The Quest for the Holy Grail : How Nordic sports businesses incorporate sustainability and how it can be used as a strategy for competitive advantage
Sammanfattning: Creating a competitive advantage is often contextualized as the finding the Holy Grail of strategy. This study examines how Nordic sports businesses incorporate sustainability and how it can be used as a strategy to create a competitive advantage. The climate change debate, and increased consumer environmental consciousness has compelled companies to endeavor for a sustainable development. The sport industry has in general lacking behind in the green transition. However, they are now progressively trying to reconstruct their businesses model to a more sustainable approach. Consequently, more companies are today trying to market their brands to be perceived as sustainable. Although, the challenge is to how position a brand as sustainable without being accused for greenwashing. The thesis structure is based on three segments. Corporate sustainability, sustainability marketing and corporate transformation. The study was based on a qualitative research method, based from six case study interviews with companies from Sweden and Finland. The main research findings was that sustainability has become an increasingly important issue for Nordic sports businesses. The driving force behind the sustainable development is three different stakeholder. Customers, policy makers and employees at the own organization. The Agenda 2030 can be seen as a powerful and tangible set of framework, used to better implement sustainability. Another finding is that sustainability is mostly communicated on product level rather than on corporate level because of the fear of greenwashing accusation. Finally, creating a competitive advantage through corporate sustainability is the main objectives. In order to accomplish that desired outcome, the strategy have to been based on sound businesses practices which depends on how the company is using, and absorbing both internal and external resources and capabilities.
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