About This ProjectThis project aims to examine the environmental transformation of the cement industry in Morocco. This industry is at the forefront of corporate environmental stewardship in the country, and so it is likely to constitute a template for other industries to follow.
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What is the context of this research?
This project will tell the story of an industry sector that bucked the status quo, and led the way to the adoption of environmental best practices, while in the context of a developing country. Through extensive interviews and document analysis, this project will explain:
1) Why did cement companies voluntarily adopt state of the art environmental best practices in Morocco?
2) How did they come to be leaders of environmental responsibility in the country?
3) What can other companies learn from their example?
What is the significance of this project?
Developing countries are industrializing very quickly. However, this often takes place without accounting for the negative environmental impacts of the new business activity. The idea that businesses can be profitable, while being environmentally responsible is foreign to most industrialists in developing countries. Thoroughly studying a “good example” of corporate environmental stewardship is likely to:
1) Showcase small, easy steps other companies can follow,
2) Help shed light on what an environmental transformation looks like for a corporation, and
3) Exemplify the roles each person or entity has to play in ensuring such a transformation occurs.
What are the goals of the project?
Funding will pay for travel expenses to Morocco and Europe. This is necessary to conduct interviews, collect documentation, and gain a general understanding of the economic and political climate that influence the industry. Research findings will be made available to all backers, and the scientific community at large.
Funds will be used to support travel to Morocco and Europe, and
to purchase a software for data analysis. I plan to spend three months in Morocco, during which I will make one trip to Europe. While in Morocco, I intend to visit the headquarters of each subsidiary, and visit individual cement plants across the country. These activities will require numerous and extended hotel stays.
The purpose of the trip to Europe is to collect data on the institutional pressures that influence cement multinational's environmental performance overseas. I plan to visit the offices of the Cement Sustainability Initiative and interview relevant individuals on how this international forum promotes environmental best practices across the industry.
Meet the Team
Team BioSelma Elouardighi is a PhD candidate in Planning, Governance and Globalization at Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs. Her research revolves around corporate environmental stewardship in developing countries within the context of globalization. Born and raised in Morocco, Ms.Elouardighi has lived in the United States for the past 14 years. She has a deep understanding of both eastern and western cultures, and views herself as an ambassador for both. Selma Elouardighi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Masters of Earth and Environmental Resources Management from the University of South Carolina.
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