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Growth Champions: The Battle for Sustained Innovation Leadership by

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CHAPTER 12

BASF and Shell

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Growth in a resource-constrained world

In a resource-constrained world, both BASF and Shell have led their respective sectors by significantly changing their sources of material supply to lower carbon whilst keeping an innovation edge over their competitors and maintaining constant growth across the board.

Over the past decade, and the last five years in particular, the green agenda has moved mainstream. There is growing awareness of the stress that is being put on limited resources and as a result we have seen an increase in political, media, and regulatory pressure to encourage organizations to do their bit to address the problem. Most companies are now looking to develop a more eco-efficient and therefore sustainable approach. Whether the focus is on carbon, energy, water, food, waste, land use on the environmental side, or a host of social issues this has brought a new perspective into the core of the business world.

While some consumer-facing organizations, such as Nike, SABMiller, and Unilever, have used sustainability initiatives as part of a wider customer engagement platform, others have been making changes to the way they run their operations out of the public spotlight. This is particularly true in the business-to-business space, where changes have been initiated either from the demand side with the likes of BMW and Wal-Mart putting tighter environmental ...

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