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Two dimensions of corporate sustainability assessment: towards a comprehensive framework


Schneider, Anselm; Meins, Erika (2012). Two dimensions of corporate sustainability assessment: towards a comprehensive framework. Business Strategy and the Environment, 21(4):211-222.

Abstract

Over the last years, many approaches have emerged that attempt to measure the contribution of firms to sustainable development, i.e. corporate sustainability. Our review of existing methodologies for the assessment of corporate sustainability reveals two major shortcomings. First, value creation as a core condition for sustainability as well as for further contributions to economic sustainability is often ignored in these assessments, suggesting that financial and non-financial organizational processes are separable. Second, existing approaches fail to differentiate between the actual contribution of a firm to sustainability on the one hand, and governance-related features aimed at attaining this contribution on the other. We argue that the implementation of sustainability-oriented organizational structures and managerial instruments alone does not necessarily quarantee sustainability performance. Therefore, besides the dimension of current sustainability performance, we introduce the notion of sustainability governance as a second distinct dimension of corporate sustainability assessment.

Abstract

Over the last years, many approaches have emerged that attempt to measure the contribution of firms to sustainable development, i.e. corporate sustainability. Our review of existing methodologies for the assessment of corporate sustainability reveals two major shortcomings. First, value creation as a core condition for sustainability as well as for further contributions to economic sustainability is often ignored in these assessments, suggesting that financial and non-financial organizational processes are separable. Second, existing approaches fail to differentiate between the actual contribution of a firm to sustainability on the one hand, and governance-related features aimed at attaining this contribution on the other. We argue that the implementation of sustainability-oriented organizational structures and managerial instruments alone does not necessarily quarantee sustainability performance. Therefore, besides the dimension of current sustainability performance, we introduce the notion of sustainability governance as a second distinct dimension of corporate sustainability assessment.

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18 citations in Web of Science®
21 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
03 Faculty of Economics > Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:19 Aug 2011 07:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:58
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0964-4733
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.726
Related URLs:http://www.ccrs.uzh.ch (Author)
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:4073

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