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Making Sustainability Work

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Making Sustainability Work

Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Clean sustainability practices can lead to greater profitability.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Well Structured
  • Background


Management professor Mark J. Epstein conducted extensive academic research into the best social and environmental – that is, sustainability – practices of 100 companies worldwide. Drawing on that knowledge, he developed a “Corporate Sustainability Model” to show business leaders how to implement the right organizational processes to create, measure and promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) and “corporate social opportunity.” The book is quite dense and academic, with much of its information packed into evocative but complex charts, so it seeks a professional audience. getAbstract recommends it to corporate decision makers as a well-informed, thorough manual.


Improving Social and Financial Performance

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) enables companies to ensure that their social, environmental and economic activities support the “triple bottom line” of sustainable performance. Businesses must assess their CSR activities to make the most of these “unpriced” activities, and to turn them into a competitive advantage. Sustainability programs must address government regulations, industry codes of conduct, community relations, costs and revenue goals, and societal and moral duties.

Many companies implement sustainability strategies, but their efforts often fail because sustainability demands simultaneous excellence in three overlapping arenas: social, environmental and financial performance. Corporate sustainability requires a clear strategy based on goals that supersede dollar-driven profits and the full commitment of senior management. It also calls for practical systems that implement sustainability companywide. Corporate support must come from “management control, performance measurement and reward systems as appropriate.” To measure performance, first consider how well you perform in nine basic areas: “ethics, governance...

About the Author

Rice University professor Marc J. Epstein is an expert in designing and implementing corporate strategies and developing their performance metrics.

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