Matching Items (27)
- All Subjects: Sustainability
- Creators: School of International Letters and Cultures
- Status: Published
Economics and Sustainability: Analysing the Global Impact of Business Through the Lens of Sustainable Practices
This thesis details the impact of sustainable practices, or lack thereof, among IKEA and Chanel. It takes these principles and analyzes the effectiveness of them and works to implement them across industries and companies of different sizes and organizational structures.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great need for United States’ restaurants to “go green” due to consumers’ habits of frequently eating out. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this initiative to lose traction. While the amount of customers ordering takeout has increased, there is less emphasis on sustainability.<br/>Plastic is known for its harmful effects on the environment and the extreme length of time it takes to decompose. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), almost 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans at an annual rate, threatening not only the safety of marine species but also human health. Modern food packaging materials have included a blend of synthetic ingredients, trickling into our daily lives and polluting the air, water, and land. Single-use plastic items slowly degrade into microplastics and can take up to hundreds of years to biodegrade.<br/>Due to COVID-19, restaurants have switched to takeout and delivery options to adapt to the new business environment and guidelines enforced by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) mandated guidelines. Some of these guidelines include: notices encouraging social distancing and mask-wearing, mandated masks for employees, and easy access to sanitary supplies. This cultural shift is motivating restaurants to search for a quick, cheap, and easy fix to adapt to the increased demand of take-out and delivery methods. This increases their plastic consumption of items such as plastic bags/paper bags, styrofoam containers, and beverage cups. Plastic is the most popular takeout material because of its price and durability as well as allowing for limited contamination and easy disposability.<br/>Almost all food products come in packaging and this, more often than not, is single-use. Food is the largest market out of all the packaging industry, maintaining roughly two-thirds of material going to food. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that almost half of all municipal solid waste is made up of food and food packaging materials. In 2014, over 162 million tons of packaging material waste was generated in the states. This typically contains toxic inks and dyes that leach into groundwater and soil. When degrading, pieces of plastic absorb toxins like PCBs and pesticides, and then each piece will, in turn, release toxic chemicals like Bisphenol-A. Even before being thrown away, it causes negative effects for the environment. The creation of packaging materials uses many resources such as petroleum and chemicals and then releases toxic byproducts. Such byproducts include sludge containing contaminants, greenhouse gases, and heavy metal and particulate matter emissions. Unlike many other industries, plastic manufacturing has actually increased production. Demand has increased and especially in the food industry to keep things sanitary. This increase in production is reflective of the increase in waste. <br/>Although restaurants have implemented their own sustainable initiatives to combat their carbon footprint, the pandemic has unfortunately forced restaurants to digress. For example, Just Salad, a fast-food restaurant chain, incentivized customers with discounted meals to use reusable bowls which saved over 75,000 pounds of plastic per year. However, when the pandemic hit, the company halted the program to pivot towards takeout and delivery. This effect is apparent on an international scale. Singapore was in lock-down for eight weeks and during that time, 1,470 tons of takeout and food delivery plastic waste was thrown out. In addition, the Hong Kong environmental group Greeners Action surveyed 2,000 people in April and the results showed that people are ordering out twice as much as last year, doubling the use of plastic.<br/>However, is this surge of plastic usage necessary in the food industry or are there methods that can be used to reduce the amount of waste production? The COVID-19 pandemic caused a fracture in the food system’s supply chain, involving food, factory, and farm. This thesis will strive to tackle such topics by analyzing the supply chains of the food industry and identify areas for sustainable opportunities. These recommendations will help to identify areas for green improvement.
Green Pages is a sustainability-focused magazine publication created by our team in response to the need for increased post-secondary awareness and interest in the ethical circular economy. The magazine, designed and written by Dale Helvoigt, Caroline Yu, and Anne Snyder is available digitally and free of charge so that students and non-students alike have access to information and resources regarding sustainability. Each article is thoroughly researched with references provided so our readers seek to continue their education into our content. The end goal of Green Pages is to foster interest in all individuals, especially young people, on the current environmental climate and the sustainable practices that can be adopted into one's lifestyle in pursuit of a "greener" future.
Exploring the Spatial Networks of Sustainable Agritourism in the Municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, Puerto Rico
As climate change continues to escalate natural hazards around the globe, certain communities feel the impacts of these disasters more so than others. After Hurricane Maria devastated communities in 2017, Puerto Rico struggled to respond to the needs of its citizens, particularly those in rural areas. Many of the regions affected did not have resilient community structures in place to be able to withstand the systemic ripple effects of the hurricane. However, various community endeavors have developed post-Hurricane Maria to foster community collaboration and resiliency, including the development of agricultural tourism, otherwise known as agritourism. <br/>Although agritourism has begun to develop in rural regions of Puerto Rico, including the municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, a systems-understanding is lacking of the current agritourism situation in the region and its related capacities, limitations, and opportunities of agritourism. To address this gap, a spatially explicit understanding and map of the underlying tourism infrastructure is needed to support the development of sustainable agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales, and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico. <br/>This report spatially represents the current state of tourism opportunities in the region as a result of asking “What are the spatial networks of gastronomy, accommodations, farms, and attractions that support the development of agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico?” Three steps lead to the spatial representation starting with developing a comprehensive inventory. Second, we visualize the spatial map through Google Maps. Lastly, we explore the larger context of the report through an ArcGIS Storymap. The inventory will help with better understanding the number and variety of tourism resources available. The spatial visualization will help with understanding the distribution of resources and explore potential connections between resources and what relationships could be fostered in the future. Lastly, the ArcGIS Storymap will serve as a framework for outlining the future development of the SARE project. Overall, this report outlines the spatial maps of tourism resources and provides a tool to be used by community partners, tourists, and project partners.
This thesis project has been conducted in accordance with The Founder’s Lab initiative which is sponsored by the W. P. Carey School of Business. This program groups three students together and tasks them with creating a business idea, conducting the necessary research to bring the concept to life, and exploring different aspects of business, with the end goal of gaining traction. The product we were given to work through this process with was Hot Head, an engineering capstone project concept. The Hot Head product is a sustainable and innovative solution to the water waste issue we find is very prominent in the United States. In order to bring the Hot Head idea to life, we were tasked with doing research on topics ranging from the Hot Head life cycle to finding plausible personas who may have an interest in the Hot Head product. This paper outlines the journey to gaining traction via a marketing campaign and exposure of our brand on several platforms, with a specific interest in website traffic. Our research scope comes from mainly primary sources like gathering opinions of potential buyers by sending out surveys and hosting focus groups. The paper concludes with some possible future steps that could be taken if this project were to be continued.
This project dives into the journey of our entrepreneurial startup with the Founders Lab Thesis Program. In the global sports business industry, we knew that there was something missing. While conducting market research, there was little data and information about sustainability initiatives that engaged sports fans, especially in college sports. Not to mention, there was no sustainability information provided on any existing platforms that sporting teams use for ticketing and advertising. So, for our startup, we decided to create a website called SustainSports which gives fans the opportunity to inform themselves about sustainability initiatives at sports events (https://sustainsports.webflow.io/). These fans can also earn points and rewards for practicing sustainability activities at home. In short, SustainSports serves as an educational, interactive, and informative website that connects users to sustainability initiatives, community activities, and exciting rewards, while encouraging users to continue such environmentally-friendly practices in their daily lives. In chronological order, this thesis paper will examine the process we took to create SustainSports and demonstrate our efforts that properly allowed us to defend it one academic year later. From meetings with renowned sports enthusiasts and professors to interviews with ASU students and sports fans, we have listened to and taken in diverse perspectives to understand the perceptions of sustainability in the global sports industry. When we realized that there was a significant gap between sports and sustainability - both important elements of American society and culture - we knew a change needed to be made. Hence, SustainSports came to life, offering users a fresh opportunity to be more aware of their sustainability surroundings, while simultaneously enjoying the sports they know and love.
With the rise of fast fashion and its now apparent effects on climate change, there is an evident need for change in terms of how we as individuals use our clothing and footwear. Our team has created Ray Fashion Inc., a sustainable footwear company that focuses on implementing the circular economy to reduce the amount of waste generated in shoe creation. We have designed a sandal that accommodates the rapid consumption element of fast fashion with a business model that promotes sustainability through a buy-back method to upcycle and retain our materials.
This project draws sustainability material out of the textbook and into the body using a
role play simulation modeled around Michigan wolf management. In this case, role play simulation is a game fabricated to reflect the complexity of real-world conflict. The goal of the exercise is to engage players in mock negotiation and expand their knowledge of wicked environmental problems. By encouraging participants to question their own thought process, the activity aims to foster a transformational experience.
This thesis explores the likely impacts of climate change on agricultural production globally and in the state of Arizona, and on agricultural supply chains. It shows increases in severe weather, including hotter temperatures and droughts, will have a negative impact on crop production in the state and on global agricultural supply chains. It also shows the effects on the environment caused by our current cradle-to-grave supply chains. As a partial remedy, this thesis explores the benefits of vertical farming systems and shows how they could be of value to the residents of Arizona.
Over the past two decades, the fashion industry has evolved to both create and respond to the consumer's demand for fast fashion, the industry of inexpensive clothing produced at high rates to respond to changing consumer trends. As fast fashion grew in popularity, the new standard of the industry was to create and manufacture every other week, producing continual new trends for a market designed for continual consumption. As the garments being produced were made for short life-spans, textile waste began to grow and the fashion industry was named the second largest pollutant in the world next to oil. Coming out of a market saturated with clothing, a new trend focused around sustainability and reuse has emerged: the resale market. With increased awareness for sustainability, circular fashion business models have emerged from a more linear and disposable supply chain. By focusing on environmental, social, and financial aspects of a supply chain, otherwise known as the triple bottom line, we discuss how second-hand shopping should be managed to satisfy customer shopping expectations.
The creative project of this thesis showcases various wardrobes that have solely been purchased second-hand. The purpose of the creative presentation is to show that no matter one’s style preference, occupation, or age, second hand shopping can appeal to every type of customer. Second hand shopping is not only for “thrifty” millennials, it it for everyone, and can encompass anyone’s clothing needs.