In this explorative case study, performed under assignment of AkzoNobel, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) have been chosen to investigate the practical use for social impact measurement of a new innovative Waste to Chemicals (WTC) partnership in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The new disruptive technology used by the WTC partnership changes the recycling and chemical industry by converting waste into valuable chemicals. For AkzoNobel, this thesis is part of a worldwide investigation on how to measure social impact. This thesis, made for the major of strategic management, shows that the addition of value creation through social impact, the value proposition which is currently envisioned by the WTC partnership will be improved. Shared value will be created through partnerships and social impact measurement and will create a bold new societal business model where business and sustainability are entwined. To derive to the conclusion of this thesis, experts within the area of social impact and partnerships have been interviewed as well as managers within the WTC partnership. Next to this, an extensive literature review has been done to generate an elaborate understanding in business management, sustainability, partnerships, strategic management and social impact. For the WTC partnership, three areas of added social value are selected to create a competitive societal business model which enhances positive impact and reduces negative impact. The three areas are aligned to SDG’s, the core business of the WTC partnership, the strategy of the individual partners and the local necessities of the community in Rotterdam. Various recommendations are made for each of the three areas: 1) Improving well-being of the community and employees; 2) Creating an innovative and knowledge driven organization; 3) Mitigation of negative aspects. The SDG’s have been chosen as goals and indicators within these areas because of their institutional nature. The Social Capital Protocol provided the valuation techniques to measure the chosen social impact. Monetization has been selected to make communication of the results possible towards a bigger public as this also has institutional value. Social impact tools and partnership management skills are needed to identify the goals and guide the partnership towards them without using too many resources. The partnership is a critical element in the creation of shared value. Without the alignment of the partnership and the specific resources available within the individual partners, the SDG’s that are selected are too far from core business. To achieve this, the partnership should overcome identified barriers that have been divided into four main topics: interdependency, communication, the individual perspective and conflicting interests. Charles Darwin would probably have agreed as he stated: ‘It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.’

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Peter de Wolf, Rob van Tulder
Strategisch Management & Strategische Vernieuwing
RSM: Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde

Martijn Dane. (2017, October 9). Shared Value Creation through Partnerships and Social impact. Strategisch Management & Strategische Vernieuwing. Retrieved from