Dimensions Of Corporate Sustainability

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2.3 WHAT IS CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY?

Corporate sustainability is a complex concept because it has a different meaning to different individuals and organisations. As the concept of corporate sustainability has evolved over time and has taken several forms. This has made the challenge to find a universal definition of corporate sustainability even bigger.

2.3.1 DEFINITION OF CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY

According to Grobben (2016:2) the term corporate sustainability finds its origins in a mixture of four distinct theories that together form the pillars under corporate sustainability. The different concepts are not seen as separate concepts, but each contribute one overall concept, which is corporate sustainability. The four pillars are
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For the purpose of this study, CS will be defined as………….

2.3.2 DIMENSIONS OF CS

The different dimensions of corporate sustainability can stimulate the understanding of CS in a more detailed level as the dimensions of CS are highly significant in defining corporate sustainability. The three most commonly mentioned ones are the social, environmental and economic dimension which are all together also described as the Triple Bottom Line or the famous ‘three P’s’ namely people, planet and profit (Fauzi, Svensson & Rahman 2010:1350).

Table 2.1: THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY
Dimension Description Example
Economic Moving beyond conventional financial accounting, according to new measures of wealth such as the intellectual capital that organisations develop. -Contribute to economic development
-Increase productivity through a motivated workforce
-Preserving the
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Thus, a sound strategy is required in order to translate CS to the definite business context. (Eccles, Ioannou & Serafeim 2011:62). CSS is somewhat seen as a process and not a specific goal that can be attained. CSS is furthermore understood as the method or plan that supports the process of development towards a desired future with the combination of lessons-learned on the way and essential adjustments due to fluctuating circumstances (Bagheri & Hjorth, 2007).

Numerous frameworks have been established to measure, compute and cultivate sustainable strategies. One of such frameworks is, a framework by Baumgartner and Ebner (2010:879-81) where they suggest typology consisting of introverted strategy (risk mitigation), conservative strategy (efficiency), extroverted strategy (legitimization), and visionary strategy (holistic). With multiple strategies being implemented, CSS is supported by the use of instruments such as indicators, management systems, reporting schemes, stakeholder dialogue, balanced scorecard and business models (Witjes, Vermeulen & Cramer
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