Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (PhD)

Degree Level



Political Science


John Gaber

Committee Member

Patrick Conge

Second Committee Member

Mary Warnock

Third Committee Member

Sarah Lewis


Apparel, Corporate Social Responsibility, Retail, Sustainability


This study focused on analyzing the gaps and inconsistencies in sustainability reporting by conducting a needs assessment on 14 apparel retailing corporations. An analysis for new public policies that would enhance the sustainable efforts by apparel retailing corporations were explored. Additionally, the efficiencies of current sustainable practices were analyzed and the current trends were reported. This study provided a comprehensive review of apparel retailing corporations’ interest towards governmental support in developing policies for efficient sustainability practices and for standardized reporting.

A mixed methods approach was used with the primary focus being the evaluation of emission reduction, governmental influence, sustainability reporting, and climate change initiatives. Particularly, the concurrent nested/embedded research design was utilized in this research; whereby, one data collection phase incorporated the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data at the same time. This project utilized a quantitative method embedded within a predominately qualitative research design.

The external changes related to sustainability policy were explained by the Punctuated Equilibrium Model. Some of the sustainability issues that corporations are currently focused on with legislators are the reduction of carbon emissions, energy efficiency, environmental protection, and clean energy. These are all forces that are punctuating a system to drive change in environmental policy. Policy makers have been made aware of the consequences of disastrous events that could disrupt the environment by interest groups, consumer advocacy groups, stake- holders and corporations. The on-going push for change by the aforementioned groups will drive policy makers into examining the consequences and creating new sustainability policy.

Based on the study, the corporations analyzed indicated that there is a need for consistent and clear standards in sustainability reporting. The United States (US) government could devise a simple and straightforward program/policy that capitalizes on the main environmental concerns of corporations to be reported within their sustainability initiatives. In this regard, government support could be a motivation for participation by all apparel retailing corporations.

Included in

Public Policy Commons