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RSM Seminar | Dr Sukhbir Sandhu

RSM Seminar | Dr Sukhbir Sandhu

Presenter: Dr Sukhbir Sandhu, Senior Lecturer, the University of South Australia Business  

Changing the Waste Story: One Coffee Cup at a Time 

Abstract 

Single-use plastic waste is a huge environmental issue. Single-use coffee cups are a case in point. These ubiquitous throwaway coffee cups represent a massive waste of resources; they have an ‘in-built death date,’ and a ‘script of disposability’. The disposable coffee cups become instantly ‘valueless’ (as soon as the beverage is consumed) irrespective of the durability and longevity of the materials from which these cups are made. The need to find ways to encourage reduction in use of throwaway coffee cups has never been more urgent. About 300 billion throwaway coffee cups are thrown into landfill sites across the globe annually, because the polyethylene lining that makes them leak-proof also makes them unrecyclable. The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly driven a surge in throwaway cup use as many cafes refused reusable cups at the height of the pandemic. We use insights from institutional theory and behavioural economics to understand how to change the waste story – one coffee cup at a time. 

Presenter Bio: 

Dr Sukhbir Sandhu is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainability and Ethics at the University of South Australia Business, and a researcher within the Centre for Workplace Excellence (CWeX). Dr Sandhu’s research focuses on social and environmental sustainability issues that confront organisations and societies. Her current research involves an Australian Research Council (Discovery) project that investigates the external drivers that push organisations to act on sustainability issues and the internal strategy and structure changes required to successfully accommodate these social and environmental initiatives. 

Dr Sandhu has published in leading management and sustainability journals (e.g., Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Business and Society, Ecological Economics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Business Strategy and Environment). She has also published two books on social and environmental sustainability. Her research on organisational sustainability has been recognised by the prestigious Research Impact on Practice Award from the Network for Business Sustainability. Her research has also been listed in the Financial Times "all-time top 100 social science research" articles that can lead to meaningful social impact and help improve society. 

Dr Sandhu has been elected to the five-year leadership track at the Organisations and Natural Environment (ONE) Division of the Academy of Management (2019 – 2023). She has previously chaired ONE awards committee (2016 - 2018). She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Business Research and Sustainability. Dr Sandhu is the UniSA Business Lead for the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). 

Updated:   25 September 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team