Corporate Sustainability

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Definition Corporate Sustainability? Meaning.

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.

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Corporate Sustainability Special Interest Group.

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Why Should Firms Invest Strategically in Sustainability?
Businesses are increasingly implementing sustainability in their operations. However, some executives remain somewhat reluctant to put sustainability at the heart of their business strategy, mainly be...
Waste-Free Production: Cradle to Cradle
In order to combat climate change, saving production resources and returning old products to a useful life sound like very good ideas. But they are tough to accomplish in practice. HISTORY OF CRADL...
The Scope of your Sustainability Strategy
You should investigate the total 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...
ESG Factors: How Firms Attract Conscious Investors
ESG Factors is an umbrella term used by (professional) investors that refers to: E - Environmental and Energy related issues (Corporate Sustainability) S - Social or Societal issues and concer...
Causes of the Gap Between Good Intentions and Actual Results of Corporate Sustainability Practices
Companies are increasingly addressing sustainability by incorporating CSR programs in their business models. The result is an increase in reported improvements in corporate practices. However, accordi...
Why Does CSR Attract Customers?
Hughes (2017) mentions several reasons why focusing on sustainability and tackling social issues will expand your customer base: RATIONAL: As a result of a deliberate intellectual decision. EMOT...
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 Trad...
Challenges of Sustainability Certification
Sustainability certification is being used globally as a method by which a third party assesses norms and standards with regard to environmental, social and ethical issues. Producers of certified prod...
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 out...
10 Simple Ideas to Start with Going Green and Sustainability
Environmental issues have not always been at the forefront of many companies but there has been a distinct turnaround since the formation of NGOs such as GreenPeace. And with the voice of Greta Thunbe...
Sustainability: What Should we Be Focused On?
The range of responses to environmental, social and economic sustainability by businesses varies from denial to avoidance to wholehearted incorporation in purpose and activities. Should we be focused...
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 busines...
Top Sustainability Quotes
The best one I've ever seen is: "There is no Planet B." Unknown Spotted in a nice little shop called "Natura" in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Do you know another good quote related to (corporate) s...
Why is Business / Corporate Sustainability Important?
Managing businesses in a sustainable way is playing a major role in: 1. SOCIETY - to address the social conditions that affect us all, including poverty, violence, injustice, education and public hea...
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 overs...
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 fir...
10 Ways to Become a Socially Responsible Organization
Newlands (2017) sums up ten points helping firms to become more socially responsible, leading to longer-term relationships with increasingly responsible customers: DEVELOP A SOCIAL MISSION: next to ...
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 i...
Fair Trade Labels: A Good Step?
Efforts to produce fair products have started long ago. In the late 18th century, attempts to boycott sugar from the West Indies were already made to fight against slavery. Today, the fair trade movem...
Issues with Creating Sustainable Workplaces
Business are increasingly focused on creating a more sustainable workplace for their workforce. A comfortable work environment is related to happier, healthier, more creative and more productive emplo...
Every Cent of Earning is not the Holy Grail
A facet of sustainability, in my understanding, is the wisdom to recognize and the energy to enforce superior interests which are not directly related to the success or failure of an endeavor in order...
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. Ho...
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. ...
🔥 NEW Corporate Sustainability Framework by Eccles and Serafeim
Here's a brief summary of the 4-stage sustainability strategy framework by Eccles and Serafeim: 1. IDENTIFY the most critical ESG issues in your type of business. 2. QUANTIFY the financial impact of...
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 pe...
Sustainability Reporting Should be Made Mandatory by Law
If Corporate Sustanability 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 cr...
Overcoming Barriers to Corporate Sustainability (CS)
According to Robert G. Eccles and George Serafeim in their article "Innovating for a Sustainable Strategy" (HBR May 2013), most large companies have some kind of sustainability program underway, but m...
Strategies to Contain Environmental Degradation
Many countries the world over have struggled to contain environmental degradation with laws and regulations. Some have gone to encourage ISO certification by companies. The idea of going green has bee...
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 g...
Sustainability is a Pipe Dream
There is no such thing as sustainable. Maintenance of something always requires energy input whether it's actual energy like electricity, management effort, money or other resources. It's a pipe dream...
Corporate Sustainability in India
Corporations in India are under growing pressure from internal and external stakeholders to achieve corporate sustainability and consider the economic, environmental and social implications of their a...
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 ...

Best Practices

The best, top-rated topics about Corporate Sustainability. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

How to Improve Popularity of Remanufactured Products?
DEFINITION Remanufacturing refers to the "process of disassembling, cleaning, inspecting, repairing, replacing, and reassembling the components of a part or product to like-new condition" (Thorn and ...

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 ...
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 i...

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Corporate Sustainability. Here you will find professional advices by experts.

4 Levers to Pursue a Dual Corporate Purpose

CSR, Impact on Society, Balancing Financial and Social Goals, Dual Purpose
These is a slow but steadily increasing trend for corporations to diminish their single-minded pursuit of shareholder va...

3 Main Views to Achieve Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development, Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Society
There are many views on the type of changes, but also about the tools and actors required to achieve sustainable develop...

Corporate Sustainability Committee

Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Strategic Innovation, Corporate Governance
Even if the interest for and significance of Corporate (Social) Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Sustainability (CS) h...

How to Inject Corporate Purpose Into Corporate Governance

Enacting Purpose, Organizational Purpose Implementation, Corporate Sustainability, ESG, SCORE Framework
Many models and frameworks have been created wrt Corporate Responsibility and ESG. But how can you actually make it happ...

HRMís Role in Corporate Social and Environmental Sustainability

Sustainable HRM, CSR, Environment, SHRM FOundation
Sustainable HRM is the utilization of HR tools to help embed a sustainability strategy in the organization and the creat...

3 Types of Pro-environmental Behaviour

Corporate Sustainability, Green Marketing
Lee, Kim, S. Kim, M. And Choi (2014) describe that there are actually three different types of pro-environmental behavio...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Corporate Sustainability. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Sustainable Leadership: Leading in Sustainability

Corporate Sustainability, Leadership Styles
Presentation about Sustainable Leadership, including the following sections: 1. Sustainable development 2. History of ...

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

Environmental Responsibility, Social Responsibility
At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 2008, a 13 years old child, speaking for ECO, the Enviro...

Planetary Boundaries: The Need for Sustainability

Corporate Sustainability, Climate Change, Planetary Boundaries
This presentation is about existing planetary limits and the necessity for a more sustainable world. The presentation in...

How to Design and Build Sustainable Supply Chains

Sustainability, Supply Chain Management
The presentation elaborates on ways to develop sustainable supply chains. The presentation includes the following sectio...

Packaging and Sustainable Packaging (In-depth)

Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability, Packaging
In-depth presentation about packaging and sustainable packaging. The presentation is very extensive and uses head sectio...

Materialism. Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Corporate Sustainability, Consumerization
Presentation about materialistic values and how this affects the environment. The presentation includes the following se...

Outsourcing to Global Business Service Providers and Sustainable Development

Globalization, Outsourcing, Sustainable Development
This presentation covers the issue of globalization of services, thereby emphasizing business process outsourcing and IT...

Pursuing Corporate Sustainability Through Fair Trade

Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Fair Trade
Presentation about Fair Trade, one of the many forms of Corporate Social Responsibility and achieving Sustainability. Th...

Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable Business, CSR, Environmental Sustainability
This presentation makes the business case for sustainability in the manufacturing sector. The presentation includes the ...

Paperless Workplaces: Reasons, Practices and Difficulties

Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Paperless Office
This presentation elaborates on the creation of paperless workplaces in the digital age, and includes the following sect...

Creating Triple Bottom Line Awareness: An Introduction

Triple Bottom Line, Corporate Sustainability
This presentation elaborates on the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. The presentation has many interesting slides with...

Sustainability Reporting

Triple Bottom Line, Corporate Sustainability
This presentation comments on Triple Bottom Line accounting and reporting. The presentation includes the following secti...

Supply Chain Sustainability

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

Climate Change and Fossil Fuels: Introduction Into Divest Invest

Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Investment, Asset Management
This presentation provides an introduction into the concept of Divest Invest, and includes the following sections: 1. C...

Sustainability and CSR as Business Case

Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability, CSR
This presentation provides valuable insights on the business case for sustainability and CSR. It includes the following ...

Sustainability and Tourism: Geotourism

Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability
Geotourism This presentation is about Sustainability in Tourism, also called Geotourism. The presentation contains some...

Dealing with Climate Change and Resource Scarcity: a Pivot Strategy

Corporate Sustainability, Strategy, Pivot Strategy
Climate change and non renewable and renewable resource scarcity are challenges with a big impact on global welfare and ...

Creating Inclusive Business Models

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

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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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