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From Global Goals and Planetary Boundaries to Public Governance—A Framework for Prioritizing Organizational Sustainability Activities

Helena Ranängen (), Mathias Cöster (), Raine Isaksson () and Rickard Garvare ()
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Helena Ranängen: Department of Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Mathias Cöster: Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, 751 05 Uppsala, Sweden
Raine Isaksson: Department of Engineering Sciences, Quality Sciences, Uppsala University, 751 05 Uppsala, Sweden
Rickard Garvare: Department of Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 8, 1-26

Abstract: Background: A particular challenge in the work to realize the global goals for sustainable development is to find ways for organizations to identify and prioritize organizational activities that address these goals. There are also several sustainability initiatives, guidelines and tools to consider when planning, working with and reporting on sustainable development. Although progress has been made, little has been written about how organizations rise to and manage the challenge. The paper explores how organizations address sustainable development, which sustainability aspects they prioritize and whether previous research can improve the priority process by using materiality analysis approach. Methods: A case study approach was chosen. Data was collected by interactive workshops and documentation. The participating organizations were two Swedish municipalities; Results: The municipalities have introduced a number of sustainability aspects into their organizational governance, especially in terms of society, human rights and the environment. A materiality analysis was conducted to determine the relevance and significance of sustainability aspects. The result shows that climate action, biodiversity and freshwater use are aspects that should be prioritized; Conclusion: The materiality analysis methodology chosen for prioritizing of sustainability aspects was useful and easy to work with. However, the sustainability aspect matrix and the risk assessment have to be updated regularly in order to form an effective base for the materiality analysis.

Keywords: materiality analysis; sustainability aspects; sustainability management; public organizations; public governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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