|Barriers to Sustainability in Plastics-related Industries|
|by Bonnie J. Bachman and Shristy Bashyal, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Margaret Baumann, GHA Associates|
|Marketing Fall 2012|
Although many industries today recognize the importance of sustainability, it is not easy to address it effectively. This study
focused on understanding the importance of sustainability as part of the corporate agenda in different plastics-related industries
and the strategies these companies are implementing to address sustainability effectively.
What is sustainability?
The most significant external challenges faced by the respondents was insufficient customer demand or need (30 percent) and was followed by an absence of clear industry standards (23 percent).
On the whole, not persuaded of a business case or proven value proposition was the most significant internal challenge noted in the survey (22 percent). This is of interest since respondents were almost equally split when asked if their organization had developed a clear business case or proven value proposition for sustainability. Other important internal challenges noted were a lack of understanding regarding the most effective ways to take action and not enough resources to address sustainability issues.
Overall, only six percent indicated their organizations did not address sustainability issues and 15 percent were not clear on who has responsibility. Thirty-six percent indicated all employees have a responsibility with 11 percent reporting a senior or executive-level individual has full responsibility.
Excerpted with permission from the author from an article appearing in Plastics Engineering. Members of SPE were surveyed to obtain data.