Sustainability has become a critical element in the way business strategies are designed. Many organisations have adopted best management practices and the corporate governance of modern companies have been aligned not only to look at profits but also to take into consideration the impacts that they have on people and on the planet. There has recently been a substantial acceptance towards renewable energy sources worldwide, however anaerobic digestion of bio-waste into bio-energy has been around for decades and has not seen the equivalent recognition in South Africa. The purpose of the research is to study the business considerations including challenges and opportunities emanating from the vast amounts of bio-waste that occurs throughout the food supply chain, specifically at manufacturing and is a high level assessment of the respective value propositions available as a strategic imperative within a sustainable business model.
The research investigated the bio-waste emanating from food manufacturing which was conducted through the use of qualitative methods. In-depth interviews were held with ten experts from food manufacturing companies in which they shared their current bio-waste management practices. The triple bottom line model (Figure 2) was used as an initial framework, this model was reformulated into the sustainable business ecosystem (Figure 6) from which the interview schedule (Appendix 3) for the research questions was designed.
Vast amounts of bio-waste occurs at the processing stage of the supply chain and to these ends a viable source of input material towards anaerobic digestion has been largely overlooked. There are research studies that have been conducted on biogas as well as the energy values of various substrates, however this research study was intended to investigate alternate revenue streams for an anaerobic digestion plant for the purposes of accelerating the return on investment of such a plant. A safe waste disposal fee has therefore been identified as a valuable value proposition that can be offered to food manufacturing plants. This bio-waste could then be utilised towards the generation of much needed electrical energy as opposed to the material going directly to landfill.
Mini-disseration (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.