Develop an action plan for implementation of the sustainability strategies

Develop an action plan for implementation of the sustainability strategies.

Develop an action plan for implementation of the sustainability strategies

  1. Environmental, social and economic impacts

 

Gap Inc. needs strategies to enable it to cope with various components of its operating environment, relating to the triple bottom-line. On the political component, many governments are increasingly demanding adherence to regulations relating to sustainability (Camilleri, 2017). To cope, Gap Inc. should engage more in lobbying activities, and accordingly have a budget that should be altered depending on the main issues at hand. On the economic aspect, the company is exposed to fluctuations in exchange rates, inflation and tax rates (Razin & Vosgerau, 2012). Here, more involvement in policy-making through industry representatives will help to ensure greater control over this component.

In the socio-cultural aspect, Gap Inc. needs to adopt a greater cultural sensitivity, and especially to keep off controversial messaging in its advertisements and promotions. Considering that society is getting increasingly interested in equal rights, no advert should be interpretable as sexist, racist or misogynist. This can be ensured through engaging multi-cultural teams and multi-disciplinary assessors in marketing content development (Arrigo, 2013). In technology, Gap Inc. can invest more in research and development, especially in creation of the best mobile applications. Although the Gap app already stands out because it enables real-time previewing of items, it is notably deficient because items that can be viewed are limited (Nunan, 2017).

On the environmental component, there are often questions about ethical practices and even safety in some of Gap’s plants, for instance in 2017 Bangladesh protests (Abrams & Sattarjan, 2017). A top management human resource committee should be formed to ensure global labor relations and how they should be rectified and standardized across the world. In the legal component, management should continue pursuing compliance with various international standards to which it has committed itself. According to Gap Inc. (2017), the company’s overall strategy is aligned with global standards, particularly the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs), the Guiding principles on Business and Human Rights and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

To ensure sustainability, the company needs a strong strategy to minimize emissions within its logistics component. It should specifically work harder to explore the incorporation of renewable energy sources for instance solar. Gap Inc. should additionally look into the possibility of ensuring maximum vertical integration in the company’s supply chain. The company should explore ways of using any waste products that arise in creating new or different items that will eventually generate revenue even if in small amounts, hence cut down on wastage. Gap should seek greater control of its supply chain. According to Dringoli (2012), this would get the supply chain nearer to its customers. Consequently, lead-time, cost, and waste may be minimized. The company should have locations regionally in ways that will decrease the role of transport in determining lead-time, hence cut down Gap’s carbon footprint.

The company should further leverage technology in ensuring efficiency. This can be done for instance through the use of Point of Sale systems in generating data that can be closely analyzed so as to know exact customer needs. If this is done well, then customer tastes and preferences will be matched better with production. Consequently, there will be less need for excessive inventories hence overstocking (Pantano, 2015). Essentially, therefore, there should be more research on sustainability issues and updating of guidelines on labor standards. There should be the continued monitoring of suppliers, to whom the guidelines will have to be communicated and officials sent to inspect them from time to time to ensure that compliance remains at its maximum. According to Camilleri (2017), an increased strategy focus on sustainability is likely to benefit the company, because it will not only enable the cutting down of operational costs through increased efficiency but also cutting down of energy consumption.

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  1. Sustainability Initiatives

A healthy environment is critical to organizations’ survival. The clothing industries including Gap heavily rely on natural resources like water to make their products. The environmental impacts of the apparel industry are significant, including water, waste, pollution and greenhouse emissions (Gap Inc., 2018).

Gap Inc. needs to reduce waste by minimizing its packaging using non-sustainable resources. For instance, Gap can reduce plastic use for boxes, bags, hangers, and wrapping that are used to transport and provided to customers. Instead of using plastic and non-sustainable resources, Gap should use more green packaging materials based on renewable or reusable materials to control its waste generation. Gap also needs to use more environmentally friendly materials for their products. Gap has developed a smart denim wash technique called Washwell that helps save water use as well as fabric softeners (Gap Inc., 2018). Gap aims to use 100% sustainable cotton by 2021, and Athleta aims to use sustainable fibers in 80% of its materials by 2020 (Gap Inc., 2018). Gap Inc. should continue producing their products with environmentally friendly materials mentioned above and apply the technique of using sustainable materials to all other Gap brands like Banana Republic and Old Navy.

Although Gap has installed LED lighting at 1,000 stores to increase energy efficiency (Gap Inc., 2018), Gap has to increase the usage of efficient energy sources at its stores as well as its offices and factories. Gap can build their stores and offices using renewable resources like solar energy and LEED. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world (USGBC, 2018). LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

Gap also has pressing needs to increase sustainability awareness of its workers and consumers. In order to build more awareness, Gap should create employee training program and more advertising to customers to raise their environmental awareness. By doing so, Gap can improve its brand image and lead the industry in terms of sustainability.

Gap Inc. has been striving to be a sustainable organization by reducing natural resource and energy use, as well as using more environmentally friendly materials for their products. As a result of Gap’s efforts, it can reduce their operating costs by increasing energy efficiency and reduce consumption, as well as improve its reputation and build support from more stakeholders, including its customers, employees, investors, and environmental organizations (Gap Inc., 2018).

 

  1. Action plan

The quest of Gap Inc. for achieving improved sustainability in the organization covers a vast range of environments. It is imperative to these environments and their effective management to ensure that primary organizational improving sustainability objectives are achieved. Therefore, actions to be taken should result in a good relationship between the company and its environment.

Gap Inc. seeks to remain sustainable in its political and legal environment. The environment increasingly demands adherence to regulations. In this regard, Gap Inc. would need to take action by reviewing and updating organizational policies to ensure that new legal demands are incorporated into its policies. According to Adams (2007), updating policy would require training employees to practice embrace accountability and organizational change. Employees need to be updated regarding the changes in the legal component of Gap Inc. and they would need to be trained; Gap would commence training programs to improve adherence. Ramus (2001) argues that training of employees not only update them on new political or legal changes, it also improves quality in the organization. In this perspective, Gap Inc. would train employees about the trending sustainable business practices in various stages, including production, customer services, reporting, and environmentally sustainable work practices.

Additionally, Gap Inc. would revisit and revise its policies regarding organizational workforce. This action would ensure that diversity is embraced in the company and sociocultural sensitivity becomes a feature of the firm. Effective diversity practice and management guarantees positive firm reputation, acceptance in its social and cultural environment and improve workplace culture of inclusion (Benn et al., 2014). In the same perspective, Gap Inc. would commence customer and employee engagement programs to improve feedbacks that can support organizational change for sustainability. Therefore, reviewing and revising or updating policy, training employees for various objectives, embracing diversity and its effective management, and engaging stakeholders are the actions that would implement the proposed strategies.

 

 

 

 

References

Adams, A.C. (2007). Making a difference; sustainability reporting, accountability and organizational change. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 20(3), 382-402.

Benn, S., Dunphy, D. & Griffiths, A. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. New York, NY: Routledge.

Ramus, A. C. (2001). Organizational support for employees: encouraging creative ideas for environmental sustainability. California Management Review, 43(3), 85-105.

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Develop an action plan for implementation of the sustainability strategies

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