Corporate Sustainability

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Description of Corporate Sustainability. Explanation.


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.

Special Interest Group - Corporate Sustainability

Special Interest Group (244 members)

Forum - Corporate Sustainability  

Discussions about Corporate Sustainability.

  How to Invest in Sustainable Portfolios
Investments are more and more trying to align their investments with their values. They have begun t (...)
  Issues with Creating Sustainable Workplaces
Business are increasingly focused on creating a more sustainable workplace for their workforce. A co (...)
  Why is Business / Corporate Sustainability Important?
Managing businesses in a sustainable way is playing a major role in: 1. SOCIETY - to address the so (...)
  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 (...)
  Hotel Sustainability: Put Humans in Focus
It always saddens me to see how often sustainability in the hotel industry is actually led by engine (...)
  Three Main Weaknesses in Corporate Sustainability Governance
Although leadership is critical in the design and implementation of Corporate Sustainability (CS) pr (...)
  Supply Chain Sustainability
Most companies have now realised that sustainability can result in streamlined processes and long-te (...)
  Fair Trade Labels: A Good Step?
Efforts to produce fair products have started long ago. In the late 18th century, attempts to boycot (...)
  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 f (...)
  Sustainability and Quality Management System Go Hand in Hand
Reducing consumption both of raw-material and energy or increasing efficiency will help in improving (...)
  Reasons for Omitting Sustainability Reporting
Higgins et al. (2012) have researched Sustainability Reporting (SR) in organizations. The authors el (...)
  Overcoming Barriers to Corporate Sustainability (CS)
According to Robert G. Eccles and George Serafeim in their article "Innovating for a Sustainable Str (...)
  Sustainability Reporting Should be Made Mandatory by Law
If Corporate Sustanability has to happen, sustainability reporting has to be made mandatory like Cor (...)
  Strategies to Contain Environmental Degradation
Many countries the world over have struggled to contain environmental degradation with laws and regu (...)
  Sustainability of Corporations, Industries and Nations
Meaning of Sustainability: an entity's ability to grow and maintain accelerated growth. • Growing (...)
  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. Us (...)
  Waste-Free Production: Cradle to Cradle
In order to combat climate change, saving production resources and returning old products to a usefu (...)
  10 Ways to Become a Socially Responsible Organization
Newlands (2017) sums up ten points helping firms to become more socially responsible, leading to lon (...)
Hot Cool Corporate Sustainability Quote
“There is no Planet B.” Unknown Spotted in a nice little shop called “Natura” in Girona, Catalonia (...)
  Corporate Sustainability Frameworks?
Can anyone please help me with a corporate sustainability model or framework being adopted in organi (...)
  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 Gunt (...)
  Sustainability Goals Needs to Be Articulated in Financial Terms
The success of any program depends upon proper articulation of its long-term objective(s), meticulou (...)
  The Role of Stock Markets in Corporate Sustainability
For any organization to succeed in this market situation, short term goals like donation for communi (...)
  Sustainability is a Pipe Dream
There is no such thing as sustainable. Maintenance of something always requires energy input whether (...)
  Corporate Sustainability in India
Corporations in India are under growing pressure from internal and external stakeholders to achieve (...)

Best Practices - Corporate Sustainability

Here you find the most valuable discussions from the past.

  Why Should Firms Invest Strategically in Sustainability?
Businesses are increasingly implementing sustainability in their operations. However, executives oft (...)
  How to Improve Popularity of Remanufactured Products?
DEFINITION Remanufacturing refers to the “process of disassembling, cleaning, inspecting, repair (...)
  Why Does CSR Attract Customers?
Hughes (2017) mentions several reasons why focusing on sustainability and tackling social issues wil (...)
  The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitive Advantage
The study of environmental regulations and its impact on competitive advantage has in the past liter (...)
  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 (...)
  Factors in Implementation of Environmental Management
Some companies decide to implement Environmental Management (EM) while other companies don't. Oberho (...)
  Substantive Corporate Sustainability versus Symbolic Corporate Sustainability
Due to increased awareness that people nowadays have about environmental issues, many companies have (...)
  Reasons for Sustainability Innovation
A lot of attention has been paid to sustainability over the last decade. In an article, Schaltegger (...)
  Challenges of Sustainability Certification
Sustainability certification is being used globally as a method by which a third party assesses norm (...)

Expert Tips - Corporate Sustainability

Here you will find advices by experts.


4 Levers to Pursue a Dual Corporate Purpose

CSR, Impact on Society, Balancing Financial and Social Goals, Dual Purpose (...)

3 Main Views to Achieve Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development, Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Society (...)

3 Types of Pro-environmental Behaviour

Corporate Sustainability, Green Marketing (...)

Corporate Sustainability Committee

Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Strategic Innovation, Corporate Governance (...)

Resources - Corporate Sustainability

Here you find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos and further information sources.

Sustainable Leadership: Leading in Sustainability

Corporate Sustainability, Leadership Styles (...)

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

Environmental Responsibility, Social Responsibility (...)

Planetary Boundaries: The Need for Sustainability

Corporate Sustainability, Climate Change, Planetary Boundaries (...)

How to Design and Build Sustainable Supply Chains

Sustainability, Supply Chain Management (...)

Packaging and Sustainable Packaging (In-depth)

Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability, Packaging (...)

Materialism. Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Corporate Sustainability, Consumerization (...)

Outsourcing to Global Business Service Providers and Sustainable Development

Globalization, Outsourcing, Sustainable Development (...)

Pursuing Corporate Sustainability Through Fair Trade

Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Fair Trade (...)

Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable Business, CSR, Environmental Sustainability (...)

Paperless Workplaces: Reasons, Practices and Difficulties

Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Paperless Office (...)

Creating Triple Bottom Line Awareness: An Introduction

Triple Bottom Line, Corporate Sustainability (...)

Sustainability Reporting

Triple Bottom Line, Corporate Sustainability (...)

Supply Chain Sustainability

Triple Bottom Line, Supply Chain Management (...)

Climate Change and Fossil Fuels: Introduction Into Divest Invest

Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Investment, Asset Management (...)

Sustainability and CSR as Business Case

Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability, CSR (...)

Sustainability and Tourism: Geotourism

Sustainable Business, Environmental Sustainability (...)

Dealing with Climate Change and Resource Scarcity: a Pivot Strategy

Corporate Sustainability, Strategy, Pivot Strategy (...)

Creating Inclusive Business Models

Business Models, Corporate Sustainability, International Development, Investing in Africa (...)

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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