the proposal extends the audit requirement to large companies and listed businesses in regulated markets (except listed micro-enterprises). They will be expected to introduce more detailed reporting requirements, according to mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards. At the time of writing this contribution, it is envisaged that the first set of standards would be adopted by October 2022 (EU, 2021).
The corporate social responsibility (CSR) notion became popularized during the latter part of 20th the century (Carroll, 2021; 1999; Moon, 2007). At the time, businesses were becoming more concerned on how their activities affected legitimate stakeholders and the development of society at large (Phillips, 2003; Freeman & Reed, 1983). Hence, various authors posited that CSR is a fertile ground for theory development and empirical analysis (McWilliams, Siegel & Wright, 2006).
Without doubt, the clarification of the meaning of CSR is a significant strand in the research agenda (Owen, 2005). CSR has developed as a rather vague concept of moral good or normative behaviors (Frederick, 1986). This construct was described as a relativistic measure of ‘the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary expectations that society had of organizations at a given point of time’ (Carroll, 1979). CSR tackled ‘social problem(s)’ to engender positive ‘economic benefit(s)’ to ensure ‘well paid jobs, and … wealth’ (Drucker, 1984).
CSR has continuously been challenged by those who expected businesses to engage in socially responsible behaviors with stakeholders, to adhere to ethical norms in society, and to protect the natural environment (Camilleri, 2015; Lindgreen & Swaen, 2010; Burke & Logsdon, 1996). Previous research reported that CSR practices can result in improved relationships with different stakeholders (Camilleri, 2017a; Moon, 2007; Sen, Bhattacharya & Korschun, 2006).
Various commentators contended that it is in the businesses’ interest to engage in responsible behaviors to forge closer ties with internal and external stakeholders (Ewan & Freeman, 1993; Freeman, 1984). In addition, many researchers reported that there is a causal relationship between the firms’ stakeholder engagement and their financial performance (Henisz, Dorobantu & Nartey, 2014 Pava & Krausz, 1996). This relationship also holds in the tourism and hospitality industry context (Rhou, Singal & Koh, 2016; Camilleri, 2012; Inoue, & Lee, 2011).
Various hotels and restaurants are increasingly communicating about their responsible activities that are having an effect on their stakeholders, including their employees, patrons, guests, suppliers, local communities, the environment, regulatory authorities and the community at large (Camilleri, 2020a). Like other businesses, tourism and hospitality enterprises are always expected to provide decent employment to locals and migrant workers, health and safety in their workplace environments, adequate compensation and recognition of all employees, ongoing training and development opportunities, work-life balance, and the like.
Various studies suggest that, in normal circumstances, when businesses engage in responsible human resources management (HRM), they will boost their employees’ morale, enhance their job satisfaction and reduce the staff turnover (Asimah, 2018). However, an unprecedented COVID-19 and its preventative measures have surely led to a significant reduction in their business activities.
The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the companies’ social metrics, including on their employees’ conditions of employment, financial remuneration and job security, among other issues (Kramer & Kramer, 2020). It has inevitably led to mass redundancies or resulted in the workers’ reduced wages and salaries. On the other hand, this situation has led to a decrease in the companies’ environmental impacts, such as their greenhouse gas emissions and other unwanted externalities.
Several businesses, including hospitality enterprises are becoming more concerned about their impact on the environment (Kim, Lee & Fairhurst, 2017; Elkington, 1998). In many cases, hotels and restaurants strive to reduce their environmental footprint by offering local, fresh, and sustainable food to their patrons. Very often, they are implementing sustainable models including circular economy systems to use and reuse resources, and to minimize their waste, where possible (Camilleri, 2020b). Alternatively, they are decreasing their electricity and water consumption in their properties, by investing in green technologies and renewable energy sources.
These sustainability initiatives could result in operational efficiencies and cost savings, higher quality, innovation and competitiveness, in the long term. As a matter of fact, many studies confirmed that there is a business case for CSR, as corporations engage in socially responsible and environmentally sound behaviors, to pursue profit-making activities (Porter & Kramer, 2011; 2019; Camilleri, 2012; Carroll & Shabana, 2010; Weber, 2008). Notwithstanding, CSR and sustainable practices can help businesses to improve their reputation, to enhance their image among external stakeholders and could lead to a favorable climate of trust and cooperation with internal stakeholders (Camilleri, 2019a).
In this light, this research builds on previous theoretical underpinnings that are focused on the CSR agenda and on its related stakeholder theory. However, it differentiates itself from other contributions as it clarifies that stakeholder attributions, as well as the corporations’ ethical responsibility, responsible human resources management and environmental responsibility will add value to society and to the businesses themselves.
This contribution addresses a knowledge gap in academia. For the time being, there is no other study that effects of stakeholders’ attributions on the companies’ strategic attributions, as depicted in Figure 1. In sum, this study clarifies that there is scope for businesses to forge strong relationships with different stakeholders. It clearly indicated that their engagement with stakeholders and their responsible behaviors were leading to strategic outcomes for their business and to society at large.
Figure 1. A research model that sheds light on the factors leading to strategic outcomes of corporate responsible behaviors
Implications to academia
This research model suggests that the businesses’ socially and environmentally responsible behaviors are triggered by different stakeholders. The findings evidenced that stakeholder-driven attributions were encouraging tourism and hospitality companies to engage in responsible behaviors, particularly toward their employees. The results confirmed that stakeholders were expecting these businesses to implement environmentally friendly initiatives, like recycling practices, water and energy conservation, et cetera. The findings revealed that there was a significant relationship between stakeholder attributions and the businesses’ strategic attributions to undertake responsible and sustainable initiatives.
This contribution proves that there is scope for tourism and hospitality firms to forge relationships with various stakeholders. By doing so, they will add value to their businesses, to society and the environment. The respondents clearly indicated that CSR initiatives were having an effect on marketplace stakeholders, by retaining customers and attracting new ones, thereby increasing their companies’ bottom lines.
Previous research has yielded mixed findings on the relationships between corporate social performance and their financial performance (Inoue & Lee, 2011; Kang et al., 2010; Orlitzky, Schmidt, & Rynes, 2003; McWilliams and Siegel 2001). Many contributions reported that companies did well by doing good (Camilleri, 2020a; Falck & Heblich, 2007; Porter & Kramer, 2011). The businesses’ laudable activities can help them build a positive brand image and reputation (Rhou et al., 2016). Hence, there is scope for the businesses to communicate about their CSR behaviors to their stakeholders. Their financial performance relies on the stakeholders’ awareness of their social and environmental responsibility (Camilleri, 2019a).
Arguably, the traditional schools of thought relating to CSR, including the stakeholder theory or even the legitimacy theory had primarily focused on the businesses’ stewardship principles and on their ethical or social responsibilities toward stakeholders in society (Carroll, 1999; Evan & Freeman, 1993; Freeman, 1986). In this case, this study is congruent with more recent contributions that are promoting the business case for CSR and environmentally-sound behaviors (e.g. Dmytriyev et al., 2021; Carroll, 2021; Camilleri, 2012; Carroll & Shabana 2010; Falck & Heblich, 2007).
This latter perspective is synonymous with value-based approaches, including ‘The Virtuous Circles’ (Pava & Krausz 1996), ‘The Triple Bottom Line Approach’ (Elkington 1998), ‘The Supply and Demand Theory of the Firm’ (McWilliams & Siegel 2001), ‘the Win-Win Perspective for CSR practices’ (Falck & Heblich, 2007), ‘Creating Shared Value’ (Porter & Kramer 2011), ‘Value in Business’ (Lindgreen et al., 2012), ‘The Stakeholder Approach to Maximizing Business and Social Value’ (Bhattacharya et al., 2012), ‘Value Creation through Social Strategy’ (Husted et al., 2015) and ‘Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability’ (Camilleri, 2018), among others.
In sum, the proponents of these value-based theories sustain that there is a connection between the businesses’ laudable behaviors and their growth prospects. Currently, there are still a few contributions, albeit a few exceptions, that have focused their attention on the effects of stakeholder attributions on CSR and responsible environmental practices in the tourism and hospitality context.
This research confirmed that the CSR initiatives that are directed at internal stakeholders, like human resources, and/or environmentally friendly behaviors that can affect external stakeholders, including local communities are ultimately creating new markets, improving the companies’ profitability and strengthening their competitive positioning. Therefore, today’s businesses are encouraged to engage with a wide array of stakeholders to identify their demands and expectations. This way, they will be in a position to add value to their business, to society and the environment.
The strategic attributions of responsible corporate behaviors focus on exploiting opportunities that reconcile differing stakeholder demands. This study demonstrated that tourism and hospitality employers were connecting with multiple stakeholders. The respondents confirmed that they felt that their employers’ CSR and environmentally responsible practices were resulting in shared value opportunities for society and for the businesses themselves, as they led to an increased financial performance, in the long run.
In the past, CSR was associated with corporate philanthropy, contributions-in-kind toward social and environmental causes, environmental protection, employees’ engagement in community works, volunteerism and pro-bono service among other responsible initiatives. However, in this day and age, many companies are increasingly recognizing that there is a business case for CSR. Although, discretionary spending in CSR is usually driven by different stakeholders, businesses are realizing that there are strategic attributions, in addition to stakeholder attributions, to invest in CSR and environmental management practices (Camilleri, 2017a).
This contribution confirmed that stakeholder pressures were having direct and indirect effects on the businesses’ strategic outcomes. This research clearly indicated that both internal and external stakeholders were encouraging the tourism business to invest in environmentally friendly initiatives. This finding is consistent with other theoretical underpinnings (He, He & Xu, 2018; Graci & Dodds, 2008).
Recently, more hotels and restaurants are stepping in with their commitment for sustainability issues as they comply with non-governmental organizations’ regulatory tools such as process and performance-oriented standards relating to environmental protection, corporate governance, and the like (Camilleri, 2015).
Many governments are reinforcing their rules of law and directing businesses to follow their regulations as well as ethical principles of intergovernmental institutions. Yet, certain hospitality enterprises are still not always offering appropriate conditions of employment to their workers (Camilleri, 2021; Asimah, 2018; Janta et al., 2011; Poultson, 2009). The tourism industry is characterized by its seasonality issues and its low entry, insecure jobs.
Several hotels and restaurants would usually offer short-term employment prospects to newcomers to the labor market, including school leavers, individuals with poor qualifications and immigrants, among others (Harkinson et al., 2011). Typically, they recruit employees on a part-time basis and in temporary positions to economize on their wages. Very often, their low-level workers are not affiliated with trade unions. Therefore, they are not covered by collective agreements. As a result, hotel employees may be vulnerable to modern slavery conditions, as they are expected to work for longer than usual, in unsocial hours, during late evenings, night shifts, and in the weekends.
In this case, this research proved that tourism and hospitality employees appreciated their employers’ responsible HRM initiatives including the provision of training and development opportunities, the promotion of equal opportunities when hiring and promoting employees and suitable arrangements for their health and safety. Their employers’ responsible behaviors was having a significant effect on the strategic attributions to their business.
Hence, there is more to CSR than ‘doing well by doing good’. The respondents believed that businesses could increase their profits by engaging in responsible HRM and in ethical behaviors. They indicated that their employer was successful in attracting and retaining customers. This finding suggests that the company they worked for, had high credentials among their employees. The firms’ engagement with different stakeholders can result in an improved reputation and image. They will be in a better position to create economic value for their business if they meet and exceed their stakeholders’ expectations.
In sum, the objectives of this research were threefold. Firstly, the literature review has given an insight into mainstream responsible HRM initiatives, ethical principles and environmentally friendly investments. Secondly, its empirical research has contributed to knowledge by adding a tourism industry perspective in the existing theoretical underpinnings that are focused on strategic attributions and outcomes of corporate responsibility behaviors. Thirdly, it has outlined a model which clearly evidences how different stakeholder demands and expectations are having an effect on the businesses’ responsible activities.
On a lighter note, it suggests that Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ is triggering businesses to create value to society whilst pursuing their own interest. Hence, corporate social and environmental practices can generate a virtuous circle of positive multiplier effects.
Therefore, there is scope for the businesses, including tourism and hospitality enterprises to communicate about their CSR and environmental initiatives through different marketing communications channels via traditional and interactive media. Ultimately, it is in their interest to promote their responsible behaviors through relevant messages that are clearly understood by different stakeholders.
Limitations and future research
This contribution raises awareness about the strategic attributions of CSR in the tourism and hospitality industry sectors. It clarified that CSR behaviors including ethical responsibility, responsible human resources management and environmental responsibility resulted in substantial benefits to a wide array of stakeholders and to the firm itself. Therefore, there is scope for other researchers to replicate this study in different contexts.
Future studies can incorporate other measures relating to the stakeholder theory. Alternatively, they can utilize other measures that may be drawn from the resource-based view theory, legitimacy theory or institutional theory, among others. Perhaps, further research may use qualitative research methods to delve into the individuals’ opinions and beliefs on strategic attributions of CSR and on environmentally-sound investments, including circular economy systems and renewable technologies.
A free-prepublication version of this paper is available (in its entirety) through ResearchGate.
Hospitality businesses can implement a number of responsible practices. The very first step for them is to develop ‘sustainable’ menus. The restaurants’ menus can offer a choice of different portion sizes to satisfy the requirements of different customers. They may feature fewer items in their menus to operate their business with a reduced inventory of food products to decrease storage costs, minimize waste and spoilage. It is in the interest of restaurant owner-managers to procure fresh ingredients from local businesses including farmers, bakers, butchers, et cetera, to ensure that they are preparing good food for their valued customers. Local products including organic items like fruit and vegetables, will have a longer shelf life than imported ones.
The hospitality businesses ought to forge close relationships with dependable, local suppliers to implement just-in-time purchasing systems (Camilleri, 2015a; Camilleri, 2017a). There is scope for them to purchase regularly and in smaller quantities to reduce the probabilities of food spoilage and dehydration. They are expected to continuously monitor the expiration dates of their food items and ingredients to minimize waste and to respect relevant hygienic standards. Owner-managers may apply the first expired first out (FEFO) principles in their kitchens, to avoid any stock-outs. Moreover, they can use food tracking devices to identify the types of food waste they are generating.
Their monitoring and control of food waste should be carried out on a day-to-day basis, as it can lead to significant operational efficiencies and cost savings. Practitioners may keep a track record of their waste in a spreadsheet. They can measure the quantity of organic waste that is generated from their premises. They may include details like the dates (and times of events), which ingredients or recipes were wasted, the name of the employee(s) who was (or were) responsible for the waste, et cetera. Furthermore, practitioners can estimate the composition of their organic waste and identify whether it is derived from vegetables, bread/pasta, specific meats, etc. This will allow them to make adjustments in their food menus (if possible).
Such food trackers may also help the hospitality business to detect irresponsible behaviors in their kitchens and to minimize food waste from their properties. It may indicate that certain employees are not engaging in responsible food preparation behaviors. There is scope for hospitality businesses to train their human resources, at all levels, particularly new employees, on circular economy approaches [Camilleri, 2014). This way, they will be in a better position to improve their efficiencies in terms of reducing, reusing and recycling resources, and responsible waste disposal practices (Camilleri, 2019a; Camilleri, 2020). They have to be supported and educated on the best practices to ensure that they are improving the (economic) sustainability of their businesses’ food and beverage operations whilst minimizing their impact on the natural environment (Camilleri, 2015b; Camilleri, 2016a; Camilleri, 2017). Table 1 illustrates the responsible behaviors that can be implemented by hospitality businesses to reduce food loss and the generation of waste from their premises:
This research shed light on a number of laudable circular economy initiatives that were drawn from the hospitality industry. It also made reference to a sustainable enterprise that utilizes a sharing economy platform that links consumers with hospitality service providers. Mobile users can purchase surplus food from hotels, restaurants and cafes at a discount. At the same time, the app enables the businesses to make revenue out of their perishable food and to minimize their environmental footprint by reducing their waste. Moreover, it reported that businesses can benefit from tax deductions and credit systems, in different contexts, if they donate surplus (edible) food to charities and food banks. Alternatively, if the food is contaminated or decayed it may be accumulated and turned it into animal feed, compost or transformed into energy through methanation processes. The case studies indicated that the re-utilization of non-edible leftovers may be monetized if they are used for such secondary purposes.
The implementation and execution of the circular economy’s closed loop systems ought to be promoted through different marketing channels. Hotels and restaurants can use marketing communications through different media to raise awareness on how they are capable of generating less waste (Camilleri, 2016b). They should promote sustainable production and consumption behaviors through different media outlets, including traditional and digital channels (Camilleri & Costa, 2018; Camilleri, 2018a; 2018b; 2018c).
The hospitality businesses responsible initiatives can raise their profile among different stakeholders, including customers and suppliers, among others (Camilleri, 2015; 2018d). The customers will probably appreciate the hospitality businesses’ efforts to reduce their impact to the natural environment. Some of their sustainability measures are dependent on the active commitment of hotel clients and restaurant patrons. Therefore, it is very important for them to raise awareness about their waste prevention campaigns and on their environmental achievements so that they may feel part of the responsible initiatives. This way, they become key participants in the reduction of generated waste. Hence, businesses can educate customers about responsible consumption behaviors to help them in their endeavors to curb food loss and the generation of unnecessary waste [Camilleri & Ratten, 2020; Camilleri, 2019b). The food and beverage servers could engage in conversations with their clients to better understand their food requirements.
In a similar vein, this research suggests that the hospitality businesses ought to forge closer relationships with their suppliers including farmers and other retailers, to implement responsible inventory management systems and just-in-time purchasing. Suppliers must continuously be informed and updated on their procurement policies. Their ongoing communications may facilitate collaborative practices that may translate to positive outcomes, including the sourcing of better-quality products with extended lifecycles and longer expiry dates.
This contribution reported various preventative measures and recycling practices that may be taken on board by hospitality practitioners and their stakeholders, to reduce food waste and its detrimental effect on our natural environment and biospheres. There is scope for trade unions and industry associations in tourism and hospitality, to promote the responsible behaviors, among their members.
Notwithstanding, regulatory authorities and their policy makers can encourage hospitality practitioners to invest in environmentally friendly systems to minimize their food loss and waste. They can offer them financial incentives like tax deductions or exemptions when they donate surplus food. Alternatively, governments can support them by providing adequate infrastructures and resources including on-site composting facilities and/or methanization processes that are aimed to minimize the accumulation of food waste that finishes in landfills. Such responsible investments will ultimately result in a sustainable value chain in tourism cities, as they add value to the hospitality businesses, to the environment and to society, at large (Salonen & Camilleri, 2020; Camilleri, 2017b).
Suggested citation: Camilleri, M.A. (2021). Sustainable Production and Consumption of Food. Mise-en-Place Circular Economy Policies and Waste Management Practices in Tourism Cities. Sustainability, 13, 9986. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179986 (OPEN ACCESS)
Camilleri, M.A. (2015a). Re-conceiving CSR programmes for education. In Corporate Social Responsibility: Academic Insights and Impacts, Vertigans, S. & Idowu, S.O. (Eds), Springer: Cham, Swtizerland, http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319350820
Camilleri, M.A. (2018c) Unleashing corporate social responsibility communication for small businesses in the digital era. In Academy of Management Annual Conference Proceedings: Improving Lives, Chicago, 11 August 2018, Academy of Management. Available online: https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/AMBPP.2018.10467abstract
Camilleri, M.A. (2018d). Theoretical insights on integrated reporting: The inclusion of non-financial capitals in corporate disclosures. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 23, 4, 567-581. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-01-2018-0016:
Camilleri, M.A. & Costa, R. A. (2018). The small businesses’ responsible entrepreneurship and their stakeholder engagement through digital media. 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE) (11 September). University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal. Available online: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3233528 (accessed on 24 August 2021).
Camilleri, M. A. (2019a). The circular economy’s closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal. Sustainable Development, 27(3), 530-536. https://doi.org/10.1002/sd.1909
Camilleri, M. A. (2020). European environment policy for the circular economy: Implications for business and industry stakeholders. Sustainable Development, 28(6), 1804-1812.https://doi.org/10.1002/SD.2113
This is an excerpt from my latest paper that was accepted for publication in Wiley’s Sustainable Development (impact factor: 4.082).
This is an excerpt from my latest paper that was accepted for publication in Wiley’s Sustainable Development (impact factor: 4.082).
The EU’s (2020) plan is encouraging businesses as well as their consumers to engage in the circular economy’s sustainable production and consumption behaviors, and to use and reuse products, materials and resources. It is urging them to minimize their impact on the natural environment by reducing their waste and emissions.
The transition towards the circular economy can be facilitated if the EU national governments would create a favorable climate for stakeholder engagement. They can provide technical assistance, mobilize financial resources and facilitate positive impact investing in circular economy systems.
Various academic articles confirmed that practitioners will only be intrigued to engage in the circular economy if it adds value to them, in terms of the economic return on investment, process improvements and product benefits. The business case will motivate practitioners, creditors and investors to shift from unsustainable and irresponsible practices to the circular economy’s sustainable production and consumption behaviors.
Business and industry practitioners are perceiving that there are economic and environmental benefits if they adopt cleaner production systems and sustainable supply chains. Notwithstanding, there are various organizations, including non-profit organizations that are actively engaged in repairing, refurbishing, restoring and/or recycling materials.
On the other hand, this paper identified some of the possible challenges that could have an effect on the businesses’ engagement in the circular economy. The advancement toward the circular economic practices may still prove to be difficult and challenging for some industries.
For the time being, there are many practitioners that are opting to remain in their status quo as they still rely on linear economy models. In pragmatic terms, it may not be feasible for businesses in the mining and extraction industries and/or for those that manufacture products and components for textiles, plastics, electrical and electronic items, among others, to avoid using hazardous substances (as there are no sustainable options for them) or to reduce their externalities, including emissions and waste.
These industry sectors are still finding it hard to reuse and recycle materials or to dispose of their waste in a sustainable manner. For example, the construction and demolition industry will incur significant costs to sort, clean, repair and reutilize materials like scrapped steel, metals, tiles, cement, glass, et cetera.
The smaller business enterprises may not have access to adequate and sufficient financial resources to make green investments. They may not perceive the business case for the long term, sustainable investment, or they may not be interested in new technologies that will require them to implement certain behavioral changes.
There may be other challenges that could slow down or prevent the industry practitioners’ engagement in the circular economy strategies. The governments may not introduce hard legislation to trigger the corporations’ sustainable production and consumption behaviors as this could impact on the businesses’ prospects.
For these reasons, businesses may not mitigate their externalities, including their emissions or unwanted waste, as these responsible actions would require changing or upgrading the extant technologies or practices. Alternatively, they may face other contingent issues like weak economic incentives; access to finance; shortage of green technologies; and a lack of appropriate performance standards in their workplace environments, among other issues.
This review indicated that, in many cases, the European policies and strategies have led to a significant reduction in waste and externalities in different EU contexts. However, the Commission ought to accelerate the shift toward the circular economy ~ in the light of the significant changes in our natural environment and biospheres.
Relevant academic research reported that policy makers can possibly provide the right infrastructures, resources and capabilities in terms of logistics, supply, distribution, training, et cetera, to different businesses and industry practitioners. For instance, they can create clusters that would facilitate the circular economy’s closed loop systems. The development of clusters may result in less dispersed value chains, economies of scales and scope, as well as improved operational efficiencies in manufacturing and logistics.
How to Cite: Camilleri, M.A. (2021). European environment policy for the circular economy: Implications for business and industry stakeholders. Sustainable Development, https://doi.org/10.1002/SD.2113
The corporate citizenship term was typically used to describe the corporations that can contribute to the ethical, philanthropic and societal goals. Therefore, this notion is rooted in political science as it directs corporations to respond to non-market pressures.
Throughout the years, the corporate citizenship agenda has been wrought from distinctive corporate social responsibility (CSR) theories and approaches. Its conceptual foundations can be found in the CSR literature (e.g., Carroll, 1979), corporate social responsiveness (e.g., Clarkson, 1995), corporate social performance (e.g., Albinger & Freeman, 2000), the theory of the firm” (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001), stakeholder engagement (Strand & Freeman, 2013); and other enlightened ‘self-interest’ theories; as corporate citizenship can be a source of opportunity, innovation and competitive advantage (Camilleri, 2017a, 2017b; Porter & Kramer, 2006). For this reason, this concept continues to receive specific attention, particularly by those responsible businesses that are differentiating themselves through responsible and sustainable behaviours.
The multinational corporations (MNCs) have been (and still are) under pressure to exhibit “good corporate citizenship” in every country or market from where they run their business. MNCs are continuously monitored by their stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, creditors, investors, customers and the community at large. They are also being scrutinised by academic researchers. Several empirical studies have explored the individuals’ attitudes and perceptions toward corporate citizenship. Very often, their measurement involved quantitative analyses that investigated the corporations’ responsible behaviours (Camilleri, 2017a; 2017b). Other research has focused on the managerial perceptions about corporate citizenship (e.g., Basu & Palazzo, 2008). A number of similar studies have gauged corporate citizenship by adopting Fortune’s reputation index (Flanagan, O’Shaughnessy, & Palmer, 2011; Melo & Garrido‐Morgado, 2012), the KLD index (Dupire & M’Zali, 2018; Fombrun, 1998; Griffin & Mahon, 1997) or Van Riel and Fombrun’s (2007) Reptrak. Such measures expected the surveyed executives to assess the extent to which their company behaves responsibly toward the environment and the community (Fryxell and Wang, 1994).
Despite the wide usage of such measures in past research, the appropriateness of these indices still remains doubtful. For instance, Fortune’s reputation index failed to account for the multidimensionality of the corporate citizenship construct; as it is suspected to be more significant of management quality than of corporate citizenship (Waddock & Graves, 1997). Fortune’s past index suffered from the fact that its items were not based on theoretical arguments as they did not appropriately represent the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary dimensions of the corporate citizenship construct.
Pinkston and Carroll (1994) identified four dimensions of corporate citizenship, including; orientations, stakeholders, issues and decision-making autonomy. They argued that by observing orientations, one may better understand the inclinations or the posturing behaviours of organisations with respect to corporate citizenship. Pinkston and Carroll (1994) sought to identify the stakeholder groups that are benefiting from the businesses’ corporate citizenship practices. They argued that the businesses’ decision-making autonomy determined at what organisational level they engaged in corporate citizenship. In a similar vein, Griffin and Mahon (1997) combined four estimates of corporate citizenship: Fortune’s reputation index, the KLD index, the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), and the rankings that are provided in the Directory of Corporate Philanthropy.
Singh, De los Salmones Sanchez and Rodriguez del Bosque (2007) adopted a multidimensional perspective on three domains, including; commercial responsibility, ethical responsibility and social responsibility. Firstly, they proposed that the commercial responsibility construct relates to the businesses’ responsibility to develop high quality products and truthful marketing communications of their products’ attributes and features among customers. Secondly, they maintained that ethical responsibility is concerned with the businesses fulfilling their obligations toward their shareholders, suppliers, distributors and other agents with whom they make their dealings. Singh et al. (2007) argued that ethical responsibility involves the respect for the human rights and norms that are defined in the law when carrying out business activities. They hinted that respecting ethical principles in business relationships has more priority than achieving superior economic performance. Their other domain, social responsibility is concerned about with corporate citizenship initiatives that are characterised by the businesses’ laudable behaviors (Camilleri, 2017c). The authors suggest that the big businesses could allocate part of their budget to the natural environment, philanthropy, or toward social works that supported the most vulnerable groups in society. This perspective supports the development of financing social and/or cultural activities and is also concerned with improving societal well-being (Singh et al., 2007).
There are several actors within a society, including the government and policy makers, businesses, marketplace stakeholders and civil society organisations among others (Camilleri, 2015). It is within this context that a relationship framework is required to foster corporate citizenship practices in order to enhance the businesses’ legitimacy amongst stakeholders (Camilleri, 2017; Camilleri, 2018). The corporate citizenship practices including socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices may be triggered by the institutional and/or stakeholder pressures.
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This is an excerpt from one of my contributions that will appear in Springer’s Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management.
Abstract submission deadline: 30th June 2020
Full chapters due: 31st December 2020
The Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) defined sustainable development as; “development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 43). Its underlying assumption is that the world’s physical resources are not finite; therefore, they have to be managed responsibly to sustain future generations (Camilleri, 2018a; Camilleri, 2014). Subsequently, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development has put forward Agenda 21 that dedicated a chapter that was focused on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. This document recommended that the UN’s member states ought to intensify their efforts to reduce the use of scarce resources during production processes, whilst minimising the environmental impacts from the generation of waste and pollution (Camilleri, 2018a; Camilleri, 2014; Agenda 21, 1992).
In 2002, the UN Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development also made reference to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. The UN’s member states were urged to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner and with lower negative environmental impacts; by promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, whilst reducing waste (WSSD, 2002, p. 13). Moreover, in another resolution, entitled; “The future we want,” the General Assembly at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing green economy policies in the context of sustainable development. The heads of state and government or their representatives have agreed to continue promoting the integrated and sustainable management of ecosystems, whilst facilitating their conservation, regeneration, and restoration of resources (UNCSD, 2012). Furthermore, during the UN’s General Assembly Resolution of September 25 2015 entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the world leaders have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals that replaced the previous millennium development goals that were established in the year 2000. Specifically, the Sustainable Development Goal 12 of the 2030 agenda, namely, “Sustainable Consumption and Production” explained that there is an opportunity for business and industry to reap economic gains through resource and energy efficiencies. It also raised awareness on the use of sustainable infrastructures and urged the UN member states to address air, water, and soil pollution to minimise their environmental impact (UNDP, 2015). Moreover, the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21) and Resolutions 1/5 and 2/7 on chemicals and waste, and 2/8 on sustainable production and consumption, as adopted by the first and second sessions of the United Nations Environment Assembly (that was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on the June 27, 2014 and the May 27, 2016), are also considered as important policy instruments for many stakeholders, as they have paved the way for the transition towards the CE strategy.
These intergovernmental policy recommendations on sustainable consumption and production have led to increased regulatory pressures on business and industry towards controlled operations management and environmentally responsible practices.
Relevant theoretical underpinnings reported that the circular economy reduces the reliance on resource extraction and raw materials (Camilleri, 2018b; Camilleri, 2017; Cooper, 1999). Therefore, it restores any damage in resource acquisition by ensuring that little waste is generated throughout the production process and during the products’ life. Liu, Li, Zuo, Zhang, and Wang (2009) explained that the circular economy aims at minimising the generation of waste, as it involves environmental conservation. Similarly, Su, Heshmati, Geng, and Yu (2013) contended that the circular economy strategy involves efficiency‐oriented control systems at all stages of production, distribution, and consumption of materials. They made reference to energy efficiency and water conservation, land management, and soil protection, among other issues. Hence, the circular economy model can lead to resource and energy efficiencies as well as economic development.
In this light, the publisher is calling for theoretical and empirical contributions that are focused on the sustainable production and consumption of resources, materials and products. Therefore, the readers of this publication will be in a better position to understand the operations and strategies in manufacturing industries as well as in closed loop and product-service systems (Camilleri, 2018a). This special issue will include but is not limited to the following topics:
Alternative consumption patterns;
Assessment and Reporting;
Circular economy business models;
Circular economy product designs;
Climate change policy and adaptation;
Closed loop systems;
Corporate social responsibility;
Ecological management and natural capital;
Education for sustainability;
Energy use and consumption;
Extended producer responsibility;
Footprints and other assessment types;
Green/sustainable supply chains;
Industrial, agricultural and supply chains;
Life cycle assessment;
Resource and energy use;
Urban and regional sustainability;
Academics and researchers are invited to submit a 300-word abstract before the 30th June 2020. Submissions should be sent to Mark.A.Camilleri@um.edu.mt. Authors will be notified about the editorial decision during July 2020. The accepted chapters should be submitted before the 31st December 2020. The length of the chapters should be around 7,000 words (including references, figures and tables). The references should be presented in APA style (Version 6). All submitted chapters will be critically reviewed on a double-blind review basis. All authors will be requested to serve as reviewers for this book. They will receive a notification of acceptance, rejection or suggested modifications –before the 25th February 2021.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for the publication of the book chapters. All abstracts / proposals should be submitted via the editor’s email.
Prof. Dr. Mark Anthony Camilleri (Ph.D. Edinburgh)
Following the double-blind peer review process, the full chapters will be submitted to Emerald for final review. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit https://www.emerald.com/insight/. This prospective publication will be released in 2021.
Camilleri, M. (2014). Advancing the sustainable tourism agenda through strategic CSR perspectives. Tourism Planning & Development, 11(1), 42-56.
Camilleri, M. A. (2017). Closing the Loop of the Circular Economy for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. In Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management (pp. 175-190). Springer, Cham.
Camilleri, M. A. (2018a). The circular economy’s closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal. Sustainable Development, 27(3), 530-536.
Camilleri, M. A. (2018b). Closing the loop for resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production: A critical review of the circular economy. International Journal of Sustainable Development.21(1-4), 1-17.
Cooper, T. (1999). Creating an economic infrastructure for sustainable product design. Journal of Sustainable Product Design, 8, 7– 17.
Liu, Q., Li, H. M., Zuo, X. L., Zhang, F. F., & Wang, L. (2009). A survey and analysis on public awareness and performance for promoting circular economy in China: A case study from Tianjin. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17, 265– 270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.06.003
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