Business Case for Sustainability

The business case of corporate sustainability covers the broad area of questions that address the relevance of voluntary environmental and social initiatives and actions to the success of a firm. It addresses the pitch that a firm can ‘do well by doing good’. Meaning a firm can perform well financially by focusing not only on its core business activities, but also by considering its responsibility to a better society. Firms behave responsibly not only because managers become more public-spiritual and sustainability-conscious, but merely because managers believe that being more responsible and a better corporate citizen is a source of competitive advantage and, by that, cause a better financial performance. Examining, theoretically and empirically, the business case of corporate sustainability has turned into an autonomous academic discipline with a primary focus on conceptualizing, specifying, and testing the relationship between corporate sustainability and corporate financial performance.


Grewatsch, S., & Kleindienst, I. (2017). When does it pay to be good? Moderators and mediators in the corporate sustainability–corporate financial performance relationship: A critical review. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(2), 383-416. Download here

Grewatsch, S., & Kleindienst, I. (2017). How organizational cognitive frames affect organizational capabilities: The context of corporate sustainability. Long Range Planning. (online first) Download here