Linking strategy with sustainable development.
The population growth and sophisticated demands of present day lifestyle place tremendous pressure on organisations resulting in industrialisation and diminishing the planets natural resources. Sustainability of the environment for both the present and future generations calls for a paradigm shift of stakeholders especially business organisations to take measures to curb wastage and become more environmentally conscious. A business's survival depends on the strategy it pursues in conjunction with the demands it faces in its operating environment. This thesis has evaluated Total's business using the tools of strategic management and studies the sustainable development strategies and initiatives adopted by this multinational corporation. The study is exploratory and links Total's business strategy to sustainable development. An in depth literature review was carried out on the theoretical aspects of strategic management and sustainable development. These included the strategic process, macro; industry; and internal environments, Porter' five forces model, core competencies, strategic intent, and the evaluation of strategy using the criteria of suitability, acceptability and feasibility by Johnson and Scholes. This followed through with a discussion of the major landmarks on sustainable development including the World Conservation Strategy, Brundtland Report, evolution of sustainable development, evaluation criteria, indicators, and the development of a model that was used in chapter four. The case study of Total is also presented discussing historical, financial, strategic and sustainable development material both at Total's international operations in France and the South African subsidiary. The research findings indicate that Total is a world-class company demonstrating success in the business, environmental and social arenas. It committed resources to both sustainable development and business development, producing good results in 2003. The company acceded to the requirements of Agenda 21, which called on countries to reduce pollution, emissions and the use of precious natural resources. Governments need to lead this change but emphasises that everyone can play their part in tackling non-sustainable practices. In this way, local actions can lead to the solution of global problems. Successful realisation of sustainable development involves a change in both ideas and actions. Globally sustainable development has gained prominence and hence it is time that it became an integral component of the strategy development process.