Consumer companies cited competing priorities as their greatest challenge Automotive companies cited insufficient resources as their greatest challenge Construction companies cited an unproven value proposition as their greatest challenge Exhibit 6. Business Leaders Reported Various Internal Challenges to Sustainability Note: Due to rounding, the percentages for some industries do not total 100 percent. MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 22
Job position Expertise in sustainability Region Size of organization Industry Exhibit 7: A Diverse Mix of Business Leaders Responded to the Sustainability Survey 18% 3% 10% 6% 11% 7% 9% 3% 2% 2% 3% 9% 22% 69% 3% 28% 6% 27% 14% 3% 13% 6% 72% 14% 15% 14% 52% 34% 26% 0 20 40 60 80 Senior manager C-suite executive Other Other Expert Novice Some experience Africa/Middle East Asia Pacific Australia/New Zealand Europe Global Latin America North America Other Fewer than 10,000 employees 10,000 to 100,000 employees More than 100,000 employees Agriculture, mining, and water Automotive Conglomerate Construction Consumer products and retail Energy Financial services Health care Industrial goods and services Media and entertainment Technology and telecommunications Percentage of respondents MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 23
THE MINI-CASES: 5 COMPANIES, 5 STRATEGIES, 5 TRANSFORMATIONS A BETTER PLACE: Charging Ahead in Favorable Regulatory Climates Backstory: Better Place saw a future in electric cars and a demand for ways to recharge them. But how soon will electric charging stations make sense? Challenge: What’s the fastest way to bring the electric “filling station”—a technology of the future—to market? Key moves: Shai Agassi founded Better Place in 2007, on a straightforward rationale: Oil is finite, petroleum prices would inevitably rise, and global warming had created the impetus to reduce carbon emissions. Electric cars will be part of the emissions-reduction answer, as long as they have refilling stations. Still, there was a big gap between that knowledge and the kind of favorable policies needed to create a critical mass of electric cars, at least in most markets. So Better Place decided to analyze which geographies had already made political and cultural strides toward favoring electric vehicles—in essence, “outsourcing” its work on regulatory policy change to communities where it was already under way. Among Better Place’s criteria for identifying hospitable locations for operation were that the public had to be receptive to electric cars, therefore creating an underlying market, and the government had to be creating a political climate to bring electric transportation to life. At the top of the list of nations was Israel, which wants all new cars to be electric by 2020. Urban centers in the nation are also less than 150 kilometers apart (about 90 miles) and 90 percent of car owners drive less than 70 kilometers per day, perfect for a short-haul electric vehicle. Add on gasoline taxes and a burgeoning wind industry and Israel appeared the perfect habitat to nurture electric vehicles—and thus electric refilling stations.
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