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Corporate sustainability strategies: sustainability profiles and maturity levels

Author

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  • Rupert J. Baumgartner

    (Åbo Akademi University, Åbo|Turku, Finland; University of Leoben, Austria)

  • Daniela Ebner

    (ALPLA Werke GmbH, Hard, Austria)

Abstract

Although many companies investigate sustainability management and publish sustainability reports, their main focus in this endeavour remains unclear. Often, it seems that sustainability issues are pursued more coincidentally than with a clear strategy. On one hand, research is done for the identification and determination of distinct aspects concerning economic, ecological and social dimensions of sustainability. Guidelines to develop a sustainability report are popular examples of this. On the other hand, scientific effort is recognizable regarding the establishment of specific sustainability strategies, e.g. strategies that focus on internal|external orientation of sustainability commitment. Strategies should be designed to work to improve performance in terms of the issues identified, but in many cases the link between aspects and sustainability strategies is missing in practice. This paper aims to narrow this gap by developing specific aspect profiles for sustainability strategies. Relating to the characteristics of various sustainability strategies, key sustainability issues are determined, which have to be implemented in order to reach defined sustainability goals efficiently. The paper helps companies that already commit to sustainability to verify whether they are consistent in the implementation of a distinct sustainability strategy. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Rupert J. Baumgartner & Daniela Ebner, 2010. "Corporate sustainability strategies: sustainability profiles and maturity levels," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 76-89.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:18:y:2010:i:2:p:76-89 DOI: 10.1002/sd.447
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rupert J. Baumgartner, 2009. "Organizational culture and leadership: Preconditions for the development of a sustainable corporation," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 102-113.
    2. Francesco Perrini & Angeloantonio Russo & Antonio Tencati, 2007. "CSR Strategies of SMEs and Large Firms. Evidence from Italy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 285-300, September.
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