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The Corporate Sustainability of Royal Dutch Shell: A Green Model Investigation into One of the Most Pollutant Corporations in the world
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Business, Economics and Design, Linnaeus School of Business and Economics.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Business, Economics and Design, Linnaeus School of Business and Economics.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In light of never before seen environmental degradation and social injustice, the urgency to move forward on the path of sustainable development has skyrocketed. As Millennials, we see it in our duty to raise awareness about the dangers of our lifestyles and contribute with a solution to measuring sustainability. Corporations alone or along with other market players have been quoted many times as the ones ‘who will save the world’. Thus, the theoretical framework places an emphasis on corporate sustainability, in addition to sustainable development and TBL.

As supporters of the view that corporations will play a defining role, the thesis is an investigation into the sustainability of one of the most pollutant corporations, Royal Dutch Shell. As such, the formulated four-dimensional model (Green Model) stands as an addition to the plethora of frameworks in reporting and describing corporate sustainability. In consequence, the research question is aimed at describing the corporate sustainability of Shell, meaning actions, processes and policies as the focus. As such, the emphasis is on the in-depth description of its sustainable or unsustainable characteristics. The path of sustainability is revealed through an analysis that includes 39 indicators. For this, secondary data was collected from Shell itself and other unrelated sources in an attempt to provide an unbiased perspective. The Green Model also contains a rating scale going from favorable and neutral to unfavorable for a visual representation of findings in all indicators. The conclusion is based on the Green Model findings in the case study, plus the Dunphy phase model of sustainability, as an additional tool to answer the research question. Thus, the conclusion reveals the good and the bad deeds, which confirm Shell’s dual nature of actions in terms of sustainability along with an indication of the corporation’s future road.

Regarding the case study, Shell was found to hold an unfavorable position on the path of sustainability based on the Green Model. Although this is not surprising, the focus is on considering the positive aspects along with the negative ones. This framework indicated the four footings are not balanced. First, the economic dimension is favored. Second, the environmental dimension versus the social one looks at a disadvantage for the ecosystem, and the fourth dimension, sustainable thinking is deemed unfavorable because the future energy plan is unsustainable. In addition, Shell is seen positioned in between the phase of efficiency and that of strategic proactivity, based on the Dunphy phase model. Thus, these findings point to what Shell can do next in order to move forward on the path of sustainability. But, also they bring to surface the process of alignment of such a corporation. The project is concluded with a discussion of the duality of Shell, recommendations, as well as a description of the Ecotopia, as the ultimate goal of sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 117 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, Sustainability, Corporation, Corporate Sustainable Development, Environment, Society, Resources, Energy, TBL, Reporting, Shell
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-12492OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-12492DiVA: diva2:422922
Subject / course
Business Administration - Organization Leadership
Educational program
Leadership and Management in International Context, Master Programme, 60 credits
Presentation
2011-05-31, NY204, Grondalsvagen, Kalmar, 11:15 (English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-14 Last updated: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved

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