Promoting Sustainable Management: World Wildlife Fund’s Hybrid Strategy to Change the Luxury Industry

  • Graham BullockEmail author
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


Scholars generally characterize activist organizations as pursuing either “reformist” or “radical” agendas and using either collaborative or confrontational strategies to engage with firms. This paradigm oversimplifies the behavior of these organizations and ignores the possibility that they may pursue hybrid approaches that combine a range of strategies. This chapter explores how the non profit WWF used such an approach to engage the luxury industry in its 2007 Deeper Luxury report. The chapter analyzes the report’s descriptive and injunctive normative statements that positively engage the industry and its controversial rating system that directly confronts the top ten luxury firms. The chapter also examines the sustainability-related documents of the ten rated companies, and finds that their responses to WWF’s normative demands varied significantly, with L’Oreal, LVMH, and PPR demonstrating the greatest responsiveness. It concludes that this hybrid approach had mixed results in promoting sustainable management within the luxury industry, and may require collaboration among organizations with different skills and reputations.


Luxury Sustainability Industry norms Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) Environmental assessment Corporate social responsibility (CSR) 



I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Emma Park in conducting the research for this chapter. As an undergraduate at Davidson College, Emma helped collect and analyze the corporate social responsibility reports and related documents discussed in the chapter. She was also very helpful in thinking about WWF’s strategy and the industry’s response to its Deeper Luxury report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political Science and Environmental StudiesDavidson CollegeCharlotteUSA

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