Strategic sustainability and industrial ecology in an island context, with considerations for a green economy roadmap: a study in the tourist accommodation sector, Grenada.
Telesford, John N.
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The purpose of this research is to show how business and enterprise can align sustainability and sustainable development to create strategic sustainability (SS) procedures, which can be used for planning towards sustainability in an island context. Even with the 3Ps depiction of sustainable development (SD), the idea continues to be difficult to make operational (Azar, Holmberg and Lindgren 1996) and has failed in many of its applications (Baumgartner and Korhonen 2010). Moreover, businesses wishing to operate in perpetuity are challenged by the socio-ecological system that constitutes sustainability. But all businesses have materials, energy and waste flows, (MEWFs) and a more strategic approach to managing these flows can assist businesses with the sustainability challenge. Firstly however, sustainability described as a successful socio-ecological system must be understood. Secondly the process of reducing the MEWFs within the business, referred to as sustainable development actions must be seen as separate but congruent to sustainability. By adapting the framework for strategic sustainable development and using a mixed methods approach, the necessary strategy content for the SS procedures are researched in the tourist accommodation sector-Grenada. It is shown that in an island context, defined as an isolated system with scarce resources, (Deschenes and Chertow 2004) the challenges of sustainability, especially for businesses such as the tourist accommodation sector, are exacerbated. The research concludes with three important groups of steps for the SS procedures: 1) visioning and vision linking; 2) developing sector strategic actions and 3) monitoring and evaluation. A tourism symbiosis was proposed as a critical action for reducing MEWFs. Considerations for implementing aspects of a proposed green economy roadmap using the SS procedures are addressed. The research can assist both policy makers and business leaders to operationalise sustainable development and to do so with some degree of certainty of achieving sustainability in an island context.