Handbook of Sustainability-Driven Business Strategies in Practice
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Handbook of Sustainability-Driven Business Strategies in Practice

Edited by Stefan Markovic, Cristina Sancha and Adam Lindgreen

Sustainability is a top priority for organizations and a key strategy in corporate agendas, but the effective deployment of any strategy demands that the strategy is consistent, functional, and aligned. This Handbook advocates sustainability strategies that encompass environmental, social, and economic dimensions at department-level.
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Chapter 28: Sustainability as strategy: the case of Comwell Hotels

Kristian J. Sund and Rasmus Downes-Rasmussen


In 2016, management at Comwell Hotels decided to define their first formal sustainability strategy, refocusing the business according to social, environmental, and economic principles. Only four years later, the group won the title of most sustainable Danish hotel brand, according to the Sustainable Brand IndexTM, a title it has since retained. This is the story of how a chain of mainly traditional conference hotels successfully embraced the ideas of sustainable development, and what they learned in the process. Firstly, that implementing a sustainability strategy requires a change of mindset and behaviour from all actors involved. Secondly, that it is necessary to maintain the focus over time, as sustainability is a journey and not a one-time achievable goal. Thirdly, that sustainability has profound effects on human resource management. And finally, that sustainability is a strategic initiative, initiated and supported by top management, but driven by employees.

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