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Journal of Sustainability Studies

Abstract

Within this “how to” practices-based study is a generalizable framework of engagement and collaborative learning to operationalize sustainability for any organization. Purposefully cultivating the application of cross-disciplinary engagement, a phased approach is proposed to understanding complex, real-world sustainability challenges while making them material to an organization. Practical value for managers and future change agents includes a systematic approach, creative solutions, and feasible recommendations for new value propositions. Contributions of operationalizing sustainability include, but are not limited to: a structured approach to building a shared understanding of the sustainability paradigm; benchmarking; brainstorming; and prioritizing best-practice options. Pedagogical value for business students (and faculty) includes improved skills for framing complex problems, first-hand insight, research to emerging business challenges, and increased cross-discipline integration. Based on several years of applied insight with practitioners and graduate business students, operationalizing sustainability provides new integration opportunities for strategic planning and day-to-day activities. Information within this study will help readers understand the why, what, and how of operationalizing organizational practices aligned with strategy and a shared vision of a sustainable future.

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