Business Cases for Sustainability
Schaltegger, S. & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2013). Business Cases for Sustainability. In: S. Idowu, N. Capaldi, L. Zu & A. Das Gupta (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility (pp. 245-252). Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer
8 Pages Posted: 17 May 2013
Date Written: June 5, 2012
This short encyclopedic article 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: Suggested Citation