An increasing number of companies recognise the necessity of becoming environmentally sustainable and are actively engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a fixed part of their business operations. But how deeply has sustainability really taken root as a guiding principle in corporate culture? In order to answer this question, adelphi and the IÖW (Institute for Ecological Economy Research) analysed the sustainability strategies of 16 national and international companies. Six of the companies analysed were subjected to a more detailed study as examples of good practice. They are not representative, but instead serve to demonstrate current trends and opportunities for corporate sustainability management. This brochure concerns current developments in the established fields of environmental protection, focuses on aspects of social sustainability with colleagues and demonstrates how sustainable corporate leadership is transitioning from risk management towards opportunity management.
This study is part of the "Meta-Analysis – sustainability strategies in politics and the economy" project, which adelphi conducted together with IÖW and the Environmental Policy Research Centre at Freie Universität Berlin (FFU). It was sponsored by the BMBF as part of the Innovation and Technical Analysis (ITA) funding programme. With the book “Sustainability Strategies in Politics and the Economy” (original title: Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien in Politik und Wirtschaft) the project delivered a comprehensive exploration of the role and contribution that the political and economic sectors have made towards sustainable development, as well as the connection between innovation and sustainability strategies.