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Sustainable Development: A Strategic Approach for Sustainable Business Practices in Trade Effluent Generating Industries in Francistown Region in Botswana

IWRA 2021 Online Conference One Water, One Health
Theme 1: How can we better manage water for food and public health in a changing world?
Author(s): Kene Dick, Pascale Hardy

Kene Dick - Department of Water & Sanitation, Botswana

Pascale Hardy - UNICAF University, Spain

Keyword(s): Sustainable Development, Trade Effluents, Triple Bottom Line (TBL), Strategic Sustainable Development, Pollution Prevention


The purpose of the qualitative case study was to investigate the integration of sustainable development (SD) principles in business practices at various management levels in three (3) major trade effluent generating industries in the Francistown region in Botswana and recommend solutions for improvement to the industry and the government. The three selected industries for the study are the major trade effluent generating industries in the Francistown region in Botswana and have consistently failed to comply with trade effluent quality discharge requirements for over 20 years causing a pollution threat to the limited water resources. Qualitative interviews were conducted with twenty (28/30) research participants that were selected from the various management levels from the respective organizations. These interviews were conducted via a speaker telephone due to the COVID 19 movement restrictions and protocols. Qualitative data obtained from the telephone interviews was augmented with document reviews to enhance the trustworthiness of the study. Documents were collected from the industries via e-mail and through the public domain. Textual data from the telephone interviews and the document reviews was hand coded and themes were developed from the hand coded data to answer the research questions. Trade effluent generating industries in Botswana has appreciated the SD concept as a way of sustaining the business for the future by balancing their profit making with environmental protection and social welfare. However the degree of integrating the SD principles in business practices differs for the three organisations, depending on the business type and business processes. SD is a global challenge and it was found in this study that the adoption of the TBL performance framework, improved leadership & governance, effective and efficient systems & processes as well as stakeholder engagement & innovation are vital for the integration of SD principles in business practices. This will therefore balance economic growth, environmental protection and social development, hence pollution prevention at the industry level. However, the advancement of SD in businesses is hindered by lack of education and awareness on SD by the employees, lack of skilled manpower, limited budgets to implement the SD initiatives and cost of transportation of the finished goods and importation of raw materials. The chosen industries for this study are exporting their goods to the international markets, and greening is a competitive advantage, that demonstrates the responsible care by the business to the environment and the social welfare, which implies some improvements in policy and practice.

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