The 'Business Case for Sustainability' Concept: A Short Introduction

Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, ISBN 978-3-942638-22-7, 2012

14 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2012 Last revised: 15 May 2013

Stefan Schaltegger

Leuphana University of Lueneburg

Florian Lüdeke-Freund

University of Hamburg, Chair of Capital Markets and Management; Leuphana University, Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 27, 2012

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical introduction to the 'Business Case for Sustainability' concept, its drivers, key challenges and future issues. A business case for sustainability intends and realizes economic success through (and not just with) an intelligent design of voluntary environmental and social management. It can be characterized by three requirements which have to be met. Firstly, the company has to realize a voluntary or mainly voluntary activity with the intention to contribute to the solution of societal or environmental problems. Secondly, the activity must create a positive business effect or a positive contribution to the economic success of the company which can be measured or argued for in a convincing way. Thirdly, a clear and convincing argumentation must exist that a certain management or entrepreneurial activity has led or will lead to both the intended societal or environmental effect and the economic effect. In summary: A business case for sustainability results from the intelligent design of voluntary or mainly voluntary social and environmental management and creates a positive business effect based on a distinct management or entrepreneurial activity. The concept of the business case for sustainability guides researchers and practitioners alike to find answers to the crucial question: How can the competitiveness and business success of a company be improved with voluntarily created outstanding environmental and social performance?

Keywords: business case for sustainable development, business case for sustainability, business case of sustainability, enlightened self-interest, win-win situation, triple-win situation, triple bottom line success, corporate sustainability management

JEL Classification: Q20, L93, M10, M40

Suggested Citation

Schaltegger, Stefan and Lüdeke-Freund, Florian, The 'Business Case for Sustainability' Concept: A Short Introduction (June 27, 2012). Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, ISBN 978-3-942638-22-7, 2012 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2094238 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2094238

Stefan Schaltegger

Leuphana University of Lueneburg ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

Florian Lüdeke-Freund (Contact Author)

Leuphana University, Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) ( email )

Faculty of Sustainability
Scharnhorststr. 1
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

University of Hamburg, Chair of Capital Markets and Management ( email )

Faculty of Business, Economics & Social Sciences
Von-Melle-Park 9
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.SustainableBusinessModel.org

Paper statistics

Downloads
386
Rank
215,960
Abstract Views
1,224