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Pramodita Sharma

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Pramodita Sharma and Sanjay Sharma

The chapter introduces the cases in this volume of business families that have values to use their family enterprises as a force for the good of society. These families have a commitment as a responsible company with a moral obligation to contribute to society. In order to ensure of success of their commitment, they have control over strategic decision-making in their firms and an intention of transgenerational continuity. Their family enterprises have translated their values into a strong sense of purpose to achieve certain sustainable development goals (whether explicitly or implicitly), have been professionalized to foster the development of unique capabilities and appropriate organization design and structure, and partner with a variety of stakeholders to ensure the simultaneous achievement of social, environmental and profitability goals. A brief overview of the cases is followed by an identification of the common themes of commitment, control and continuity for the business families and purpose, professionalization and partnerships for the family enterprises run by them.

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Edited by Pramodita Sharma and Sanjay Sharma

This book describes the sustainable development journey of 15 business families committed to using their enterprises as a force of societal good. In turn, each family reaps benefits of high economic returns, while contributing to society and environment. The youngest family firm is in its 20s, while there are others over 100 years of age. Size, industry, locations vary. But all these business families share a deep shared commitment towards sustainable development, control over strategic decision-making in their firms and trans-generational continuity intentions. Family values embed their enterprises with a strong sense of purpose to achieve their chosen sustainable development goals. Professionalized systems and processes foster the development of capabilities, and partnerships with a variety of stakeholders ensure the simultaneous achievement of social, environmental and profitability goals.
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Pramodita Sharma, Sanjay Sharma and Alexa Steiner

Rocky Mountain Soap Company, a family business in the personal care industry, prioritizes sustainability in every aspect of business; a company with a mission that reflects the founders’ values and demonstrates commitment to sustainability from its strategy to its physical spaces. Workshops and stores filled with recycled and eco-friendly materials. Reclaimed marble, LED lights, low VOC paint, recycled carpets, salvaged and reclaimed wood used throughout the company’s retail spaces and a corporate office powered by renewable energy. This pioneering family business, nestled in the serene Canadian mountain town of Canmore, Alberta, is founded and run with the family’s core principles of loving nature and encouraging and educating consumers to choose a toxin-free lifestyle. The family has patiently invested its capital and energies toward a dedicated achievement of its core principles—and rather than focusing on short-term financial returns, has reaped above industry average growth and performance by focusing on the long-term. The company is a model for sustainable family businesses everywhere.

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Pramodita Sharma, Sanjay Sharma and Alyssa Schuetz

Established in UK in 1999, Supreme Creations is the world’s largest ethical manufacturer of eco- friendly reusable shopping bags for the grocery and retail industries. The company also produces sustainable packaging and luxury goods for health care, cosmetics and beauty, and fashion industries. Equally focused on its founding principles of professionalism, ethical treatment of stakeholders, and eco-friendly products, this second-generation family business is headquartered in London and has its manufacturing facilities in southern India. With over 800 employees, 90% of whom are women, Supreme Creations serves over 60,000 clients globally. The singular focus of this company is to help reduce single-use plastics in the world.

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Frank Hoy and Pramodita Sharma

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Pramodita Sharma and Frank Hoy

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Pramodita Sharma and Rocki-Lee DeWitt

Established in 1937 as a celery re-packager in Boston, today State Garden Inc. is a leading supplier of organic prewashed salad greens to grocery stores in Eastern USA. Financial prudence and patient reinvestments to enhance quality and safety, combined with the DeMichaelis family ethos of integrity, dogged work ethic, and authentic stakeholder cultivation, lie at the epicenter of success of this third-generation family business. While the entrepreneurial ‘itch’ remained a constant in the eight decades of this company’s existence, the market opportunities related to ecologically-sustainable organic produce emerged via the social networks developed over generations. This family of attentive innovators regularly finds itself in the right place at the right time with the right leadership to act upon opportunities presented by societal changes.