Business And Natural Resources. Adding Business Value Through Collaboration Omar Romero-Hernandez, Sergio Romero
Statement of the Problem: The proposed paper includes an analysis of successful strategies adopted to conserve natural resources and gain business advantage. Climate change has contributed to an increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as wildfires and thunderstorms. The risks and civil impacts of these climate events could be mitigated with creative NGO and private business partnerships.
The case focuses on how Dow, a Chemical company, integrate the value of nature into Dow’s day-to-day decision making process. Mark Weick, Director of Sustainability Programs, and Neil Hawkins, Corporate Vice President of Sustainability, must decide on how to take the knowledge and techniques developed at the pilot sites and roll them out to 135 sites worldwide. Collaboration between Dow and TNC (The Nature Conservancy) sits at the center of the case.
Hypothesis: Environmental challenges have traditionally been solved using expensive “grey” infrastructure techniques consisting of capital equipment use, construction, and complex engineering designed to solve a specific problem. However, companies and public institutions have found that “green” infrastructure can be a cost-effective and dynamic alternative that takes the form of ecosystem services. Public Private Partnerships (“P3s”) are collaborative agreements between government bodies and private institutions to achieve these common long-term goals such as forest health and can leverage private capital to perform public services that benefit a diverse set of stakeholders.
Conclusion & Significance: Innovative collaborations between private business and social NGOs are a key driver in leveraging ecosystem services to address pressing environmental challenges, with significant potential to compensate for increasingly scarce resources for public services.
Professor Omar Romero-Hernandez is a professor and researcher at Hult International Business School. He is a Chemical Engineer with graduate studies in Economic Policy and Government and a PhD in Process Economics and Environmental Impact from Imperial College, England. He has worked for a diverse range of public and private organizations such as Procter & Gamble, PEMEX (Oil & Gas), Accenture, and the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, Center for Economic and Social Studies. He has led several internationally awarded projects in the field of sustainable business strategies, renewable energy and business processes. In 2010 he was a recipient of the Franz Edelman Award, one of the world’s most prestigious awards on Operations Research.
Keywords: Ecosystems Services, life cycle initiatives, sustainability journey