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:
- 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
- Get the execution right
- Elevate sustainability leadership from departmental to C-level
- Update methods and models (Scenario Planning, business case analysis, trend spotting) to encompass environmental sustainability.
- Include green stakeholders (NGO representatives, academics, government officials) in strategy development
- Integrate management (integrate sustainability objectives into compensation models, performance reviews, etc)
- 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 Special Interest Group
Special Interest Group (242 members)
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Stakeholder Commitment |
Triple Bottom Line |
Shareholder Value Perspective
| Stakeholder Value
Bottom of the Pyramid
| Public Relations
| Environmental Insurance
| Whistle Blower
| Cultural Dimensions |
| Ashridge Mission
Model | Clarkson
| Seven Surprises
| Spiral Dynamics
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