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Article

Changes in Sustainability Priorities in Organisations due to the COVID-19 Outbreak: Averting Environmental Rebound Effects on Society

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Center for Logistics and Innovative Production, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, University of Gävle, SE-801 76 Gävle, Sweden
2
Organisational Sustainability Ltd., Cardiff CF 116EQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5031; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125031
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 17 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has affected societies and organisations in an unprecedented way. This has resulted in negative impacts to economic and social issues, but it is a “blessing in disguise” for environmental issues. This paper analyses how the outbreak has affected organisations’ sustainability priorities. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, such priorities were on the economic dimension followed by the environmental and social dimensions. A survey was sent to 11,657 organisations to analyse such changes, with a 5.60% response rate. The results show that for organisations, the main priority is now on the social dimension, followed by the economic one; however, the environmental dimension has suffered a negative impact in prioritisation, regardless of organisation type, country where they are based, organisation size, or the time they have been working on sustainability. We are currently facing an environmental conundrum, where air quality has improved and pollution has decreased in societies, but organisations are starting to neglect such environmental issues. The COVID-19 outbreak is an opportunity for organisations to better contribute to sustainability by ensuring that the efforts that have been undertaken in the last three decades are not forgotten, and that societies and organisations are better coupled to face such crises and avert rebound effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: organisations; sustainability; environment; priorities; COVID-19 outbreak organisations; sustainability; environment; priorities; COVID-19 outbreak
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barreiro-Gen, M.; Lozano, R.; Zafar, A. Changes in Sustainability Priorities in Organisations due to the COVID-19 Outbreak: Averting Environmental Rebound Effects on Society. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5031. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125031

AMA Style

Barreiro-Gen M, Lozano R, Zafar A. Changes in Sustainability Priorities in Organisations due to the COVID-19 Outbreak: Averting Environmental Rebound Effects on Society. Sustainability. 2020; 12(12):5031. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125031

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barreiro-Gen, Maria, Rodrigo Lozano, and Afnan Zafar. 2020. "Changes in Sustainability Priorities in Organisations due to the COVID-19 Outbreak: Averting Environmental Rebound Effects on Society" Sustainability 12, no. 12: 5031. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125031

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