Corporate Sustainability


Over the last ten years, many businesses have become aware of the need to incorporate sustainable development into their core business activities. What is corporate sustainability and is the EU doing enough to promote sustainable businesses?

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Corporate sustainability covers four main topics:

  • business'sustainable development strategy: how to incorporate the principle of sustainability into everyday business activities?
  • markets: business opportunities arising from sustainable development
  • banking and investment: spotlight on how sustainable development is being approached by the financial services industry
  • working with NGOs: how businesses are forging working partnerships with lobby groups.

Corporate sustainability goes beyond the concept of eco-efficiency, it also requires socio-effiency (relation between a firm's value added and its social impact).

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) developed Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in June 2000. The GRI was convened by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Numerous firms present yearly a Corporate Sustainability Report according to these guidelines and incorporate these reports in their communication strategies. A new version of the Guidelines was published in 2002.