Özyeğin University - TÜSİAD Sustainable Development Forum (SDF) presented the initial findings of Sectoral Sustainability Research pertaining to Chemicals, Petroleum, and Rubber/Plastics Sectors.

SDF, the joint initiative of Özyegin University celebrating her 10th year and TUSIAD, shared the results of its first academic research “Sectoral Sustainability Research: Chemicals, Petroleum, and Rubber/Plastics Sectors” on 14th December 2018 in TUSIAD General Secretariat Conference Room.

The opening speeches of the meeting were given by TUSIAD President Erol Bilecik and Özyeğin University Rector Prof. Dr. Esra Gençtürk. In his speech TUSİAD President Bilecik said:

“Companies, who consider the future of the world, their brands and businesses and take concrete actions to minimize the negative effects of their operations on the society and environment, exhibit that there has to be no tradeoff between sustainability and profitability, on the contrary that there is a reciprocal relationship between sustainability and profitability over the years. Companies in chemicals and allied products, petroleum refining and related industries, rubber and miscellaneous plastics products sectors can support the Sustainable Development Goals by encouraging responsible production along their supply chains and developing innovative products and applications, which protect the environment, promote social development and economic growth. When Özyegin University and TUSİAD first established SDF last year, we aimed to follow the worldwide sustainability agenda closely, contribute to policies in favor of sustainable development and support the corporate world. I believe that this research, analyzing the sustainability of most prominent companies from multiple aspects, will be guiding for the respective sectors.”

Özyeğin University Rector Prof. Dr. Esra Gençtürk touched on the following topics in her speech:

“We are very pleased that the results of the academic study conducted by SDF founded in 2017 with TUSIAD turned out to be a model of collaboration among the private sector, NGO and university. Sustainability is a very important concept, which is embedded deeply in the founding mission of Özyeğin University and in the way we conduct business.  In addition to our core activities such as education and management we have taken on the mission to be a be an entrepreneurial research university. With this mission we plan our research agenda so that it is not only limited to theoretical studies but it is applicable, in service of sectors and NGOs and problem solving oriented.  As we celebrate our 10th founding year our fundamental approach is to create relevant and sustainable solutions in our education model as well as in the way we pursue our activities.  Our education model based on sustainability is the only best practice from Turkey in Davos Education model along with world-renowned universities such as Princeton and Yale. The Sectoral Sustainability Research, kick started with chemicals, petroleum, and rubber and plastics sectors will continue to conduct meaningful work by creating solutions to different sectors’ problems.

Researchers, Assistant Professor Dr. Mehmet Ali Soytaş and Dr. Damla Durak Uşar presented the findings of the research.

In line with worldwide trends the awareness towards environmental and social issues of different stakeholder groups in Turkey has risen in the recent years.  Sustainability initiatives bring advantage to companies such as increase in favorable purchase decisions of the end consumer, attracting qualified workforce, easy access to financing and tax reductions.  On the one hand, in this research a positive relationship between social and environmental sustainability and financial performance has been observed.  On the other hand, a decrease in the marginal return of sustainability is to be seen, if resources are allocated only to one area.  This observation led to the inference, that companies have to diversify their sustainability initiatives to obtain maximum return. The chemicals sector, which has allocated balanced resources to sustainability initiatives in different areas such as corporate governance, employee and human rights, corporate social responsibility, environment, product and supply chain management, has the highest return on assets ratio among the sectors subject to this research.  This research has revealed that in order to make sound decisions on sustainability, the quality of the sustainability initiatives is important as much as their quantity. Sectoral Sustainability Research will evaluate different sectors in Turkey and continue to share the findings with the public.

The report detailing the findings is available here (in Turkish).