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CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY: WHAT IS IT AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Get my own profile Cited by View all All Since Citations h-index 24 18 iindex 30 Bedrijfskunde Innovatie Sustainability Complexiteitstheorie Imagineering. Articles Cited by Co-authors. Journal of Engineering and technology management 20 , , Creativity and Innovation Management 13 1 , , Journal of Product Innovation Management 24 2 , , Creativity and innovation management 15 1 , , Journal of Knowledge Management 10 5 , , Human, structural and relational capital are herein subdivided into standard success factors Mertins and Will which map the most common types of intellectual capital.

In order to comply with the system attached to modelling processes, the repository of intellectual capital factors needs to be adapted on a case-by-case basis. At the same time, considerations for directing this approach towards sustainable corporate development are taken in the following adaptation delineation. The competence model forms the basis for the human capital factors. It was developed through empirical studies and quantifies specifics of enterprises analysed.

Here a more generic approach is taken, which in turn is detailed through the consideration of role- and activity-based competencies. Human capital is thus defined as the sum of professional, social, personal and methodological competence. The peculiarity of these competences is dependent on the specific role occupied or on the activity itself, and in a wider sense, likewise on the strategic consideration of paradigms such as sustainable development.

The structural capital requires a distinct consideration of those capital factors that are activity-based cooperation and knowledge transfer, product and process innovation , and the objectified factors management instruments, explicit knowledge and corporate culture.


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In relational capital, a new configuration considers relations on micro-, meso- and macro-level in order to integrate social aspects in a distinguished manner. Relationships to public bodies legislative, funding and society moreover are considered within the macro-level of relational capital. At this point, an assessment of the cause-effect relationships can be implemented following a cross-factor impact assessment of all resource factors Alwert et al.

The definition of resources tangible and intangible builds the basis for analysing the interrelations within the different resource categories and helps to identify fields of action for improving on the sustainability performance of their deployment. The following section introduces an approach for action planning and monitoring by using extended enterprise models. The most brilliant sustainability strategies can turn into disasters if they are not entirely or only insufficiently implemented. A key factor for a successful implementation of the sustainability strategy lies in the planning of operational actions and the availability of evaluations for monitoring and tracking qualitative and quantitative aspects.

The measurement, control and communication of information on sustainability require the interaction between various actors, evaluation methods and operational data Maas et al. Applying this framework, one can ensure that a systematic embedding of the individual sustainability strategies, objectives, their monitoring and its implementation takes place in the planning phase. Prioritisation-matrix Orth et al. It reveals the urgency level of the actions, along with their feasibility. The optimisation of the energy use might, for example, be highly urgent, but need not be easily feasible due to contractual ties.

Furthermore, the enhancement of the material efficiency could be highly urgent, but not very feasible, due to the complex processes along the value chain that can only be altered with the application of enormous effort. As soon as the prioritisation is complete, a suitable set of indicators has to be derived. Due to that fact, numerous methods, guidelines and norms have been developed Kohl et al. A further consideration is then omitted at this point. Once the suitable indicators are aligned with the planned actions and thus with the strategic objectives, the monitoring via the usage of operational data has to be realised.

Business intelligence and reporting tools that are only capable of visualising performance indicators are no longer sufficient for capturing the complex requirements of a comprehensive sustainability approach Schneider and Meins Moreover, a solution for network sustainability management and its evaluation is required for balancing economic, ecological and social dimensions Wilding et al. In the context of sustainable development, economic, environmental and social aspects have to be presented in a context-sensitive manner.

They offer a focused cut without changing the models themselves.

Sustainability Strategies in German Small and Medium-Sized Companies

An evaluation component offers role-specific model evaluation views, summarizing relevant indicators and enterprise information in a central system, and allows their evaluation according to model elements. The framework also allows a derivation of integrated reporting which complies with national and international standards.

All elements described in the section above and integrated into the integrated model-based framework, are represented also in reporting guidelines for the communication of sustainability. The following section briefly introduces the major approaches. Companies are exposed to a growing number of required reports for internal as well as external reporting purposes e. Intellectual-Capital-Statements, environmental reports, corporate social responsibility reports or sustainability reports.

Given this situation of information overload, a comprehensive integration of various reports seems to be worthwhile. While large enterprises communicate non-financial data and information to their stakeholders, small enterprises so far lack the means to report on their effort and achievements in implementing sustainable strategies.

This section highlights our research contribution on integrated reporting.

Corporate Sustainability Management – The Art and Science of Managing Non-Financial Performance

In addition to traditional financial information, contents regarding the sustainability of the company 1 are of note. Sustainability reports document the environmental, social and economic engagements that enterprises are making in dealing with internal and external resources. They satisfy the increased need for information on the part of stakeholders. For sustainability reporting, criteria and an array of guidelines are already available.


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  4. When developing the guidelines, the GRI had several objectives in mind. One was to offer a bridge-builder for sustainability reporting on the path toward integrated reporting. The G4-Guidelines are therefore also applicable and implementable in integrated reporting Soyka The International Integrated Reporting Council IIRC —established in August —consists of representatives from corporate, investment, accounting, securities, regulatory, academic and standard-setting sectors as well as from civil society IIRC The IIRC published the results in This model is embedded into a system of inputs, business activities the core of the business model and outputs, as well as outcomes.

    In this context, value creation is not done by or within the organisation alone.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS

    It is influenced by external factors, e. All organisations depend on different resources and relationships for their success. The approach of the IIRC gives comprehensive understanding of tangible and intangible resources and suggests interdependencies between corporate action and results.

    Originally, the approach was developed for large companies that are publicly traded. Because the IIRC approach principle is based on this, flexibility for an adaption is thus built-in. To enhance the range in the distribution of the report, the approach also suggests using digital media. In addition, the formulated principles likewise profit from the use of digital media. When regarding, for instance, the consistency and comparability principle, the timelines of the KPIs prove to be much more doable in the digital approach than in the case of a classical print-version of a report.

    Further steps in the area of sustainability performance management are nevertheless needed to extend the scope towards complete supply chains in order to manage, evaluate and control the performance of complex value-creation networks. Here, detailed concepts for an intuitive handling of data occurrence means that services for its selection, combination and aggregation, all have to be examined.

    In addition, several evaluation methods like the LCA already exist on the market, but connection mechanisms have to be developed to allow for reliable steering, controlling and monitoring. On top of the data-driven development needs, the knowledge transfer to the industrial community also has to be strengthened in order to improve and support the corporate sustainability orientation process as a whole. They describe reports with different degrees of focus on environmental, social or corporate governance issues Ioannou and Serafeim Skip to main content Skip to sections.

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