Corporate Sustainability

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Description of Corporate Sustainability. Explanation.


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Definition Corporate Sustainability. Description.

Corporate Sustainability refers to the business approach by companies to consider not only economical needs in their strategies and practices, but also environmental and social needs. It is the opportunity for businesses to improve their profitability, competitiveness, and market share without compromising resources for future generations. Compare also Porter's Shared Value concept which goes one step further in this respect.

Public criticism, enabled by powerful mass media, has made some level of care for the environment and refraining from dubious accounting practices and from operating "sweatshops" in developing countries part of the strategy of even the most die-hard financially oriented firms.

Leading sustainability companies show high levels of competence in addressing global and industry challenges in a variety of areas:

  • Strategy. Integrating long-term economic, environmental and social aspects in their business strategies while maintaining global competitiveness and brand reputation.

  • Financial. Meeting shareholders' demands for sound financial returns, long-term economic growth, open communication and transparent financial accounting.

  • Customer & Product. Fostering loyalty by investing in customer relationship management and product and service innovation that focuses on technologies and systems, which use financial, natural and social resources in an efficient, effective and economic manner over the long-term.

  • Governance and Stakeholder. Setting the highest standards of corporate governance and stakeholder engagement, including corporate codes of conduct and public reporting.

  • Human Resources. Managing human resources to maintain workforce capabilities and employee satisfaction through best-in-class organizational learning and knowledge management practices and remuneration and benefit programs.

Donald A. Lubin and Daniel C. Esty recommend in HBR May 2010 to do 2 things simultaneously  to gain an advantage from the sustainability megatrend:

  1. Get the vision right
    • Stage 1: Do old things in new ways
    • Stage 2: Do new things in new ways
    • Stage 3: Transform core business
    • Stage 4: new business model creation and differentiation
  2. Get the execution right
    1. Elevate sustainability leadership  from departmental to C-level
    2. Update methods and models (Scenario Planning, business case analysis, trend spotting) to encompass environmental sustainability.
    3. Include green stakeholders (NGO representatives, academics, government officials) in strategy development
    4. Integrate management (integrate sustainability objectives into compensation models, performance reviews, etc)
    5. Change reporting and communication from ad hoc into sustainability scorecards that enable benchmarking, best practice comparisons

Corporate sustainability performance is an investable concept. This is crucial in driving interest and investments in sustainability to the mutual benefit of companies and investors. As this benefit circle strengthens, it will have a positive effect on the societies and economies of both the developed and developing world.

One of the critically important issues in sustainability is that of human overpopulation combined with human lifestyle. A number of studies have suggested that the current population of the Earth, already over six billion, is too many people for our planet to support sustainably at current material consumption levels. This challenge for sustainability is distributed unevenly. The ecological pressure of a US resident is said to be 13 times that of a resident of India and 52 times that of a Somalian resident.

Corporate Sustainability Forum
  Fair Trade Labels: A Good Step?
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  How to Invest in Sustainable Portfolios
Investments are more and more trying to align their investments with their values. They have begun to think differently about potential investments portfolios, and are increasingly willing to invest in sustainable funds or portfolios.
But, what ...
  Investigate the PROCESS Impact on Sustainability: not Just the MATERIALS Used!
Often the impact on ENERGY far outweighs the Materials selected when it comes to sustainability.
Use a simple example: in our everyday lives we can save and conserve energy/water in our own homes by harvesting wash water, we call it "grey water"...
  Sustainability of Corporations, Industries and Nations
Meaning of Sustainability: an entity's ability to grow and maintain accelerated growth.
• Growing means one step at a time. Accelerated growth means growing at an accelerated pace.
• Growth can be vertical OR horizontal:
- Vertica...
  Hotel Sustainability: Put Humans in Focus
It always saddens me to see how often sustainability in the hotel industry is actually led by engineers, projects are being considered mechanical, like the energy consumption or the sewage system.
However it is hard to find any industry where HU...
  Sustainability and Quality Management System Go Hand in Hand
Reducing consumption both of raw-material and energy or increasing efficiency will help in improving sustainability. The essence of any quality management system is remove re-work i.e. do it right first time and every time. The moment that happens bo...
  PROs and CONs of Sustainable Development: Which One Wins?
Sustainable Development (SD) is often seen as something that can be harmful for an organization at first sight. There are several reasons for this (disadvantages of sustainable development).
1. Organizations that want to achieve SD ...
  Sustainability Management in Development Projects in Africa?
Dear Members,
I am currently undertaking research on sustainability in development projects in Africa Region.
Could you kindly share with me your opinions about the following questions:
- How do you perceive sustainability management? ...
  Substantive Corporate Sustainability versus Symbolic Corporate Sustainability
Due to increased awareness that people nowadays have about environmental issues, many companies have started sustainability programs.
- Truly realizing such sustainability campaigns is called taking “substantive sustainability action”. Ma...
  The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitive Advantage
The study of environmental regulations and its impact on competitive advantage has in the past literature led to inconclusive results. There are two main views that contradict each other:
1. The Traditional View. This view believes in a n...
  Factors in Implementation of Environmental Management
Some companies decide to implement Environmental Management (EM) while other companies don't. Oberhofer and Furst (2013) looked at the implementation of EM in the transport sector. But first, they outline the general factors that are taken into accou...
  Reasons for Omitting Sustainability Reporting
Higgins et al. (2012) have researched Sustainability Reporting (SR) in organizations. The authors elaborate on five reasons why companies do not report on their sustainability (social/environmental performance). The following reasons are menti...
  Three Main Weaknesses in Corporate Sustainability Governance
Although leadership is critical in the design and implementation of Corporate Sustainability (CS) programs, many companies still lack knowledge on how the board of directors should behave in the oversight of these programs.
The Conference Board ...
  Tools and Techniques that Result in Sustainability Outcomes
In order to be able to support the transition to sustainable operations of small to medium sized businesses, I would like to first identify and collect what works and what does not work. Please can I have input from you all on the following questions...
  Supply Chain Sustainability
Most companies have now realised that sustainability can result in streamlined processes and long-term business success, even on a financial level. What is more interesting, however, are those businesses who have looked to the future and are innovati...
  Reasons for Sustainability Innovation
A lot of attention has been paid to sustainability over the last decade. In an article, Schaltegger and M. Wagner try to clarify when sustainable entrepreneurship emerges (what TRIGGERS it) and when innovations for sustainability will be made (FUNDAM...
  The Effect the Increasing Rate of Change is Having on Corporate Sustainability
The problem is corporate sustainability is becoming harder and harder - if not impossible. Rita Gunther McGrath has just written a great book title, " 
  Sustainability Goals Needs to Be Articulated in Financial Terms
The success of any program depends upon proper articulation of its long-term objective(s), meticulous planning to achieve the same, establishing a capable team and empowering them.
In sustainability efforts, all that is even more important, sinc...
  Sustainability Reporting Should Be Made Mandatory
If CS has to happen, sustainability reporting has to be made mandatory like Corporate Social Responsibility in India for those companies earning a net profit of more than Rs. 5 crore or more in a fiscal year.
Government has to come forward in ai...
  The Role of Stock Markets in Corporate Sustainability
For any organization to succeed in this market situation, short term goals like donation for community or reducing emissions will not help.
Sustainable development is a long term investment for the growth of business and stakeholder value...

Corporate Sustainability Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group


Best Practices - Corporate Sustainability Premium

Expert Tips - Corporate Sustainability Premium

3 Main Views to Achieve Sustainable Development

There are many views on the type of changes, but also about the tools and actors required to achieve sustainable development. Hopwood, Mellor and O’Br...
Usage (application): Sustainable Development, Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Society

3 Types of Pro-environmental Behaviour

Lee, Kim, S. Kim, M. And Choi (2014) describe that there are actually three different types of pro-environmental behaviour among consumers and civilia...
Usage (application): Corporate Sustainability, Green Marketing

Corporate Sustainability Committee

Even if the interest for and significance of Corporate (Social) Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Sustainability (CS) has grown a lot over the last d...
Usage (application): Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Strategic Innovation, Corporate Governance

Resources - Corporate Sustainability Premium

Sustainable Leadership: Leading in Sustainability

Presentation about Sustainable Leadership, including the following sections:
1. Sustainable development
2. History of sustainable developmen...
Usage (application): Corporate Sustainability, Leadership Styles

Exceptional Speech by then 13 year-old Severn Suzuki at the UN, 2008 on Environmental and Social Responsibility

At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 2008, a 13 years old child, speaking for ECO, the Environmental Children's Organizatio...
Usage (application): Environmental Responsibility, Social Responsibility

Planetary Boundaries: The Need for Sustainability

This presentation is about existing planetary limits and the necessity for a more sustainable world. The presentation includes the following sections:...
Usage (application): Corporate Sustainability, Climate Change, Planetary Boundaries

Pursuing Corporate Sustainability Through Fair Trade

Presentation about Fair Trade, one of the many forms of Corporate Social Responsibility and achieving Sustainability. The presentation includes the fo...
Usage (application): Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Fair Trade

Packaging and Sustainable Packaging (In-depth)

In-depth presentation about packaging and sustainable packaging. The presentation is very extensive and uses head sections that are further subdivided...
Usage (application): Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability, Packaging

Materialism. Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Presentation about materialistic values and how this affects the environment. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. Materialism Usage (application): Corporate Sustainability, Consumerization

Outsourcing to Global Business Service Providers and Sustainable Development

This presentation covers the issue of globalization of services, thereby emphasizing business process outsourcing and IT-services and its relation to ...
Usage (application): Globalization, Outsourcing, Sustainable Development

How to Design and Build Sustainable Supply Chains

The presentation elaborates on ways to develop sustainable supply chains. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. Definitions
Usage (application): Sustainability, Supply Chain Management

Paperless Workplaces: Reasons, Practices and Difficulties

This presentation elaborates on the creation of paperless workplaces in the digital age, and includes the following sections:
1. Brief history of...
Usage (application): Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Paperless Office

Creating Triple Bottom Line Awareness: An Introduction

This presentation elaborates on the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. The presentation has many interesting slides with quotes and other materials to...
Usage (application): Triple Bottom Line, Corporate Sustainability

Sustainability Reporting

This presentation comments on Triple Bottom Line accounting and reporting. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. What is sustainab...
Usage (application): Triple Bottom Line, Corporate Sustainability

Supply Chain Sustainability

Sustainability in supply chains, including the following sections:
1. Overview
2. What is demand chain?
3. The supply chain sequence Usage (application): Triple Bottom Line, Supply Chain Management

Climate Change and Fossil Fuels: Introduction Into Divest Invest

This presentation provides an introduction into the concept of Divest Invest, and includes the following sections:
1. Contents
2. What is Di...
Usage (application): Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Investment, Asset Management

Sustainability and Tourism: Geotourism

This presentation is about Sustainability in Tourism, also called Geotourism. The presentation contains some interesting graphics and ...
Usage (application): Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability

Dealing with Climate Change and Resource Scarcity: a Pivot Strategy

Climate change and non renewable and renewable resource scarcity are challenges with a big impact on global welfare and corporate profits. According t...
Usage (application): Corporate Sustainability, Strategy, Pivot Strategy

Creating Inclusive Business Models

Presentation that provides an introduction into inclusive business models, especially focusing on (agri) businesses in Africa. The presentation inclu...
Usage (application): Business Models, Corporate Sustainability, International Development, Investing in Africa


Corporate Sustainability


Corporate Sustainability


Corporate Sustainability


Corporate Sustainability

Compare with: Corporate Transparency  |   Corporate Accountability  |  Corporate Responsibility  |  Intrinsic Stakeholder Commitment  |  Strategic Stakeholder Management  |  Triple Bottom Line  |  Shareholder Value Perspective  |  Stakeholder Value Perspective  |  Bottom of the Pyramid  |  Public Relations  |  Environmental Insurance  |  Whistle Blower  |  Cultural Dimensions  |  Strategic Intent  |  Ashridge Mission Model  |  Clarkson Principles  |  Moral Purpose  |  Seven Surprises  |  Spiral Dynamics

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