SUSTAINABILITY AS A DYNAMIC CAPACITY: EVIDENCE IN A BRAZILIAN SUGARCANE ENERGY COMPANY

Luciana Oranges Cezarino, Lara Bartocci Liboni, Adriana Cristina Ferreira Caldana

Abstract


Environmental concerns have increased the awareness of the limitations of the modern conception of nature and its disastrous consequences.  Corporate sustainability consists of ensuring long-term economic viability and, at the same time, contributing to the socio-economic development of communities, the health of the environment and the stability of society (Ethos, 2009). The concept of corporate sustainability involves sustainable economic growth that is aligned with social development and environmental conservation. Consequently, a new development strategy emerges embodying political, economic, social, technological, and environmental dimensions. This new paradigm of a sustainable development implies the need for profound changes in the current production systems, human society organisation, and utilisation of natural resources essential to human life and other living beings (Belico et. al, 2000).  Therefore, the paradigm of sustainability implies the need for changes in the current production systems, including human society organization and utilization of natural resources essential to human life and other living beings (Liboni; Cezarino, 2014).The aim of this paper is to analyze the development of changes in operations management towards sustainability using the Soft System Methodology. The results show that Balbo company, Brazilian sugarcane industry, has developed new ways to change and adapt in a disturbing environment was able to built dynamics capabilities.  SSM is a soft methodology, which was developed from the observation that not all problems and situations faced by corporations are of a precise nature (Martinelli and Ventura, 2006, p. 163). This systemic method was “designed to assist in the resolution of soft issues, which are of complex nature and involve many human elements” (Martinelli; Ventura, 2006, p.163).  Native branch and all the changes demanded by the company’s new business were the source of development of dynamic capacities and adaptation of the company, which shifted from a stable commodity market to a dynamic, increasing market of organic food products. In order to seek a more sustainable management model, the company has developed dynamic capacities within the economic sphere focusing on efficacy, reduction and reuse of solid wastes, and cogeneration of energy; within the social sphere, the rural workers are assisted with security and quality of life programs; and within the environmental sphere, the company, through the Cana Verde project, has environmental certifications and preserves protected areas by conciliating the respect for the environment with the production processes of all areas. 

Keywords


sustainability, SSM, dynamics capabilities, sugarcane industry

Full Text:

PDF