Inderscience Publishers

The opportunities and challenges for a general definition of corporate sustainability

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

In recent years, academics and corporate analysts have suggested that the business world should incorporate sustainable development into their decision making, given that it is considered key to their long-term viability. The corporations which implement such strategies are usually labelled sustainable. In this paper, a number of definitions of corporate sustainability, each with different meanings, are presented; this variety has been transferred from the macroeconomic level (where this concept originated) and can now also be found at the microeconomic level. In order to clarify this ambiguity in meaning, the existence of which underlines the need to create a general definition, this paper has two aims: (1) to present a mapping for categorising the current definitions of corporate sustainability and tracing their origin and (2) to choose the most predominant definition and examine the opportunities, challenges, conflicts and efficient conditions which arise to develop a general definition of corporate sustainability.

Keywords: corporate sustainability, definitions, sustainable development, green firms, eco-efficient firms, green economics

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