Master Thesis on Integrating Sustainability into the Strategy Process

The master thesis “Integrating Sustainability into the Strategy Process: Learnings from the Power and Utilities Industry” analyses the integration of the concept of sustainability into the whole strategy process within the power and utilities industry. Here is the abstract:

Over the last decades, the issue of sustainability has received unprecedented attention. Companies experience increasing pressure from investors, governments, the public as well as other relevant stakeholders to commit to fostering sustainability in their activities. This development is referred to as the sustainability imperative. While numerous insights on what strategies are pursued to create sustainable impact exist, less is known about how sustainability can best be integrated into the strategy process of incumbent firms. Considering this research gap identified, this thesis first maps the typical strategy process of an incumbent in the Power & Utilities industry. Second, it identifies how sustainability can best be integrated into that process. Following a grounded theory research design, the findings show that the best-in-class strategy process consists of an analysis stage, followed by a formulation and an implementation stage. The best practice for integrating sustainability is to include it in all stages and elements. Especially the integration from the very beginning of the strategy process, i.e., already during the analysis stage, is critical. This thesis adds to the existing literature on the strategy process and the integration of sustainability into it.